Corrections or additions?
Progress Introduction: Between the Lines
U.S. 1’s annual Progress edition can serve as a microcosm
of the Princeton business community if you are writing a business
plan, looking for a job, or deciding whether to move your business
to Central New Jersey. The list also serves as an informal index to
our coverage, and you will see that in 2002 we gave a lot of space
to R&D and pharmaceutical companies — because those are the kinds
of companies still flocking to Princeton.
Yes, the good news for the more than 16,000 Central Jersey employees
in pharma and biotech jobs is that the pharma sector remained pretty
healthy in 2002. Take for example the move-ins of two companies that
work in the same field, seeking better painkillers — the well-established
Purdue Pharma and a start-up, AlgoRx.
Asian pharmaceutical firms (Japanese firms like Otsuka and Taiho and
the Korean CJ Pharma) continued to set up their U.S. headquarters
in Princeton. Particularly prosperous were the pharmaceutical service
companies — those that help with the marketing and the CROS (clinical
research organizations) that take drugs through clinical trials. DesignWrite,
Newton Gravity Shift, Ann Heckel and Company, Simstar, Market Measures
Cozint, Radpharm, New Media Partners, MediMax Communications, and
Lathian Systems were among those expanding.
Pharmaceutical manufacturing buildings sprouted up in East Windsor
on Lake Drive for Esoterix and NexMed, though NexMed had a setback
when the Food and Drug Administration put one of its trials on hold.
We reported on more than two-dozen downsizings, but surely we missed
some, because 2002 brought untold flurries of pink slips, many in
the telecommunications and electronics sectors. Nevertheless, some
of the downsized executives and scientists started new businesses,
including CombiPhos Catalysts Inc. and Secure Network Solutions. They
began companies like Olivia Scientific, Access Bio, Primera, ExSar
Technologies, and Alliance Technologies to provide outsourcing services
for larger firms. Other startups resulted from an entrepreneur walking
away with capital from the previous business. For instance, Flint
Lane left Paytrust to start Factor Systems.
Two technology companies — Princeton Softech and Sensors Unlimited
— announced they would buy themselves back from corporate owners.
Some importers, such as Sanjiv Kakkar and Don McLane of Drianna China,
took advantage of the weak dollar to broaden their reach.
Most firms in the financial arena were struggling, but CareGain, a
healthcare asset management company, has quadrupled in size. Miele
and the JK Group grew internally and built more space, while Church
& Dwight’s 2001 acquisition of part of Carter Wallace spurred its
building program on Thanet Drive.
As for consolidations, construction manager Hanscomb Inc. combined
with Faithful & Gould, and the ad agency Princeton Partners merged
with Devcom. Two proprietors — Riegel Printing and the Millstone
Group — sold their printing businesses to employees.
If you listen to the state (and next week we will print some of those
political prognostications) the economy of New Jersey will be driven
by the engines of pharma and nanotechnology. So it’s a good sign that
one of the nation’s experts in nanotechnology, Steven Chou, has his
laboratory here at Princeton University. It spawned two companies
The following list summarizes more than 200 of the business moves
recorded by U.S. in 2002. Compared to 2001, there are about the same
number in each category. In 2002 we wrote about more than 600 companies,
including 130 that had expansions, 50 start-ups, 40 companies that
came new in town, 49 that made crosstown moves (from one space to
about the same amount of space), and about 50 companies that either
left town or went out of business.
The largest single industry category, with 82 moves, was communications
— and that doesn’t count the dozen or so ad agencies and Internet
firms that cater strictly to the pharmaceuticals.
That pharmaceutical area (including the service companies) had 53
moves, and if you add biotech and medical device companies to that,
the total rose to 86. There were two dozen other R&D moves (mostly
electronic and computer related) and 56 changes in computer and/or
firms. In the manufacturing area there were 28 moves, and in the broad
area of finance, which includes insurance, there were 43.
Next week U.S. 1 will look at some of the companies that did not
have success in 2002. Where are they now, people are asking. We plan
to track some of them down.
— Barbara Fox
Corrections or additions?
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