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The Bloc Launches BlocAlley

Trending now: New division helps drive commercial success for entrepreneurial health organizations.

PV0716_AndreaKretzmann2The Bloc has launched BlocAlley, a new division that helps clients in the health sector launch and commercialize themselves as well as their lead products and services. The Bloc also announced the appointment of Andrea Kretzmann to lead this ambitious initiative.

“BlocAlley is a science-grounded, creative-fueled, and customer-centric approach,” says Jennifer Matthews, president and managing partner. “It’s a unique offering for unique clients, and we are thrilled to welcome Andrea back to fuel its growth.”

Ms. Kretzmann rejoins The Bloc after moving to Arizona in 2010. She has previously served as an executive leader at Palio, FCB Healthcare, and LLNS.  In her new role, she serves as managing director of BlocAlley, charged with providing high-touch service and driving expansion. Her team will operate from two locations  — Phoenix, Ariz., and New York City — and is comprised of industry experts who are close not only geographically, but also close philosophically, to clients in centers of innovation.

White House Launches National Microbiome Initiative

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), in collaboration with federal agencies and private-sector stakeholders, has launched the National Microbiome Initiative (NMI) to foster the integrated study of microbiomes across different ecosystems. The NMI builds on strong and ongoing federal investments in microbiome research, and will launch with a combined Federal agency investment of more than $121 million.

Microbiomes are the communities of microorganisms that live on or in people, plants, soil, oceans, and the atmosphere. Dysfunctional microbiomes are associated with issues including human chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and asthma; local ecological disruptions such as the hypoxic zone in the Gulf of Mexico; and reductions in agricultural productivity.

The NMI aims to advance understanding of microbiome behavior and enable protection and restoration of healthy microbiome function. In a year-long fact-finding process, scientists from federal agencies, academia, and the private sector converged on three recommended areas of focus for microbiome science.

New Biopharma Company Launches

Arrivo BioVentures, a drug development company, has launched with the closing of a preferred financing totaling $49 million in committed capital.

Arrivo was founded by Steve Butts, Bill Wofford, Dr. Michael Ackermann, and Dr. Jed Black, and located in North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park region. Mr. Butts and Mr. Wofford were members of the management team that led successful investor exits of privately-held start-up biopharmaceutical companies Aerial BioPharma, Neuronex, and Addrenex Pharmaceuticals.

Arrivo plans to use the funds to develop four to six new drug candidates over the next several years. Arrivo’s team will source and acquire development candidates in or ready for the early stages of human clinical trials and move the projects through clinical proof-of-concept and the next significant valuation inflection point. (PV)

What’s New on the Shelves

Mark Stinson, a healthcare marketing veteran and brand Innovator for medical companies, has launched a new book, N-of-8: A Creative Group Facilitation Model for Health, Science, and Technology Brands.

In his book, Mr. Stinson shares methods to shift from just brainstorming, focus groups, and advisory boards to creative groups that truly innovate. That’s why the model is called N-of-8. Stinson writes about his global experiences and case studies from facilitating groups all over the United States, as well as leading markets in Europe, Latin America, Asia, and the Middle East. The book is available through Amazon.

Around the Globe

Accelovance, a global CRO focusing in vaccines, oncology, and general medicine, has expanded its European CRO services with the acquisition of THERAMetrics Holding AG’s (THERAMetrics) three CRO subsidiaries and Phase I unit in Germany, Italy, and Romania. In addition to the employees and facilities associated with these European subsidiaries, Accelovance also assumes management of THERAMetrics’ ongoing clinical program work in the United States.

INC Research Holdings has relocated and expanded its Osaka, Japan, office in support of the company’s long-term growth strategy both in Japan and across the Asia/Pacific region. Since the beginning of 2015 INC Research’s Japanese operations have more than tripled their employee headcount and expect continued strong growth. The new Osaka office further expands the company’s presence in the Asia/Pacific region to provide its global drug development customers with expanded access to Japan.

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