Industry News and Notes — December 2012

Trenton Report

Christie Administration Approves $60 Million to Grow Tech/Biotech Industry in New Jersey

NEWARK — In support of the Christie Administration’s commitment to nurturing the growth of emerging technology and biotechnology businesses, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) on November 27 announced that 65 companies have been approved to share the $60 million allocation available through the State’s Technology Business Tax Certificate Transfer Program in Fiscal Year 2013.

This competitive program enables technology and biotechnology companies to sell New Jersey tax losses and/or research and development tax credits to raise cash to finance their growth and operations. Since the program was established in 1999, more than 500 businesses have been approved for awards totaling $710 million. Each of the 65 applicants approved this year will receive an estimated $920,000, which is 15% more than last year and over double the Fiscal Year 2011 average.

Editor’s Note: 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.

Click here to read the EDA press release.

Superstorm Sandy Relief Efforts

Relief efforts in a number of areas of New Jersey are still under way over a month after the arrival of Superstorm Sandy.

The following websites may prove useful for individuals and businesses in the coming months:
State of New Jersey – Hurricane Sandy Information Center
New Jersey Business Action Center

In addition, Governor Chris Christie and First Lady Mary Pat Christie have established the New Jersey Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund and are asking for assistance in helping your neighbors who have been affected by the largest natural disaster to hit our great State.


Washington Report

PDUFA V Sets New Course for Regulatory Science – Joint BIO/PhRMA Statement

WASHINGTON, DC — Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) President and CEO Jim Greenwood and Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) President CEO John J. Castellani on Oct. 31 released the following joint statement on the implementation of the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA V):

“Today, as implementation of PDUFA V officially commences, PhRMA and BIO stand together to usher in an exciting new era in regulatory science – a period that holds great promise for bringing new, innovative medicines to patients in a timely manner.

“A reliable, science-driven regulatory environment fosters innovation, promotes economic competitiveness, and helps maintain high patient confidence in the integrity of our medicines. PDUFA V, reauthorized in July 2012 as part of the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act (FDASIA), is a significant step in this direction.”

Learn more.

BIO Praises Introduction of the High-Technology Small Business Research Incentives Act

WASHINGTON, DC — The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) on Sept. 25 issued a statement applauding Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and Representatives Jim Gerlach (R-PA) and Richard Neal (D-MA) for introducing the High Technology Small Business Research Incentives Act (H.R. 6559/S.3595).

Under the proposal, biotech companies would be able to enter into joint ventures with investors, who could then utilize the losses and tax credits of an R&D project. The bill would apply to entities that devote a significant percentage of their expenses to R&D, have fewer than 250 employees, and have less than $150 million in gross assets. It is important to note that this legislation does not create any new tax incentives.

Learn more.


Funding Opportunities

New Life Sciences Angel Group Launched in NYC

NEW YORK — A new angel investment group dedicated to life sciences has been formed in New York City. Formed by three professionals with extensive experience in angel investing, life sciences, and early-stage companies, Mid Atlantic Bio Angels (MABA) seeks to bring together prescreened, “ready for prime time” start-up life sciences investment opportunities with knowledgeable and experienced life sciences “angel” investors.

MABA co-founder Yaniv Sneor said that traditional angel investors consider life sciences investments complex and protracted. “Life sciences companies presenting to a general audience have a hard time generating interest and getting funded,” Sneor commented. “In addition to the challenges every startup experiences, life sciences companies face regulatory and reimbursement challenges that place them outside most investors’ comfort zone. Life sciences companies need to get in front of investors who understand their needs and are committed to the sector.”

Co-founder Bernard Rudnick commented that one of the aspects that makes MABA unique is the depth of talent in the group. “Some of the brightest and most experienced life sciences investors, MDs, and scientists have joined our group.” Rudnick stated. “Several of these investors now serve on the group’s Steering Committee, helping shape the group’s activities, and prescreening applicants before allowing them before the general membership, which increases the presenting companies’ likelihood of attracting investment.”

While the majority of MABA’s angels are from the Mid-Atlantic, the group does not place geographic limitations on its investments, as long as effective monitoring is possible.

Rudnick added that angels active in other groups are welcomed as members of MABA. No MABA member pays a fee, if the investor can demonstrate active investment in life sciences companies. “MABA’s goal is to have a high concentration of serious life sciences angels (accredited investors) in the room. That way, presenting companies are assured they are getting in front of the right audience,” Rudnick said.

Click here to learn more.


Real Estate Corner

Enzon Pharmaceuticals Offering 7,000 Square Feet of Biologics Development and Manufacturing Capability for Sublet

Enzon Pharmaceuticals, Inc., located in Piscataway, NJ, is offering 7,000 square feet of biologics development and manufacturing capability for sublet. This multifunctional area accommodates the following pharmaceutical processing capabilities, equipment and systems:

  • Separate microbial fermentation and mammalian cell culture suites, ideally suited for biologics development and scale-up to 150 liter capacity (2×150 liter fixed NB Scientific Bio Pro fermentor and bioreactor, CIP/SIP available)
  • Portable scale-up vessels 5, 3×12,50 liters
  • Downstream purification area
  • Cold rooms and solutions/media prep room
  • Two multipurpose process areas, with walk-in fume hoods, x-proof
  • Clean room, ideally suited for small-scale manufacturing of early phase clinical supplies (ISO8, ISO7, and ISO5 controlled areas)
  • Flexicon sterile liquid filler, FTS lyophilizer, BetaStar autoclave, Despatch depyrogenation oven
  • DI water system
  • Stilmas clean steam generator
  • pH neutralization system
  • Syltherm system

Additionally, analytical and biological fully equipped laboratories as well as office space are available for sublet to support the operations.

For more information or to schedule a capabilities tour of the offered space, please contact Enzon at 732.980.4503 or email us.


News from Our Colleges and Universities

Rutgers University Boards Approve Integration with UMDNJ

NEW BRUNSWICK — Gov. Chris Christie’s vision to transform higher education across New Jersey cleared a major hurdle on November 19 when Rutgers University’s two governing boards approved the transfer to Rutgers of most of the schools, centers, and institutes that make up the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ).

After thoroughly reviewing the academic, financial, and administrative implications of the New Jersey Medical and Health Sciences Education Restructuring Act – which passed the Legislature with broad bipartisan support on June 28 and was signed into law by Gov. Christie on August 22 – the Rutgers Board of Governors and Board of Trustees adopted resolutions to approve the changes proposed in the legislation.

The November 19 historic votes, required under the 1956 law that established Rutgers as The State University of New Jersey, preserve and enhance Rutgers’ presence in Camden and extend the university’s presence in Newark, New Brunswick, and Piscataway. The chairs of both Rutgers boards said integration will propel the university into the ranks of the nation’s elite institutions.

Click here to learn more.

Rutgers’ Joachim Kohn Named One of the World’s “Most Wired”

Congratulations to Dr. Joachim Kohn, Director of the New Jersey Center for Biomaterials at Rutgers University, who was recently profiled by WIRED magazine in a biweekly series in which the magazine notes: “WIRED is putting a spotlight on the brightest geniuses you’ve never heard of — the entrepreneurs, scientists, artists, and designers who are quietly shaping the future behind the scenes. They’re the World’s Most Wired.”

Click here to read the profile.

RUCDR Infinite Biologics Earns Accreditation from Leading Clinical Standards Association

The world’s largest university-based biorepository, RUCDR serves academia, biotech, and pharma.

PISCATAWAY — RUCDR Infinite Biologics recently received accreditation from the College of American Pathologists, a worldwide leader in laboratory quality assurance. The world’s largest university-based biorepository, RUCDR was formed in 1998 as the Rutgers University Cell and DNA Repository, offering a complete and integrated selection of biological sample processing, analysis, and storage services.

Following a recent rigorous on-site inspection, the College accredited RUDCR through its Biorepository Accreditation Program, making the operation at Rutgers one of the first in the world to earn this designation. Started last year, the program is intended to improve and validate the quality of biospecimens and biorepositories. It focuses on standardizing and improving the collection, processing, storage, and distribution of biospecimens, along with computerizing associated information. The program also is intended to ensure the quality of human specimens (e.g., blood, serum, saliva, tissue) and the genetic materials derived from them (e.g., DNA, RNA).

Click here to learn more.

Rutgers Provides Exclusive License for Noninvasive Cardiovascular Disease Monitoring Sensor Technology to Everist Genomics

NEW BRUNSWICK — Rutgers announced on November 28 that it had agreed to an exclusive license with Everist Genomics Inc. for the patents covering a novel technology that enables the early measurement of various vascular conditions. Gary M. Drzewiecki, professor in the university’s Department of Biomedical Engineering, developed the technology.

“The accuracy and clinical relevance of the available noninvasive measurement techniques has been a challenge until now,” Drzewiecki said. “Our approach for analyzing arterial and endothelial function data provides a unique means for diagnosis and monitoring at the point of care.”

Everist Genomics intends to develop and commercialize products based on the Rutgers’ patents utilizing its AngioDefender device platform. The system uses noninvasive sensor technology and a sophisticated software algorithm to rapidly provide physicians with data that helps them detect early-stage cardiovascular disease such as atherosclerosis.

Click here for further information on technology commercialization at Rutgers.

Click here to read the full release.

Stay in Touch with the UMDNJ Office of Technology Transfer and Business Development

The UMDNJ Office of Technology Transfer and Business Development’s October 2012 Quarterly Newsletter is now available.

Click here to read the newsletter and learn more about technology transfer at UMDNJ.

The October 2012 issue highlights include:

For more information and online registration, visit the website beginning October 1.


Items of Note

R&D Council of NJ Presents Chairman’s Award to Dr. Sol J. Barer

Congratulations to BioNJ Chairman Sol J. Barer, PhD, who was honored with the Chairman’s Award at the Research and Development Council of New Jersey’s 50th Anniversary Celebration and 33rd Thomas Alva Edison Patent Awards Ceremony & Reception.

Dr. Barer was selected for his leadership at Celgene Corporation, coupled with his public service as the Chairman of the UMDNJ Governor’s Advisory Committee and as a Commissioner of the NJ Commission on Science and Technology.

The awards ceremony was held November 8 at the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City.

The Medicines Company Glen Sblendorio Named CFO of the Year

Congratulations to Glenn Sblendorio, President and CFO of The Medicines Company, who was named Best Turnaround Specialist in NJBIZ’s CFO of Year Awards program.

The magazine described the Best Turnaround Category as honoring “achievements related to significant transactions, transformations, or corporate turnarounds.”

The Medicines Company was also recently identified as one of the State’s 50 Fastest Growing Companies by NJBIZ.

Click here to access the CFO of the Year Awards supplement.

Temptime Corporation Receives Grand Challenges Explorations Grant for Groundbreaking Research in Global Health and Development

Congratulations to Temptime Corporation, which announced on November 13 that it is a Grand Challenges Explorations winner, an initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Dawn Smith, PhD, Temptime Executive Director, New Product Development, will pursue an innovative global health and development research project titled “Low-Cost Vaccine Vial Unit-Level Temperature Indicators that Display Cumulative and Peak Exposures to Heat.”

Click here to learn more.