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This article by Kathleen McGinn Spring was prepared for the October 23, 2002 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

Pharm Country’s Fresh Start

About 10 years ago, with a great deal of flourish, a

visionary promoter published the first "Pharm Country" map,

a map of New Jersey with icons of the various pharmaceutical and biotech

companies imposed. Now another edition has been created. The current

publisher, BioSpace, has made a big flourish in cyberspace. BioSpace

launches the map, media campaign, and a homepage for Pharm Country

on its site (www.biospace.com) on Thursday, October 24, at 6

p.m., with a reception and symposium at the Doral Forrestal.

On the speakers’ roster are H. Joseph Reiser, CEO of Cytogen

and chair of the Biotechnology Council of New Jersey; Frank Keith,

Rutgers Camden Technology Campus, and Mary Catherine DiNunzio,

an attorney of Stroock & Stroock & Lavan. For an invitation call Cecily

Upton at 415-355-6558.

Based in San Francisco, BioSpace provides web-based products and information

services to the life sciences. For each region of the country it publishes

a map showing prominent pharmaceutical and biotech entities and bestowing

on that region a more or less catchy name. Genetown, for instance,

is the Boston area. Biotech Beach is southern California, with northern

California represented by Biotech Bay. Perhaps New Jersey’s BioScience

moniker, Pharm Country, stems from another state slogan, "Jersey

Fresh."

Each map has a print version but is also published online at www.biospace.com,

the largest website for the life sciences. With both public and subscription-based

information and resources, it has a for-fee section offering competitive

intelligence. In addition to a multi-year archive of press releases

from PR Newswire, which streamlines searches for company information,

its four webmasters also compile articles from 700 publications.

Among the companies represented on the map are 3D Pharmaceuticals,

Amersham Biosciences, Covance, Cytogen, Medarex, Novo Nordisk, OSI

Pharmaceuticals Pharmacopeia, PPD, PTC Therapeutics Inc., and Purdue.

Companies pay to be listed on the site, with links to their own homepages.

There is no charge for universities and non-profits.

Brian Vicanti, director of marketing and advertising, says the

career center on its site is among the most popular features. "Eleven

thousand resumes were posted in just the first three months,"

he says. Biospace also hosts career fairs and trade shows.

Vicanti, a graduate of Colby College (Class of 1995), grew up in Genetown,

and worked as a biotechnology researcher before getting into pharmaceutical

marketing. He has been with Biospace for two-and-a-half years.

The site has a number of revenue streams, most notably fees from member

companies, and it is "almost profitable," says Vicanti. The

company is located in the formerly booming section of San Francisco

near Market Street. The area, where Internet companies once competed

ruthlessly for any office space at all, is now a ghost town. Biospace,

despite the up-and-down fortunes of its niche market, is still standing.

"We’re just south of Market Street and just north of the red,"

jokes Vicanti, referring to the all-important bottom line.


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