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This article was prepared for the May 18, 2005 issue of U.S. 1
Newspaper. All rights reserved.
Stent Technology from Rutgers
Stents are an important part of the business plan for another firm at
Princeton Corporate Plaza, TyRx Pharma, which focuses on polymers that
attach the drug to the device. Based on the work of Satish Pulapura,
done in the lab of Joachim Kohn at Rutgers University, TyRx was
founded in 1998 to use polymers for medical devices and pharmaceutical
products, and it opened a 7,200 square foot, 15-person lab on Deer
Park Drive last year. In addition to developing its own products, it
plans to get cash flow from licensing its technology to corporate
TyRx will be featured at an invitation-only technology transfer
workshop at Rutgers’ Busch Campus in Piscataway on Thursday, May 26,
for member companies of the New Jersey Center for Biomaterials. (For
an invitation, call 732-445-0488).
TyRx got started when Arikha Moses, a venture capitalist with Athena
Ventures, came across Kohn’s technology – tyrosine-based resorbable
polymers that are non-toxic. Moses founded the firm and was its first
president; now she is the chief scientific officer at TyRx. CEO
William Edelman joined the firm in January, 2004.
One TyRx product is being developed with Boston Scientific, and other
families of products are being worked on internally. "We are a
potential candidate to provide the biodegradable coating that can be
used in the DES that Boston Scientific has on the market," says CEO
William Edelman. "Our objective is to take our internal products
through FDA filing this year and market them in 2006."
TyRx also aims to use its polymer coatings in cardiac rhythm
management and surgical barrier protections. When applied to devices
such as pacemakers, they can help deal with complications that could
follow an implantation. That’s because the polymer degrades over time,
and so the drug is released slowly.
"We have a very broad platform of polymers that can deliver small as
well as large molecules, up to proteins and we can release them in a
very controlled way," says Edelman. "We can engineer the polymer to
tune its performance for specific requirements."
The son of an industrial engineer in the garment industry, Edelman was
a biomedical engineer at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Class of
1978, and has received or has applied for a total of 16 patents. He
has worked on angioplasty products for Pfizer and St. Jude, and he has
been a consultant to the Cleveland Clinic Foundation and an Israeli
venture-backed medical device start-up. He was CEO for NeuroMod Inc.,
a venture-backed start-up focused on neurostimulation for chronic
disease treatment, and president of FibraSonics, an ultrasonic
surgical products company that was successfully sold four years ago.
He sold his most recent company, a glucose detection firm named
MicroSense, to Becton Dickinson & Company in 2003. At that point one
of the investors in this firm recommended him for the CEO’s job at
TyRx Pharma’s investors include Boston Scientific, Cahn Medical
Technologies LLC, and Boston-based Angel Health Investors. Amper
Politzner Mattia on Alexander Road does the corporate audits, and
attorneys include Brown Rudnick in Boston and Eisner LLC in Manhattan;
Monmouth Telecom is the website provider.
The research center includes faculty members at Rutgers, the
University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and the New Jersey
Institute of Technology. It is supported by annual dues from two dozen
member companies, federal grants, and income from specific studies.
Edelman projects that the first products will be sold in "a couple of
years." Earlier this year TyRx had a dozen employees; now it has 18
and expects to have 24 in 2006. "We want to take advantage of the
location to hire additional talent," says Edelman.
TyRx Pharma Inc., 1 Deer Park Drive, Princeton Corporate Plaza, Suite
G, Monmouth Junction 08852. William Edelman, 732-246-8676; fax,
732-246-8677. Home Page ww.TyRxPharma.com
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