Celebrating the Past…Inspiring the Future

On Thursday, February 7, 2013, BioNJ will hold its 20th Annual Meeting.

This meeting promises to be a very special time, providing a unique venue where the State’s thriving biotechnology community will be, as our Anniversary tagline promises, Celebrating the Past…Inspiring the Future.

Please join us to meet friends old and new and to hear from the panelists of our star-studded Fireside Chat, Biotech in New Jersey…the Next 20 Years.

Robert L. Barchi
Robert L. Barchi, MD,
PhD, President,
Rutgers, The State
University of New
James C. Greenwood
The Honorable James
C. Greenwood, President and CEO of
the Biotechnology
Industry Organization
Robert J. Hugin
Robert J. Hugin,
Chairman and CEO of
Celgene Corporation
Mary C. Tanner
Mary C. Tanner,
Managing Director
Peter J. Solomon
Jesse I. Treu
Jesse I. Treu, PhD,
Partner, Domain
Jonathan Rockoff
Moderated by Jonathan
Rockoff of The Wall
Street Journal

Twenty Years Ago

Looking back to the past, this organization, which began under the name the Biotechnology Council of New Jersey (BCNJ), was started by a small group of like-minded biotechnology CEOs for the sole purpose of advancing the biotechnology industry in New Jersey.

It was a heady time back then. Just two years before, Amgen had developed Neupogen, the first of a new class of drugs called colony-stimulating factors for the treatment of low white blood cells in chemotherapy patients. Immunex’s Leukine, used to replenish white blood counts after bone marrow transplants, was approved and Genzyme’s Ceredase was approved for the treatment of Gaucher’s disease.

With those developments in mind, we knew that a new industry was being born, and if New Jersey was going to play a significant part in the development of the biotechnology industry and continue its legacy as the Medicine Chest of the World, then New Jersey’s companies needed to organize and speak as one voice.

And I hope you will agree that as the industry grew in New Jersey — with Celgene becoming one of the largest biotech companies in the world and New Jersey consistently ranked among the top biotechnology clusters anywhere — BioNJ has helped to play a role in an expansion that has seen the industry grow from a handful of companies in the early 1990s to more than 340 today, employing 16,400 proud professionals.

BioNJ has grown, too. We started out primarily as an advocacy organization, but over the years we have added networking and educational seminars, Member cost-savings, and workforce talent programs.

But if I had to point to just one thing, one of the accomplishments of which we are most proud is the establishment of the Technology Business Tax Certificate Transfer Program. Conceived of and advocated for by BioNJ in 1999, this competitive program enables companies to sell New Jersey tax losses and/or research and development tax credits to raise cash to finance their growth and operations.

Just last month, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) announced the names of 65 emerging biotechnology and other high-tech companies that were approved to receive $60 million through the Technology Business Tax Certificate Transfer Program under the State’s 2013 Fiscal Budget Year.

Since the program was established in 1999, more than 500 businesses have been approved for awards totaling $710 million.

Twenty Years from Now

But as leaders in innovation, the biotechnology industry is not content to spend too much time patting itself on the back. And because of this, we at BioNJ are always asking “How do we inspire the future…what more is there to be done?”

We hope to answer at least part of that question during Biotech in New Jersey…the Next 20 Years, a unique “Fireside Chat” that is designed to bring together and be inspired by recognized thought leaders in biotechnology, academia, public policy and finance.

The Fireside Chat is just part of a much more extensive Annual Meeting program that we will be unveiling in the coming weeks.

Please click here to learn more about the 2013 Annual Dinner Meeting, Awards Program and Networking Event. We hope to see you there.

In the meantime, on behalf of the BioNJ Board of Trustees and the BioNJ Team, we want to express our best wishes to you and your loved ones during the Holiday Season.

Yours in BioNJ,


Debbie Hart