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Science firms finally get down to business
When Paul Bullinger joined Advanced NMR Systems 18 months ago, he inherited a staff of world-renowned physicists and the prototype of a medical device that had drained $12 million from the company since 1983.
This fall, the Wilmington-based company is shipping products and will turn a profit for the first time.
It is a sign of maturity in the industry when a top executive from the business world is brought in to commercialize a biomedical or biotech concern. Often, scientific founders agree to take a back seat only after Wall Street backers and venture capitalists have grown weary from years of R&D with no financial return.
"That's a mistake," said Bullinger, an MBA graduate of Case Western in Cleveland. "What they should do is hire a businessperson immediately, not wait until seven years of funding has been expended."
For Advanced NMR Systems (NASDAQ: ANMR), the rocky transition from near-bankrupt R&D company to …