NY Center for Innovation welcomes new contract biotech company

Amar Prashad

By Kathy Kahn

Pearl River Laboratories held its formal ribbon cutting on Saturday, November 17, joined by many well-wishers from the pharmaceutical/biotech field who were on hand to congratulate Amar Prashad, the new company’s President/Chief Scientific Officer, and his staff.

Prashad brings the scientific expertise he garnered during his 25 years at Pfizer/Wyeth/Lederle on Pfizer’s former Pearl River campus, purchased by IRG and renamed the New York Center for Innovation. He served as Chair of the 500-member Bioconjugation Network (BCN) across the larger Pfizer organization, pioneering several innovative technology initiatives that earned him the prestigious Pfizer Worldwide R&D Achievement Award in 2016.

Prashad is joined by three executive colleagues with extensive knowledge in the field: Lugene Maher is the Head of Business Operations and brings 40 years of experience to the table with a diverse background in pharmaceutical, biologic and medical device industries, as well as tenure in academia that spanned a decade. Michael Pastel, a pharmaceutical scientist with a strong background in analytical chemistry, acts as Quality Assurance Officer for the new firm. Leo Letrendre adds to the PRL team his extensive knowledge as a Scientific Advisor. With a distinguished industrial career spanning nearly four decades, Letendre holds 17 key patents, including the commercial preparation of Celebrex ®, Dynastate ™ and other brand name drugs. Together, they bring a combined 180-plus years of expertise to the biotech/pharmaceutical industry.

Prashad spent his career on the Pfizer campus and when he approached his wife, Nadira, with the idea to open his own biotech contract company, “she totally supported the endeavor,” Prashad told the well-wishers at the ribbon cutting. “She is an amazing woman and is my rock. It seemed only fitting to name the new company Pearl River Laboratories, since this is where I spent my career,” he told well-wishers and former colleagues at the ribbon cutting ceremony.

“We are thrilled to welcome River Laboratories to the New York Center for Innovation,” said Jeremy Schulman, Director of Rockland Economic Development & Tourism. “The company is a welcome addition to Rockland County and to its industry.”