Another Biotech Company Setups Up Shop in New Jersey

New Jersey Skyline

Boston, New York, San Diego and San Francisco are the typical spots that people refer to when they think about biotech hotspots in the United States. But don’t discount New Jersey.

Ki-Young Sohn, chairman and chief executive officer of Korea-based Enzychem Lifesciences, Corp, has certainly not forgotten about the Garden State. Last week in an interview with PharmaExec he specifically pointed to New Jersey as a key state for the biotech industry. Not only are there numerous large biopharma companies located in New Jersey, such as Celgene, Johnson & Johnson and Merck & Company, Sohn pointed to its close proximity to New York City, a financial hub.

New Jersey is such an intriguing state to Sohn that it’s now the site of Enzychem Lifesciences first U.S. headquarters. The company wanted to centralize its U.S. operations and selected New Jersey as its home, Sohn told PharmExec. Enzychem is currently conducting three U.S. clinical trial programs for its lead asset EC-18 in Chemotherapy Induced Neutropenia (CIN), Chemoradiation Induced Oral Mucositis (CRIOM, which was granted Fast Track designation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration) and Acute Radiation Syndrome (ARS, also granted Orphan Drug designation by the FDA).  

Sohn said the launch of the company’s U.S. site “will be a foundation of Enzychem Lifesciences to become a true global new drug development company.”

Enzychem Lifesciences isn’t the only foreign biotech investing in New Jersey. Last month China-based WuXi AppTec officially opened its expanded Laboratory Testing Division (LTD) facility in New Jersey. The new 115,000 square-foot facility will allow the company to add an additional 200 employees to its payroll in New Jersey. The company said its new expansion makes the New Jersey site one of the largest laboratories for preclinical and clinical drug development testing in the United States. The expanded site is expected the enhance WuXi's integrated testing service portfolio enabling drug developers to accelerate their projects from labs to patients.

In 2017 India-based Lupin Pharmaceuticals, Inc., one of the world’s largest generic manufacturers constructed a 100,000 square-foot expansion of its manufacturing facilities in Somerset, N.J. Not only did the company expand its manufacturing site, but Lupin also acquired New Jersey-based Symbiomix Therapeutics last year to expand its women’s health business in the United States.

With more than 3,000 life science companies in New Jersey, the state is a popular spot for the biotech industry. According to the website Choose New Jersey, the state’s life sciences industry directly employs more than 117,260 people, with an estimated annual contribution to New Jersey’s economy of $47.5 billion.

The state is home to a number of research-oriented universities, including Princeton University and Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, which has the world’s largest university-based cell and DNA repository

Earlier this year Celgene announced plans to open a 16,000 square-foot biopharma incubator on its corporate campus in New Jersey. In addition to Celgene’s new incubator, a former Roche facility in New Jersey will find new life as a campus for biotech and life science companies.

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