BioNJ Installs New Chair, Members on its Board of Trustees

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ (February 13, 2013)– BioNJ, the voice of more than 350 biotech companies located in New Jersey, installed a new chairman and several new board members at its 20th Annual Meeting here last week.

The Board took the action at BioNJ’s 2013 Annual Meeting, Awards Program and Networking Event at the Hilton East Brunswick on Thursday, February 7, where some 700 industry leaders and associates turned out to celebrate the organization and the industry with a dinner, roundtable discussion and awards presentations.

New Jersey Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno served as the keynote speaker for the event.  She praised the life sciences industry’s economic and social contributions to the state’s well-being and pledged the continued support of the administration of Governor Chris Christie.

“I am honored to take on this responsibility and I look forward to contributing to BioNJ’s mission of advancing New Jersey’s thriving biotechnology industry,” said Francois Nader, M.D., President and CEO of NPS Pharmaceuticals of Bedminster, NJ, who takes over the chairmanship duties from Sol J. Barer, Ph.D., the former Chairman and CEO of Celgene Corporation of Summit, NJ.

“We’re thrilled to have such accomplished leaders join the already talented and successful members of the Board of Trustees,” said BioNJ President and CEO Debbie Hart.  “We thank our outgoing Chairman Dr. Sol J. Barer for his many contributions knowing that he has laid a solid foundation to help ensure the success of our new and very talented Chairman Dr. Nader.”

Dr. Nader was also awarded BioNJ’s 2013 Dr. Sol J. Barer Award for Vision, Innovation and Leadership and gave a moving acceptance speech where he credited his family and his staff for the successes enjoyed by NPS, which Dr. Nader helped shepherd into a leading biotechnology company focused on treatments for patients with rare gastrointestinal and endocrine disorders.

NPS’ lead product, Gattex® (teduglutide [rDNA origin]) for injection was approved in the U.S. and Europe last year for adult short bowel syndrome. NPS is also planning to file for the approval of a second product, Natpara® (rhPTH[1-84]), as the first replacement therapy for adults with hypoparathyroidism.

Dr. Nader had served on BioNJ’s Board of Trustees as Treasurer.

New Board Members elected Thursday are: Al Altomari, President and CEO of Agile Therapeutics of Princeton, NJ; Will Lewis, President and CEO of Insmed Inc. of Monmouth Junction, NJ; and Shawn Tomasello, Corporate Vice President and General Manager, U.S. Hematology and Oncology, Celgene Corporation.

Rajeev Dadoo, Ph.D., Partner, SR One of Conshohocken, PA, was named as a Board Advisor.

In addition to Dr. Nader and Ms. Hart, officers of the Board of Trustees are: Immediate Past Chair, Sol J. Barer, Ph.D.; Vice Chair, Christopher Schaber, Ph.D., President and CEO of Soligenix of Princeton, NJ; Treasurer, Elizabeth Posillico, Ph.D., President and CEO of Elusys Therapeutics of Pine Brook, NJ; and Secretary, Richard Kender, Senior Vice President, Business Development and Corporate Licensing, Merck & Co., Inc. of Whitehouse Station, NJ.

“We’re grateful to all our board members for their unselfish service to this still-emerging industry and for helping to chart its continued growth and promise,” BioNJ’s Hart said.

Re-elected to another two-year term are: Sol J. Barer, Ph.D., Richard Kender; John Maki, President and CEO, Vicus Therapeutics of Morristown, NJ; Anthony S. Marucci, MBA, CEO, Celldex Therapeutics of Phillipsburg, NJ; Oye Oluktun, M.D., MPH, FACC, CEO, CardioVax of Lawrenceville, NJ; Stuart Peltz, Ph.D., CEO, PTC Therapeutics of South Plainfield, NJ; Christopher J. Schaber, Ph.D.; Donna Tempel, Ph.D., MBA, President and CEO, Drais Pharmaceuticals of Bridgewater, NJ.

Returning to the Board in continuing terms are: John F. Crowley, Chairman and CEO, Amicus Therapeutics Inc. of Cranbury, NJ; John Haney, Vice President, Immunology Marketing, Johnson & Johnson/Janssen Biotech of New Brunswick, NJ; Christian Kopfli, Esq., CEO, Chromocell Corporation of North Brunswick, NJ; Elizabeth Posillico, Ph.D.; Spiro Rombotis, President and CEO, Cyclacel Pharmaceuticals, Inc. of Berkeley Heights, NJ.

Returning Board advisors are Sonia Delgado, State Lobbyist, Princeton Public Affairs Group of Trenton, NJ; Jim Marino, Esq., Office Managing Partner, Dechert of Princeton, NJ; Lorenzo Pellegrini, Ph.D., Partner, Care Capital LLC of Princeton, NJ; and Tony Torrington, Partner, Ernst & Young LLC of Iselin, NJ.

Returning academic liaison is Kathleen Scotto, Ph.D., Vice President for Research and Dean for the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey of New Brunswick, NJ.