Officials Want Key Figure Paul Simmons in BioPlex Project Out

by Ted Wagnon  on Monday, Mar. 31, 2014 12:00 am  

Promoter Paul Simmons at Aug. 17 press conference. (Photo by Tom Honeycutt) | Originally published in Arkansas Business Oct 1., 1984.

• Simmons says in his magazine, BioProcess Engineering, that he has been published “in many of the national trade journals.” Pressed to provide references, he was able to name only four; two of them were other publications he helped found.

One of the remaining two journals is Pharmaceutical Technology, published by Aster Publishing Corp. of Springfield, Ore. The editor of that magazine was able to find a single article by Simmons in the April 1979 issue. That article is the one containing the reference to his engineering degree.

ROST is not the only corporate name Simmons has adapted or recycled over the years, a practice that apparently helped confuse local economic developers in some of their background checks on Simmons and his associates.

BioProcess Engineering, for example, is the name of his latest magazine and of an engineering company he helped create in late June, ostensibly to design and operate the central $10 million plant in BioPlex International.

BioProcess magazine is published by the U.S. Bureau of Pharmaceutical Research Inc., another of Simmons’ companies; the organization also has advertised plans for an international symposium at Little Rock in late December.

The U.S. Bureau was incorporated in Florida, Simmons says, but records indicate it is a Delaware corporation. No matter, says Simmons when told of that inconsistency. He and Managing Director Don Reed say the important thing is that the U.S. Bureau is a nonprofit consulting and educational group with a history of worldwide service to firms and professionals.

The U.S. Bureau of Pharmaceutical Research also was incorporated in August 1983. Approximately five months earlier, Delaware had deactivated a predecessor, the Bureau of Pharmaceutical Research Inc., for nonpayment of state taxes. The bureau had been set up in late 1981 for the same purposes as those ascribed to the U.S. Bureau, Simmons says.

Finally, there is PET Technical Services Inc., which Simmons describes as “my original consulting business” and the source of most of his professional activity.

Under questioning, however, he concedes that the original really isn’t that original. The current PET was incorporated in late 1982, nine months after Simmons filed a bankruptcy petition for a partnership named Pharmaceutical Engineering & Technology. He says the bankruptcy was “the only way for me to dissolve” a relationship that his partner had made intolerable.

Even his harshest critics readily acknowledge that Simmons has a talent for gaining federal approval for such things as sterile water and systems for pharmaceutical production lines. That reputation is not unblemished, however.

Approximately a half-dozen people in the pharmaceutical industry and in the federal Food & Drug Administration were named by Simmons as sound professional references. Those who could be reached confirmed his expertise in specific manufacturing practices.

However, when it comes to the exotic field of genetics, one official of the renowned Genentech Corp. says, “I’m a little surprised. ... I don’t think he’s in his field there.” Another says he recalls Simmons being a consultant for his previous employer: “Later, I saw a lot of my work in print.”



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