January 19, 2017
3 minute read

​Upcoming BioNJ Gala to Highlight Success Stories of NJ’s Flourishing Life Sciences Community

Several New Jersey entrepreneurs tout the many benefits of BioNJ membership.

TRENTON, N.J. (January 19, 2017) – Representatives from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) will join more than 750 biotechnology and pharmaceutical professionals, other government officials, academic leaders, and service providers on Feb. 2 at BioNJ's 24th Annual Gateway Gala & Innovation Celebration.

Entrepreneurs from three EDA-supported companies are among those who will be recognized during the gala. Celator Pharmaceuticals former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Scott Jackson, Amicus Therapeutics Chairman of the Board & CEO John Crowley, and Chromocell CEO Christian Kopfli will receive BioNJ’s Innovator Award in the leadership category.

The gala will also highlight New Jersey’s many success stories of 2016 and give trade organization BioNJ the opportunity to tout why innovators choose to grow their companies in New Jersey. According to BioNJ:

> The Garden State boasts the world’s highest concentration of scientists and engineers per square mile – more than 225,000 statewide.

> New Jersey is home to 14 of the world’s 20 largest biopharmaceutical companies, including Merck, Johnson & Johnson, and Pfizer, and 12 of the world’s top 22 research and development companies.

> The annual economic impact of the industry in New Jersey is estimated to be $36 billion.

> More than 64,210 individuals are employed in New Jersey’s life sciences industry.

BioNJ’s mission is to propel New Jersey’s robust life sciences ecosystem forward to accelerate the discovery, development and commercialization of therapies and cures for the patients who need them. With more than 400 member companies, ranging from startups to large corporations, BioNJ has been an advocate for New Jersey’s life science community for over 20 years.

“As New Jersey’s life sciences presence continues to grow, BioNJ works to advance economic development through leadership and lobbying to develop programs and financial resources that will enrich an already vibrant life sciences landscape,” BioNJ President and CEO Debbie Hart said.

Member companies can take advantage of a multitude of BioNJ resources:

BioNJ’s Talent Services connects entrepreneurs with capable employees who can fit their staffing needs. The service offers candidate sourcing, human resources expertise, and career coaching and training.
BioNJ also offers an array of services and resources aimed at supporting member companies throughout their lifecycle. These include increased visibility on BioNJ’s website, LinkedIn page and weekly BioLines Weekender newsletter, as well as emerging company spotlight profiles and sponsorship opportunities.

Peer-to-peer networking and educational events such as exclusive forums, roundtable discussions, and participation in various BioNJ committees enable entrepreneurs to learn more about themselves, their community, and their industry. BioNJ also holds an annual CEO Summit, which brings together the heads of innovator companies to discuss topics relevant to leaders in the life sciences sector.

“New Jersey has a dynamic life sciences community through which emerging entrepreneurs receive invaluable guidance from established entities, more-seasoned innovators, and giants in the pharmaceutical world,” EDA CEO Melissa Orsen. “It’s through organizations like BioNJ that these relationships are cultivated and strengthened.”

To register for BioNJ's 24th Annual Gateway Gala & Innovation Celebration, of which the EDA is a sponsor, visit

The CEOs of two EDA-supported companies weighed in on the benefits of BioNJ membership:

TAXIS Pharmaceuticals, a Rutgers University spinout that graduated from CCIT, is developing drugs to reduce and possibly eliminate the threat to societal health of multidrug-resistant (MDR) bacterial infections. Gregory Mario, whose company also participated in the State’s Angel Investor Tax Credit Program, had this to say about BioNJ:
“Membership in BioNJ has provided TAXIS with access to tremendous resources,” Mario said. “At different stages of our maturation, we were afforded access to people and programs that assisted us with our growth.  Initially BioNJ membership helped me build the company through networking events where I met professionals that provided advice and counsel; some of which became trusted advisors and others who became employees at TAXIS.  Over the years, TAXIS has benefited from BioNJ membership in the form of fund raising facilitated by the State’s Angel Investor Tax Credit Program, cost reduction tools such as the discounted chemical and supplies program and direct, non-dilutive financing via the State’s NOL transfer program.”

Agile Therapeutics is a specialty pharmaceutical company in Princeton that focuses on the development of innovative women’s healthcare products. The company has repeatedly benefited from the State’s Technology Business Tax Certificate Transfer (NOL) Program. Agile Therapeutics President and CEO Al Altomari touts the many benefits that the organization provides.

“First, on an ongoing basis we get a lot of programming and introductions, things like the CEO Summit where we get a chance to collaborate with our peers,” Altomari said. “In the long time that BioNJ has been our advocate, my company has received a lot of funding through the State’s NOL Program. In short, we’ve received a ton of benefits from our relationship with BioNJ and the State of New Jersey.”

For more information about resources available to support New Jersey’s technology industry, visit and follow @NJEDATech on Twitter and LinkedIn.