Why are more biomedical companies setting up shop in New Jersey?

BY Michael Hill, Correspondent |

A ribbon cutting marks the opening of California-based Cryoport’s East Coast venture.

Cryoport puts biomedical products in canisters at a minus 196 degrees Celsius and ships the cutting-edge, lifesaving, clinical trial therapeutic products to labs, clinics, and hospitals. It’s the same way an Israeli company delivered the drugs, or placebos, by temperature control for this clinical trial at Holy Name Medical Center in June.

“The slightest change in temperature has a dramatic effect. Think about a drop of blood. A drop of blood has about 5 million cells in it, so you can see the size of this is very, very small. Think about putting a piece of ice in your hand and how quickly you want to get it out. Well, the temperature excursion on a small body like that is just almost immediate. It can distinguish it and you lose the efficacy,” said Jerrell Shelton, president and CEO of Cryoport.

Selton says he looked at several locations east of the Mississippi River and decided Livingston was ideal because of the growing biomedical industry in New Jersey.

“You have the interstate system here, we’ve got a friendly community, we’re almost in the center of the biologic activity, the pharmaceutical activity. You’ve got Novartis and Celgene almost equidistant from us, and then we have all those other clients around us here,” Shelton said. “It made total sense.”

Some of the biggest names in bio-pharma operate in New Jersey. They welcome Cryoport as a neighbor and what it could mean for their business.

“It signals a strong growth for our industry and personalized medicine. It really shows promise that we’re able to provide these novel products to our patients,” said Michael Dassaro, technical launch integrator for Janssen Pharmaceuticals.

“I would say it’s a great thing for the industry. It’s growing. We’re looking into using services like what Cryoport offers much more often, and having them close by is definitely going to be beneficial,” said Patrick Moran, manager of global logistics sourcing for Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Cryport says it had to develop new products to meet the fast-growing demands of the market.

“These sleeve inserts keep it at 2 to 8 degrees Celsius for 96 hours. Material goes inside, and then it has our SmartPak II condition monitor that’s going to give you location, temperature, humidity, light exposure, vibration, tilt,” said Cryoport business development Senior Director Ryan Carpentier.

Cryoport’s CEO says the company supports 269 clinical trials and he credits the decoding of the human genome for leading to the booming cell therapy research and development industry, one that has led to the hot demand for super-cold transportation of bio materials.

“It signals a revolution because this is the beginning,” said Shelton.