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What’s New New Healthcare-related Products, Services, and Companies
CommonHealth Seeks to Enhance Healthcare with Launch of EvoLogue The agency is focusing on evolving the healthcare dialogue. CommonHealth Consumer Group (CCG) has launched EvoLogue, a full-service consumer agency providing insight-driven behavioral-marketing services to help improve the dialogue between consumers and healthcare professionals. Synthesizing the words “evolving” and “dialogue,” the EvoLogue name seeks to reflect CCG’s belief in the centrality of the healthcare professional-consumer dialogue to improving compliance, persistency, and outcomes with both prescription and over-the-counter brands. According to Meg Columbia-Walsh, managing partner and president of CCG, EvoLogue, and eBusiness, the new agency conveys CCG’s commitment to providing superior strategic, multichannel communications, including advertising, CRM, interactive, and proprietary behavioral-marketing services. EvoLogue uses reality-based insights, many drawn from actual exam-room conversations, to create behavioral-marketing communications that reflect consumers’ actual experiences so they are more emotionally and practically relevant to their needs. Chief among those needs is for the consumer to adequately tell his or her health story in the time-pressured environment of the typical office visit. At present, patients often fail to inform their doctors about how conditions or symptoms impact their lives. “Doctors often don’t ask open-ended questions or probe for lifestyle impact,” Ms. Columbia-Walsh says. “And patients tend to leave their issues of greatest concern to the end of the visit. That means that the most critical part of the doctor-patient dialogue often takes place with the doctor’s hand on the knob of the half-open door.” Among EvoLogue’s senior staff are: Shelagh Brooke, director of strategic planning; Mark Robinson, chief operating officer; Mark Kosak and Steve Pashkoff, co-chief creative officers; and Betsy Alvarez, director of business development. The name conveys our commitment to providing superior strategic, multichannel communications, including advertising, CRM, interactive and proprietary behavioral-marketing services, says Meg Columbia-Walsh, Managing Partner and President of CCG, EvoLogue, and eBusiness. Imprint Science Pioneers Multicultural CME Initiatives Imprint Science, a division of Sudler & Hennessey, offered the first Spanish-language CME symposium at the American Diabetes Association Annual meeting. The symposium, held in June 2007, raised awareness concerning the lack of non-English educational initiatives for healthcare professionals. The CE initiative, accredited and sponsored by the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, managed by Imprint Science, and funded by an unrestricted educational grant from Pfizer Latin America, underscored distinctions that affect prevalence, incidence rates, and therapeutic responses among different cultures and ethnicities. “Our mission is to identify gaps in healthcare knowledge and develop educational initiatives that will ultimately improve patient outcomes,” says Jeanne Cloppse, director of Imprint Science. “The symposium is an educational tool covering crucial issues relating to diabetes and those who are at greater risk.” A study conducted by the Morehouse School of Medicine suggested that one of the attributes of the continued prevalence of diabetes in the Hispanic community is not only the lack of access to culturally relevant treatment information, but also the lack of in-language treatment information. With current treatment systems designed to manage late-stage complications rather than early intervention, the need for non-English continuing education initiatives is critical. Saatchi & Saatchi Reinvents Consumer Agency Saatchi & Saatchi Healthcare Communications (SSHC) is now known as Saatchi & Saatchi Consumer Health+Wellness (SSCHW). The new name positions the agency to better serve its role in consumer health communications and is an important first step in the reinvention. “For consumers, the notion of health is a very personal combination of unique physical, mental, and lifestyle issues, often referred to as wellness,” says Jim Joseph, executive VP and managing director of SSCHW. “Wellness is not the catch phrase du jour; it’s a new consumer mindset.” Octagon Expands West Coast Presence The expansion to Mountain View, Calif., signals continued growth for our organization from both a technology and a service perspective, says Jim Walker, Chairman and CEO of Octagon Research Solutions. Octagon Research Solutions has opened an office in Mountain View, Calif. The office is home to the company’s expanding electronic data capture (EDC) operations. The location allows the company to draw from the Silicon Valley talent pool. The company has expanded its professional services staff to include additional project managers, solutions analysts, and implementation engineers. Delivery of solutions that span the clinical drug development process from data collection to submission is gaining momentum in the marketplace, and Octagon officials believe the expanded presence on the west coast is on target with the launch of ViewPoint FUSE, Octagon’s EDC platform. November/December 2007 PharmaVOICE Around the GLOBe Accenture, New York, and Bristol-Myers Squibb, New York, have launched the pharmaceutical industry’s first joint center for pharmacovigilance in Chennai, India. Operated by Accenture employees, the center undertakes the processing and coding of adverse event data and the generation of regulatory periodic and aggregate reports on safety as well as physician medical review of adverse events. A collaboration for end-to-end safety case processing has been established and is inclusive of specialized activities, such as medical review of the reported adverse reactions. The team is organized as a parallel process and extension of the Bristol-Myers Squibb pharmacovigilance headquarters’ operations. It allows for the seamless handling of data and reports between Accenture and Bristol-Myers Squibb while not compromising patient safety. Part of the multi-year R&D agreement signed earlier in 2007, the pharmacovigilance center furthers Bristol-Myers Squibb’s efforts to significantly expand its R&D capabilities in India as an integral part of the company’s overall global strategy. For more information, visit accenture.com. For more information, visit bms.com. In line with its strategy to achieve market growth, Averion International Corp., Southborough, Mass., has signed a nonexclusive agreement with Brazil-based Biocancer to jointly market and contract complementary services to biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and medical-device companies in Brazil. The relationship expands sponsors’ access to medical facilities capable of treating common and rare forms of cancer. For more information, visit averionintl.com. Charles River Laboratories International Inc., Wilmington, Mass., plans to build a facility in Sherbrooke, Quebec, to support the company’s expanding preclinical services business. Located in the newly constructed Sherbrooke Biomedical Park, the facility will provide essential drug discovery and development services to the international pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industries. The first phase is scheduled to be opened by the first quarter of 2009. Timing of construction of the remaining phases will be dependent on market demand. For more information, visit criver.com. Covance Inc., Princeton, N.J., has opened its first nutritional chemistry laboratory for Asia, based in Singapore. The $2 million facility offers safety testing of food and product samples from Asian companies seeking to export to the United States. Currently, companies in Asia send food and dietary supplement product samples to laboratories in the United States for analytical testing. The laboratory in Singapore can prequalify ingredients and products before shipment, which simplifies export requirements, eases logistics, and significantly reduces product release times. The region is home to several of the world’s largest infant formula producers. Accordingly, the new laboratory will initially focus on the testing of infant formula for release, stability, and labeling data and will also include testing of food and health supplements. For more information, visit covance.com. Merck & Co. Inc., Whitehouse Station, N.J., operating in Asia Pacific under the corporate name, Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD), has opened its regional headquarters in Singapore at Parkview Square. The move is part of the company’s global strategy to strengthen its focus on emerging markets, bringing Merck’s portfolio of pharmaceuticals and vaccines to patients and the medical community in Asia. The Asia Pacific Regional headquarters builds on an already strong manufacturing presence in Singapore, where the company has completed a $100 million investment at its Tuas Biomedical Park facility to support future products, including an investigational medicine for lipid management (MK-524) that is currently in Phase III development. This brings Merck’s total investments in Singapore to more than $650 million in facilities that span 49 acres in Tuas, producing both active pharmaceutical ingredients as well as finished products for sale worldwide. For more information, visit merck.com. Model N Inc., Redwood Shores, Calif., has opened its European operations in London. It is now poised to support the global implementation of Model N solutions among its multinational customers as well as attracting business in the growing European marketplace. As existing customers expand their deployments to overseas business units and other enterprises start to adopt these innovative solutions, establishing local operations will allow Model N and its partners to fulfill the growing demand for revenue management solutions and deliver hands-on, personalized support to its European customer base. The urgency to eliminate revenue leakage and reduce compliance risk in the global economy is compelling business leaders to deploy systems that improve visibility and control of their revenue and settlements across various sales channels. Model N’s European headquarters in London are headed by industry veteran Niels Skov. For more information, visit modeln.com. Omnicom Group Inc., New York, has acquired, through its Diversified Agency Services (DAS) division, a majority ownership interest in Consultech, a leading healthcare market consulting and marketing communications company based in China. Consultech’s clients include Novartis, Novo Nordisk, Xian- Janssen, Ipsen, and China Resources Corp. The addition of Consultech adds substantial scale and reach to meet the increasing needs of healthcare clients in China. For more information, visit omnicomgroup.com. Nonprofit Research Institute Launches to Address Priority Diseases A group of leading drug researchers have formed a nonprofit international institute to channel top talent and drug candidates from the world’s leading research labs into a major global assault on tuberculosis (TB), malaria, and HIV/AIDS. Founders of the International Drug Discovery Institute (iDDi) hope to fill a gap in commercial drug development that has left large populations in developing nations exposed to epidemic diseases with no new or affordable cures. Its founders and collaborating scientists include research luminaries such as Scott Franzblau, Ph.D., director of the institute for tuberculosis research at the University of Illinois at Chicago; Geoff Dow, Ph.D. a malaria researcher at the U.S. Army’s Institute at Walter Reed Army Hospital; and Paul Wender, Ph.D., of Stanford University. “Through my long career in drug discovery, I have found it incredibly frustrating that every year, millions of human beings still perish from diseases that could and should be curable,” says Alan Kozikowski, Ph.D., founder and chief science officer of iDDi. Dr. Kozikowski says the collaborating scientists working on promising new drug candidates are empowered by contemporary machine-based screening technologies. In addition to its technical resources, iDDi is developing a novel operational model aimed at making practical and affordable medicines available to those in need. To this end, Mohsen Marefat of The Althing Group has been retained to head the development and management of business operations for the Institute. To date, iDDi has been funded by donations from angel benefactors. The Institute plans to launch an aggressive fundraising campaign to attract foundation support. Celsis Adds Drug Development Services Celsis International has added drug-development services to its services portfolio. The latest service offerings, which include ADME-Tox studies and preclinical and clinical CMC development services, are part of the company’s long-term strategy to offer comprehensive products and services to accelerate drug discovery and development. Statistics show that 30% of new drugs fail in the development pipeline because of toxicity profiles and side effects. By evaluating a molecule’s ADME (absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion) properties and potential toxicity, ADME-Tox screening assays help to optimize the number of drug candidates for further development. The ADME-Tox services focus on in vitro drug metabolism, drug-drug interactions, permeability, absorption, organ toxicity, and plasma protein binding. In addition, Celsis Development Services offers CMC drug development services for clients from discovery through all clinical phases of drug development. CMC services include preformulation and formulation development to provide comprehensive insight into the physicochemical properties of a drug molecule and its product formulations. Development Services also provides a full spectrum of analytical and bio-analytical methods to aid in product characterization. Our goal is to save our customers both time and money by delivering the highest quality ADME-Tox services coupled with the best customer service and turnaround time in the industry, says John Daniels, VP and General Manager of Celsis Analytical Services. The Wyanoke Group Introduces Red Dog Informatics Wyanoke Group President Peter N. Slack is pleased to introduce Red Dog Informatics. Red Dog Informatics is a global Internet and information technology company that specializes in medical education and publishing. The company designs, delivers, and administers a wide variety of IT solutions for clients worldwide. Products and services range from custom Website creation and maintenance to network administration, database development, and content management. “As a division of Slack for many years, our Internet and information technology team is primed to succeed as a stand-alone technology company,” Mr. Slack says. Follow up Celsis International Plc., Chicago, is a life-sciences products and laboratory services company that provides rapid detection systems, analytical services, and in vitro technologies to the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industries. For more information, visit celsis.com. EvoLogue, Parsippany, N.J., part of CommonHealth Consumer Group, is a full-service consumer agency providing insight-driven behavioral-marketing services to help improve the dialogue between consumers and healthcare professionals. For more information, visit commonhealth.com. Imprint Science, New York, a Sudler & Hennessey company, specializes in developing and implementing independent medical education activities. For more information, visit imprintscience.com International Drug Discovery Institute (iDDi), Chicago, is a nonprofit institute and independent foundation that accelerates and streamlines drug discovery through the power of technology and the expertise of select scientists, worldwide, to identify and bring to market effective and practical therapies for diseases afflicting millions. For more information, visit i-ddi.org. Octagon Research Solutions Inc., Wayne, Pa., offers a suite of regulatory, clinical, process, and IT solutions to the life-sciences industry for the electronic transformation of clinical R&D. For more information, visit octagonresearch.com. Red Dog Informatics, Thorofare, N.J., is a global Internet and information technology company that specializes in medical education and publishing. For more information, visit reddoginfo.com. Saatchi & Saatchi Consumer Health+Wellness (SSCHW), New York, a Publicis Healthcare Communications Group agency, a member of Saatchi & Saatchi Healthcare Communications, provides integrated and holistic marketing solutions. For more information, visit saatchihealthcare.com.