BioNJ Headlines – December 2011

BioNJ Presents Fifth Annual Dr. Sol J. Barer Award for Vision, Innovation, and Leadership to Paul G. Thomas of Roka Bioscience

Paul Thomas

Paul G. Thomas, Founder and CEO of Roka Bioscience

TRENTON, NJ – BioNJ, New Jersey’s trade association for the biotechnology community, announced on December 15 that the fifth annual Dr. Sol J. Barer Award for Vision, Innovation, and Leadership has been awarded to Paul G. Thomas, Founder and CEO of Roka Bioscience. Named for Sol J. Barer, PhD, a Senior Advisor and former Chairman of Celgene Corporation of Summit, NJ, the award recognizes outstanding research and business leaders who have made significant contributions to the growth and prosperity of the biosciences industry in New Jersey and throughout the world.

Dr. Barer, who also serves as Chairman of the BioNJ Board of Trustees, will present the award to Mr. Thomas on February 2 during BioNJ’s 19th Annual Dinner Meeting, Awards Program, and Networking Event, which will be held from 5:00 to 10:00 p.m. at the Hilton East Brunswick.

BioNJ’s signature event of the year, the Annual Meeting brings together New Jersey’s biotechnology community to celebrate the many achievements of the industry in 2011 and to discuss the challenges and opportunities ahead in 2012. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will address the meeting as a Special Guest Speaker.

“Paul Thomas is a serial entrepreneur who has changed the landscape of New Jersey’s biotechnology industry by relocating and growing two successful companies in the State – Roka Bioscience and LifeCell Corporation,” said Debbie Hart, President of BioNJ. “At both companies, Mr. Thomas has created numerous high-quality jobs for the State’s residents and world-class innovative products for testing and tissue restoration.”

“New Jersey provides a world-class ecosystem for life sciences companies with its highly skilled workforce, proximity to New York and Washington, and an active and supportive state government,” said Paul Thomas. “I am honored to be recognized by BioNJ and to be part of the vibrant and growing biotechnology community within New Jersey.”

Please click here to learn more.

Dr. Sol J. Barer and Philip H. Politziner Named to NJBIZ Hall of Fame

Congratulations to BioNJ Board of Trustees Chairman Dr. Sol J. Barer and Philip Politziner, Chairman Emeritus of BioNJ Platinum Member EisnerAmper, on being named to the NJBIZ Hall of Fame.

From NJBIZ – The top businesses and business leaders in the state were honored December 5 in the Somerset section of Franklin, as NJBIZ held its 2011 Business of the Year awards program.

The nearly 300 people who gathered at the Palace at Somerset Park also witnessed the induction of three new members to the NJBIZ Hall of Fame:

Sol J. Barer, PhD, former Celgene Corporation Chairman and CEO; Marjorie Perry, MZM Construction & Management Inc. President and CEO; and Philip H. Politziner, EisnerAmper LLP Chairman Emeritus.

Barer said the award was particularly meaningful because it came from the business community.

“It’s always great to be recognized for achievements, but I think it’s especially important and flattering to be recognized by your peers in the business community — the people who make the jobs, who advance society through the economic benefit of the rapid growth of their companies,” he said.

Dr. Sol J. Barer and David Schankweiler

BioNJ Board of Trustees Chairman Dr. Sol J. Barer receives the NJBIZ Hall of Fame award from Journal Publications Inc. CEO David Schankweiler.
(Photo courtesy of NJBIZ.)

Barer, who built Celgene from a tiny startup to a global biotechnology powerhouse, said he enjoyed being honored alongside some of the State’s fastest-growing businesses.

“Let’s face it, looking back, the building of a company in the early stages is invigorating and exciting, and I saw that in the faces of a lot of the people who were there,” he said.

Editor’s Note: Two other members of the New Jersey biotechnology community were also recognized at the awards program:

  • Genewiz, headed by Chairman and CEO Steve Sun, was named the Business of the Year in the 101+ Employee Category.
  • BioNJ Associate Member JBK Associates and CRO Beardsworth were recognized as finalists in the 1-50 Employee Category.

Please click here to learn more.

BioNJ Legal Forum Recap

BioNJ, in partnership with LeClairRyan, hosted a session on November 30 on the America Invents Act: Patent Reform.

Passed in September, the America Invents Act provides the most significant change in patent law in recent decades. Topics included key changes within the act, such as:

  • The transition from a first-to-invent to a first-to-file system and which laws will apply to pending and future applications
  • Changes in what constitutes prior art
  • Pre- and post-issuance procedures after passage of the act – what’s new, modified, and still existing and strategies for the patent owner and the patent challenger utilizing these procedures
  • Patent litigation issues – false marking, virtual marking, prior user rights, best mode requirement, and more.

The forum brought together leading minds in intellectual property and technology law who discussed this important topic with our members.

Sponsor and Host: James Anelli, Shareholder, LeClairRyan

Speakers: Michael Goldman, Shareholder, LeClairRyan, and Carissa Childs, PhD, Associate, LeClairRyan

Together, their perspectives shed light on the complex picture—strategic thinking needed and changes to definitions impacting the future of intellectual property.

Please click here for the presentation, and click here for photos from the program. Thank you to all those who attended the program and to the Legal Committee, chaired by Linda Pissott Reig of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney, LLC.

And please be sure to join us at future meetings to keep the conversation going.