Business Notes Featured

10:02am EDT July 22, 2002

Medical technology start-up Precision Therapeutics once again has dazzled the investment community with its cancer tissue-testing assays, this time to the tune of $1.5 million. The capital infusion came from Pittsburgh-based high-tech venture-capital firm CEO Venture Fund, which has been working with the start-up since its inception in 1995. So far, company founder Dr. Paul Kornblith, a neurosurgeon for 33 years before starting the company, has raised more than $5.4 million in capital. Kornblith's company has developed a series of patented assays which, using a patient's tumor cells, can efficiently measure the response of those diseased cells to proposed chemotherapy treatments-before the patient has to endure any treatment. That allows the physician to prescribe a more effective therapy on the tumor without running batteries of test therapies on the patient that ultimately may not work. "We are very excited about this investment opportunity," says James Colker, managing general partner of CEO Venture Fund. "We believe Precision Therapeutics has a clear advantage over its competitors and that the company is positioned for rapid growth over the next few years."

We'll keep you posted.

Carlow College has launched a new Master of Science program in management and technology. The school recently received approval for the program from the state's secretary of education and plans to launch the full program in January after an initial launch this past August.

Leech, Tishman & Fuscaldo, a downtown Pittsburgh-based law firm, has expanded its practice areas to include commercial litigation. The firm has hired attorneys Joseph Decker and William Crum to oversee that practice area.

Kings Family Restaurants has celebrated the "grand reopening" of its Meadville restaurant, which originally opened its doors in May 1983. The renovation took nine months.

Enterprise Bank has officially opened its doors in Allison Park. The new bank, which is said to be the first new bank to open there in eight years, offers a wide range of services specifically geared toward the small business community, including owners and their employees. Services include loans, lines of credit, checking and investment accounts and cash management and trust services.

WTW Architects of Pittsburgh has been commissioned to design the Knowledge Park Center, a shared conference and meeting facility near Erie, Pa. The center is a 200-acre, research-oriented business park owned by Penn State Erie and the Greater Erie Industrial Development Corp.

National City Bank of Pennsylvania has had its "preferred lender" status renewed through July 31, 2000, by the U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Financial Assistance. The designation recognizes the bank as an active SBA-guaranteed lender, a designation it has had since November 1991.

Oakmont Zeta Associates has broken ground for a new single-family-home development across the street from the Oakmont Country Club on Hulton Road. The plan, called The Summit at Oakmont, is being developed on the site of the vacant St. Anthony's School and Orphanage, which is being torn down. Prudential Preferred Realty is handling the sales of lots in the 62-home plan. Homes are expected to sell at prices beginning at $375,000. Construction is being done by custom home builders John Hobart Miller Inc., Londonberry Homes and Daniel R. Sosso Builders Inc.

McKeever, Varga & Senko, Certified Public Accountants, and Charles D. Virostek, CPA, have merged their South Hills-based accounting firms. The new firm will continue to be known as McKeever, Varga & Senko and employs 18 people, including 10 CPAs.

Sterling Collision Centers of Natick, Mass., has acquired AJ's Collision Centers in New Kensington. Store manager David DeWalt and other AJ's employees will join the Sterling team.

Hill Flaherty Sabol Marketing Communications has landed an agreement with Vector Security-National Accounts Division to develop and execute a new marketing communications program. Hill Flaherty is set to develop sales support and corporate identity materials, direct mail, trade show support, media management and public relations for the security management firm.

Traco, a Cranberry-based window manufacturer, has introduced two new products: a see-through protection screen for windows and the TR-4290, a basement project-in window system. Traco, which manufactures an extensive line of commercial and residential windows, doors, skylights, sunrooms and other related products, employs 1,500 people at five manufacturing facilities.

American HealthCare Group has signed a contract with Dominion Dental Services Inc., a dental health-maintenance organization based in Alexandria, Va., to expand Dominion's dental network in Western Pennsylvania. American HealthCare Group is a health care management services company with dental networks in western Pennsylvania, northern West Virginia and eastern Ohio.

Great American Federal Savings and Loan Association has joined a number of other local community banks in an alliance designed to provide surcharge-free access to ATM machines for customers of participating banks. The alliance, known as the Freedom Alliance, also includes Allegheny Valley Bank, Bell Federal Savings & Loan, Brentwood Savings Bank, Carnegie Savings Bank, Charleroi Federal Savings Bank, Citizens National Bank, Community Bank, Dollar Bank, First National Bank of Slippery Rock, Laurel Savings Bank, Mars National Bank, Mt. Troy Savings Bank, Three Rivers Bank and Trust Co., West View Savings Bank, and Washington Federal Savings Bank.

Cuit Chez Vous, a new service that prepares gourmet meals at the homes of its clients, has opened its doors. Its owner is Grace Kelly, who says her goal is to prepare fresh ingredient, homemade meals for busy professionals and their families. For information, call (412) 597-0955.