More than $35 million from New Jersey’s Technology Business Tax Certificate Transfer (NOL) Program will be split among 40 New Jersey technology and biotechnology companies in Fiscal Year 2017. Administered by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) and the New Jersey Department of Treasury’s Division of Taxation, the program enables eligible technology and biotechnology companies to sell New Jersey tax losses and/or research and development tax credits to raise non-dilutive cash to finance their growth and operations.
“Entrepreneurs have long touted the NOL Program as critical to the continued growth of their companies,” said EDA Chief Executive Officer Melissa Orsen. “We routinely hear from the industry about the positive effects the program has on providing them with working capital they need to hire new employees or to further their development.”
Agile Therapeutics, a specialty pharmaceutical company in Princeton that focuses on the development of innovative women’s healthcare products, has repeatedly benefited from the NOL Program. The funding has helped Agile Therapeutics support operations during its IPO process.
“This program has been an important part of our overall funding strategy and we are very appreciative to have been a recipient of this valuable source of non-dilutive financing,” said Al Altomari, President and Chief Executive Officer of Agile. “Proceeds from the program have supported the advancement of our Phase 3 clinical study for our novel once-weekly low dose combined hormonal contraceptive patch that we expect to complete by the end of this year. Programs like this help make it possible for scientific advancements to take place here in the Garden State and we appreciate the strong support that New Jersey provides to our industry.”
Since the program was established in 1999, more than 500 businesses have been approved for awards totaling over $905 million. Sixteen companies are participating in the NOL program for the first time this year. Twenty-one companies have previously participated in other programs and initiatives offered by the State, such as the Angel Investor Tax Credit Program, the EDA’s semi-annual New Jersey Founders and Funders event, and additional resources available through the EDA’s Commercialization Center for Innovative Technologies (CCIT) in North Brunswick.
The following companies are among the 40 approved:
ContraVir Pharmaceuticals, Edison: New to the NOL Program this year, the biotechnology company is developing a cure for Hepatitis B through a combination of anti-viral compounds. ContraVir’s pipeline also includes FV-100, which demonstrated the potential to reduce the prevalence of shingles-related pain in a Phase 2 clinical study and is currently in Phase 3 development.
“ContraVir is very excited to participate in this valuable program,” said James Sapirstein, CEO of ContraVir. “The funds will be used to move our clinical programs forward as well as increase our employee footprint in New Jersey. I relocated our company from out of state in order to take part in the NOL Program. We believe it will help to sustain the growth of our company and advance the development of our antiviral therapies.”
Hurel Corporation, North Brunswick: Another first-time participant, Hurel provides high-functioning, long-enduring in vitro liver models and microfluidic assay (testing) platforms that improve the predictive reliability of pre-clinical drug development and help reduce costly late-stage attrition in drug-makers’ pipelines. After graduating from CCIT earlier this year, Hurel moved into its own dedicated laboratory space within the Technology Center of New Jersey’s campus in North Brunswick.
“Funding from the NOL will enable us expand our sales and marketing reach, and to continue to develop our prototype microfludic assay platform, trade-named HurelFlow™,” said Hurel Chairman and CEO Robert Freedman.
Vitals, Lyndhurst: Vitals provides employers and health plans with cost and quality transparency tools that help consumers shop for health care. Based in Lyndhurst, the company also operates Vitals.com, a website that helps over 11 million consumers each month search for the best quality doctors in their areas.
“It’s a fantastic program and we’ve been active participants in it for a number of years now,” said Vitals Chief Financial Officer Bryan Perler. “Our ability to sell net operating losses for cash enhances the company’s ability to invest even further in our technology and innovation for the future.”
Watchful Software, Marlton: This four-year-old technology company produces data-centric security solutions that help banks and other financial institutions keep customers’ personal data safe from online hackers.
“Watchful Software is participating in the NOL program for the second year as we establish our business,” said company CEO Tom Frommack. “This ‘pay it forward’ approach has allowed us to accelerate our growth globally and has helped us manage our cash flow enabling us as entrepreneurs to compete and expand. We believe programs of this type help emerging companies expand and represent an enlightened approach to fostering business development in key growth sectors.”
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