About Us

About NJ Bio Icon

COMPANY PROFILE

NJ Biopharmaceuticals LLC (d/b/a NJ Bio) is a quality CRO that provides integrated chemistry and biology services to clients from the biotech and pharma sectors. Main service areas include multistep organic synthesis, medicinal chemistry, bioconjugation, antibody-drug conjugates, and flow chemistry. The company is headquartered in the New Jersey Bioscience Center in North Brunswick, NJ, with an additional chemistry facility in Bristol, PA. NJ Bio provides flow chemistry services as well as chemical process R&D in collaboration with its affiliate Amar Chemistry Pvt. Ltd. in Mumbai, India.

NJ Bio has a strong background in synthetic organic chemistry and protein-based biopharmaceuticals and is an integrated service provider with expertise in the following areas:

  • Antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs), bioconjugation to proteins and biomaterials, linker chemistry design for conjugations, ADC constructs, and process development for small molecules and ADCs.
  • Multi-step customized flow chemistry synthetic routes for drug intermediates and APIs in collaboration with Amar Chemistry Pvt. Ltd., along with a unique offering to design custom flow chemistry equipment in collaboration with experts at Amar Chemistry Pvt. Ltd.
  • Medicinal chemistry from lead generation via lead optimization to scale-up, with the option of engage into blended FTE services with Amar Chemistry Pvt. Ltd.
  • Production of research-grade proteins and antibodies.
  • Cell-based functional assays, including 2D & 3D cytotoxicity, ADCC (antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity), and ELISA.

COMPANY MISSION

Our mission is to provide value-added chemistry and biopharmaceutical services to enable our clients to accelerate their product development programs and build long-lasting collaborative relationships. Our goal is to provide value through efficient, timely, and cost-effective solutions that meet our clients’ needs. NJ Bio embraces the standards of teamwork, confidentiality, and reliability with innovative solutions to our clients’ most challenging research requirements. Customer satisfaction is our highest priority.

OUR PEOPLE AND CULTURE

We have highly talented and experienced laboratory chemists and biologists with a tremendous passion for chemistry and biology resulting in unique solutions to client programs. Furthermore, our corporate culture is collaborative, communicative, and adaptable. Most importantly, our scientists strive to deliver quality services in a cost-effective and timely manner.

Our Team

Nareshkumar Jain, Ph.D. – President & CEO

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Dr. Jain is the founder and CEO of NJ Biopharmaceuticals LLC (d/b/a NJ Bio) and co-founder of Amar Chemistry Pvt. Ltd. He is also a member of Robin Hood Ventures, a leading Mid-Atlantic investment group. Prior to founding NJ Bio in 2018, Dr. Jain served as Global Head of Chemistry and Senior Vice-President of ADC Biomanufacturing at Abzena. In 2009, Dr. Jain founded the chemistry-based CRO The Chemistry Research Solution LLC (TCRS) and served for six years as Managing Director of the company until its acquisition by Abzena in late 2015. Dr. Jain has more than ten years of medicinal chemistry experience at Johnson and Johnson where he worked on advancing new drug molecules from early lead to lead optimization and clinical trials. He has co-authored more than 60 publications, patents, and chapters in medicinal/synthetic chemistry books. Among his notable achievements are the total syntheses of complex natural products including the antibiotics vancomycin and rutamycin. Dr. Jain received his Ph.D. from Boston University with Prof. James Panek and was a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California with Prof. K.C. Nicolaou. Dr. Jain got extensive leadership training through the Advanced Management Program of The Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania.

Ralf Mueller, Ph.D. – Executive Senior Director of Business Management

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Dr. Mueller joined NJ Bio as Executive Senior Director of Business Management and his responsibilities include the company’s business development, proposal management, and marketing activities. Dr. Mueller has almost twenty years of experience working for chemistry and biopharmaceutical CROs and CDMOs, covering the fields of business development, custom synthesis, process development and GMP manufacturing. His previous positions include Senior Director of Business Development with Abzena, Senior VP of Chemistry & Business Development with The Chemistry Research Solution LLC as well as Director of Chemistry with Alchem Laboratories Corporation. Dr. Mueller received his doctor title in organic chemistry from the University of Freiburg, Germany, and then worked as Postdoctoral Associate with Prof. Raymond Bergeron at the University of Florida on the synthesis of a “Hypusine reagent” and polyamine analogues. He has co-authored 15 research articles on potential drugs against cancer (i.e., polyamine antiproliferatives), dyslipidemia (i.e., long hydrocarbon chain acids and diols, related to bempedoic acid), and other topics.

Julien Dugal-Tessier, Ph.D. – Director of Innovative Chemistry and Bioconjugation

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Dr. Julien Dugal-Tessier joined NJ Bio as Director of Innovative Chemistry & Bioconjugation, building off his previous experience of working for eight years in the field of Antibody-Drug Conjugates (ADCs). In his successful ADC research career at both ImmunoGen and Agensys/Astellas, he focused on the design of novel payloads and linkers. At ImmunoGen, Dr. Dugal-Tessier studied potent DNA damaging agents with the goal of increasing their therapeutic index. Prior to ImmunoGen at Agensys (a former affiliate of Astellas), he worked on a variety of different payloads and linkers which led to four product candidates, one of which (AGS62P1) is currently in a Phase 1 clinical trial. Dr. Dugal-Tessier was also involved in the discovery-to-scale-up activities of ADC payloads and linkers as well as in chemistry activities supporting later stage programs such as the commercially approved ADC Enfortumab Vedotin. Dr. Dugal-Tessier obtained his Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia in a joint project between Profs. Gregory Dake and Derek Gates on the development of metal catalysis for organic synthesis. After his Ph.D., Dr. Dugal-Tessier studied N-heterocyclic carbene catalysis and its application towards a total synthesis during his post-doctoral fellowship at Northwestern University with Prof. Karl Scheidt. Dr. Dugal-Tessier has published over 15 peer-reviewed research manuscripts.

Bram Karsten, Ph.D. – Director of Chemistry and Flow Sciences

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Dr. Karsten is an organic chemist with 15 years of experience in the synthesis of small molecules and polymers as well as in the characterization of materials by advanced spectroscopic techniques. Dr. Karsten received his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Eindhoven University of Technology, where he investigated the synthesis of π-conjugated small molecules and polymers for organic solar cell applications. After graduation, he worked in a solar energy startup for a year, after which he joined Prof. Stephen L. Buchwald’s group at MIT for postdoctoral research. At MIT, Dr. Karsten focused on the multistep flow synthesis of pharmaceuticals, which led to the development of a fully continuous flow synthesis of Imatinib (Gleevec). Before joining NJ Bio, Dr. Karsten set up a synthetic chemistry laboratory at MicroChem Corp. (a subsidiary of Nippon Kayaku Co. Ltd.), where he worked on the synthesis and characterization of small molecule semiconductors. Dr. Karsten’s work has been published in 11 journal articles and one patent.

Tom Markotan, M.S. – Senior Research Fellow Chemistry

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Tom joined NJ Bio’s chemistry team as Senior Research Fellow. He is an organic chemist with over twenty years of industrial research experience as well as several years of academic research experience. Tom is an expert in planning and conducting multi-step organic syntheses on milligram- to multi-gram scales and has spent the last eight years working on the design and synthesis of payload-linkers for ADCs, one of which is currently advancing into clinical trials. Prior to joining NJ Bio, Tom held R&D positions with Abzena and The Chemistry Research Solution LLC (TCRS) as Associate Director of Chemistry and Senior Scientist, respectively, as well as with Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceuticals R&D and 3D Pharmaceuticals, Inc., where he was part of a team that progressed two potent, orally active thrombin (FIIa) inhibitors into clinical trials. Tom’s work at TCRS contributed significantly to the success of the company. Tom received his M.S. degree in Organic Chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh and is a co-inventor on 37 U.S. and World patents and a co-author in seven peer-reviewed journal publications.

Srinath (Sri) Thirumalairajan, Ph.D. – Executive Director of Bioconjugation Chemistry and cGMP Manufacturing

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Dr. Srinath (Sri) Thirumalairajan is NJ Bio’s Executive Director of Bioconjugation Chemistry and cGMP Manufacturing. In this role, he is leading the company’s teams of bioconjugation, process development, and GMP manufacturing chemists.
Sri is an experienced Synthetic Organic/Medicinal Chemist with more than a dozen years of industrial experience. In addition, he is well versed in the preparation of bioconjugates, analytical method development/qualification, and the establishment and implementation of safe handling procedures for highly potent APIs (HPAPI). Prior to joining NJ Bio, Sri held positions as Production Executive at Cipla Ltd. (India), as Research Scientist at Toronto Research Chemicals; as Principal Scientist at The Chemistry Research Solution LLC (TCRS); and – after TCRS’ acquisition by Abzena – as Associate Director, Director, and then Senior Director of GMP Manufacturing at Abzena, where he was responsible for the process development and cGMP manufacture of ADC constructs and HPAPIs.
Dr. Thirumalairajan received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Leeds (U.K.) and then joined Dalhousie University (Canada) as a Post-Doctoral/Research Fellow to perform research studies in enzymology and the total synthesis of an anti-cancer natural product. Sri has co-authored a significant number of publications related to synthetic/medicinal chemistry in peer reviewed journals and is a co-inventor on two patents related to novel ADC constructs.

Poonam Amrute – Head of the General Administration and Finance

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Poonam joined NJ Bio as Manager of Finance and General Administration. She ensures smooth functioning of general operations while providing administrative support, accounting, financial reporting, human resources, logistics and communications. She has diverse experience working for organizations across multiple industries. Poonam earned her Master’s degree in Accounting and Economics from Pune University, India.

David Fry, Ph.D. – Distinguished Research Leader

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Dr. Fry joined NJ Bio as Distinguished Research Leader in early 2019. Dr. Fry has expertise in NMR analysis of proteins, peptides, and small molecules; structure elucidation and confirmation by NMR; protein analysis; ligand-binding studies by NMR; and 2D and 3D multinuclear NMR experiments. Prior to joining NJ Bio, he served for three years as Vice-President of Protein Chemistry at The Chemistry Research Solution LLC. Dr. Fry has 27 years of drug discovery experience as Head of Structural Chemistry at Hoffmann-La Roche. He is a globally recognized expert in the use of NMR to discover small molecule drugs for protein-protein interaction (PPI) targets. His research highlights include pioneering work on Interleukin-2 inhibitors, the Ras-binding domain of c-Raf, design of a PYY peptidomimetic (clinical candidate), and an essential role in the discovery of the Nutlin series of MDM2-p53 inhibitors which are currently in clinical trials. Dr. Fry has directed numerous initiatives including fragment-based lead discovery and the building of PPI-targeted screening libraries. Dr. Fry has co-authored over 50 publications.

Anjanish R. Gondalia

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Anjanish is Vice President of Operations of Leading Pharma. He began his career in the pharmaceutical industry working as a business development analyst & product planning at Corepharma for finished dosage products. Later Anjanish went on to join Apicore, where he focused on business development and marketing for APIs for the US & ROW market.

Prior to Leading, Anjanish was Director of Operations at Terrene Pharmaceutical & Director of Operation at a pharmaceutical manufacturing start-up, Kalintis Healthcare. His experience working in formulations and APIs provides a unique and advantageous insight to the pharmaceutical industry.

Ajanish is a Member of the Board of Directors of NJ Biopharmaceuticals LLC d/b/a NJ Bio. In addition, he is also Managing Director & member of Board of Directors for Kalintis Healthcare, an Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient manufacturer focused on the R&D, pilot and commercial development of high-value APIs and Intermediates.

Scientific Advisory Board

Zhihua Sui, Ph.D.

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Zhihua is an experienced drug hunter and a leader in drug discovery in both big pharma and biotech. He is VP, Head of Chemistry and Head of Strategic Outsourcing at Agios Pharmaceuticals in Cambridge, MA. Before joining Agios, Zhihua spent a couple decades at Janssen Pharmaceutical R&D of Johnson & Johnson, rose through the scientific and management ranks to Sr. Scientific Director/Janssen Fellow and led various medicinal chemistry teams as well as platform chemistry. Over the years, Zhihua’s teams advanced more than 20 compounds into clinical stage for treatment of cancer, rare genetic diseases, reproductive disorders (men’s and women’s health), inflammation and diabetes. Zhihua has extensive experience in drug discovery platforms such as SBDD, FBDD and mechanism-based designs and protein degradation. Zhihua is a co-author or co-inventor on more than 300 publications in peer-reviewed journals, invited lectures and patents. Zhihua is experienced in diligence of external assets and in outsourcing management. Zhihua did postdoctoral research at UCSF, received Ph.D. from Heidelberg University in Germany and MS/BS in China.

Jagath Reddy Junutula, Ph.D.

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Dr. Junutula is the Senior Vice President, Research & Development at ModMab Therapeutics, Inc. He has over 15 years of experience in oncology drug discovery and more than 25 years of experience in the life science research as a biochemist/molecular cell biologist. Dr. Junutula supervised and trained researchers in the antibody based discovery projects. He developed a novel THIOMAB technology platform to obtain engineered Antibody Drug Conjugates with defined number of drugs to improve therapeutic utility. Dr. Junutula contributed and collaborated with several cross-functional teams in discovery research, pre-clinical research and manufacturing to move antibody based therapeutic molecules from discovery to IND, authored over 100 patents/peer-reviewed publications, and presented work at numerous international conferences. His specialties include Target Discovery in Oncology, Antibody Discovery and Development, ADCs and Bi-specific antibodies.