Yusheng Xiong (left) and Christopher Newton turn to CCIT's amenities and resources in quest to grow their drug-discovery companies.
North Brunswick (November 22, 2016) – Citing a wide array of resources and networking opportunities available to tenants at the New Jersey Economic Development Authority’s (EDA) Commercialization Center for Innovative Technologies (CCIT), entrepreneurs with ties to the Garden State’s technology community this month signed leases for lab space at the State’s leading life sciences incubator.
These early-stage drug discovery companies, Quixgen and API Pharma Tech, join nearly two dozen other life sciences businesses that currently call CCIT home.
“CCIT has welcomed over 40 emerging life sciences companies since 2010,” EDA Chief Executive Officer Melissa Orsen said. “CCIT provides the tools, support and connections that growing companies need to thrive in the Garden State, and we are pleased to welcome Quixgen and API Pharma Tech.”
Strategically located in the heart of the State’s research corridor between Rutgers and Princeton universities, CCIT offers the most wet labs of any incubator in New Jersey. The incubator includes both small and large labs, as well as offices. CCIT also offers discounted first-year rent for university spinouts. Additionally, CCIT provides tenant companies with educational programs and a host of supporting resources, including help to identify funding sources and providing access to small business development resources, networking opportunities and administrative support.
Quixgen founders Yusheng Xiong and Hong-Ping Guan spent over two decades at New Jersey-based pharmaceutical giant Merck before launching their company. They leased an 800-square-foot lab at CCIT, where Quixgen will focus on finding a niche in the drug discovery/infectious diseases market. When
@NJEDATech spoke with Xiong about his arrival at CCIT, he spoke highly about the infrastructure of the lab and was already impressed with the atmosphere of the tenants and the opportunities he will have to engage with founders of other tenant companies.
Christopher Newton, founder of API Pharma Tech, moved to New Jersey from India in 2003 and became a partner and the chief scientific operator at Navinta LLC, a pharmaceutical company based in Ewing. In 2011, Newton founded Dr Newtons Pharma Solutions, an independent pharmaceutical consulting company based in Plainsboro, before establishing API Pharma Tech earlier this year. API Pharma Tech is a research-based pharmaceutical company that aims to help clients reduce research and development costs and deliver medicine to treat unmet needs. The company will develop and deliver products that are expected to meet the needs of people suffering from iron-dependent Anemia, chronic kidney disease, Wilson’s disease, cystine urea kidney stones, and rheumatoid arthritis. Newton noted that his company, which will be leasing 800 square feet of lab space, will focus on generic as well new drugs in the coming years, and plans to invest and expand operations into pharmaceutical manufacturing.
@NJEDATech spoke with Xiong and Newton about their plans to grow their companies in New Jersey:
Why did you choose to grow your company in New Jersey?
Xiong: Having spent over 20 years in New Jersey’s pharmaceutical industry, we knew about the State’s legacy of large pharma, and its many highly-qualified individuals. Establishing ourselves here in New Jersey allows us to draw from that talent pool and at the same time, lets us collaborate with the many small pharmaceutical companies located here.
Newton: API Pharma Tech will be developing products at CCIT, having them manufactured at a contract manufacturing organization CMO site, and marketing the products in association with bigger known companies most of them having their offices in New Jersey. Having my lab in New Jersey makes my job easier to connect with CMOs and marketing companies. Also, having my lab in New Jersey, especially a centralized location like North Brunswick, will make it easier for me to connect with CMOs and marketing companies.
I’ve been looking for some time for a laboratory to experiment and transform my ideas to make niche products. In addition to the fact that CCIT is close to my home, the amenities it offers, combined with the professional staff and educational programs, will help my team and me as we continue to build out our product.
What CCIT resources do you plan to use as you expand your company?
Xiong: In our short time here, Hong-Ping and I have already been impressed with the assistance provided by the CCIT staff. Since we are scientist, not businessmen, by trade, we need business development expertise. Headed by Lenzie Harcum, the CCIT staff has continuously worked with us in a variety of ways, including connecting us with a chief financial officer.
Newton: While I have not yet used any state resources yet, other than moving into CCIT, I am exploring resources that help startup research labs with tax credits, as well as ways to participate in State sponsored development projects.
To learn more about resources available to New Jersey’s emerging technology and life sciences companies, visit http://www.njeda.com/tls and follow @NJEDATech on Twitter and LinkedIn.