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New Healthcare-related Products, Services, and Companies
Quintiles Medical Communications Restructures CME Functions Quintiles Medical Communications has formed two additional businesses and a separate continuing medical education (CME) accrediting division. Soniq and Cospective have joined QED Communications and Medical Action Communications (MAC) under the Quintiles Medical Communications umbrella. Scepter is now the company’s CME accrediting arm. Cospective and QED provide CME services, while Soniq and MAC develop nonaccredited educational programs for clinicians. The CME accrediting function, which QED had been performing since 1998, now resides with Scepter. Quintiles Medical Communications maintains offices in Hawthorne, N.Y., and Parsippany, N.J. The Hawthorne location houses physically separate offices for QED, Soniq, and Scepter, while MAC and Cospective have offices in Parsippany. This structure reflects the growing pharmaceutical industry trend toward complete separation of accredited CME programs and nonaccredited programs that are deemed promotional by the FDA. The separation has been prompted by stricter guidelines from the Accreditation Council for CME (ACCME) and increased federal scrutiny. “Quintiles offers a wealth of resources for its clients to educate the medical community about their new and emerging discoveries,” says Tracy Ken Tsuetaki, president of Quintiles Medical Communications. “The new structure allows our clients options for pursuing different avenues for medical education, while maintaining the necessary separation to ensure educational programs remain fair, balanced, rigorous, and compliant.” Alexion Pharmaceuticals Forms Alexion Europe SAS Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. has formed a wholly owned subsidiary, Alexion Europe SAS, which will serve as the company’s European headquarters and manage all late-stage development, regulatory, and commercial operations throughout Europe. The subsidiary is based in Paris. Patrice Coissac, former president of Pharmacia SAS, has been appointed general manager and president. “The establishment of a European subsidiary is an important step as we focus on global development and prepare for the commercialization of our first product, eculizumab,” says Leonard Bell, M.D., CEO of Alexion. In addition to Mr. Coissac, Alexion Europe SAS will initially employ regulatory, medical, and commercial professionals in France and in additional European countries. Alexion expects the number of Alexion Europe employees to expand significantly if eculizumab is approved for marketing in Europe. Intellisphere and Creative Force Form Strategic Media Partnership Intellisphere LLC and Creative Force Video Productions have launched a media partnership that extends video production and distribution capabilities for both organizations’ exclusive services. The partnership aligns Intellisphere’s MD Net Guide medical journals and HealthXplorer consumer media series with Creative Force’s hospital-based patient video programs. Developed to increase community education at healthcare facilities, the Creative Force programs also reduce the education burden and limitations faced by hospitals. The joint venture creates synergy for the industry because Intellisphere’s HealthXplorer consumer series similarly educates patients but on a more national scale. “We’re excited about partnering with Intellisphere,” says Matt Dragovits, CEO for Creative Force. “We know that its vast distribution network will increase awareness of our specialized hospital video productions and ultimately impact patients and their loved ones.” There’s no question that this genre of healthcare videos is extremely valuable to patients and is a tremendous asset to hospital administrators and providers who need to create an effective educational product, says Michael Hennessy, CEO of Intellisphere LLC. Nexus Opens West Coast Office To meet the growing demands of pharmaceutical and biotechnology clients in California and surrounding regions, Nexus Communications Inc. has established a West Coast office in Los Angeles. Nexus CEO Michael Caso says the company’s permanent presence in California will enable it to more effectively expedite projects and to personally assist West Coast clients with the development of creative solutions for unmet needs in medical communications. Nexus West is overseen by Holly Kramen, executive director, who brings almost 20 years of experience in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. M&A Activity Allergan Inc., a specialty pharmaceutical company based in Irvine, Calif., has commenced an exchange offer for all outstanding shares of Inamed Corp., Santa Barbara, Calif., a healthcare company that develops breast implants, dermal products, and obesity-intervention devices. Under the terms of the transaction, Allergan has offered to exchange for each outstanding common share of Inamed either $84 in cash or 0.8498 shares of Allergan common stock. For more information, visit allergan.com. American Pharmaceutical Partners Inc., Schaumburg, Ill., a specialty drug company that develops, manufactures, and markets injectable products for the oncology, anti-infective, and critical-care markets, has signed a definitive merger agreement with American BioScience Inc., a privately held biotechnology company based in Santa Monica, Calif. The merger creates a fully integrated, global biopharmaceutical company, Abraxis BioScience, with a FDA-approved proprietary oncology drug, a validated technology platform, a deep product pipeline, and a leading hospital-based injectables business with continuing positive operating cash flow. Under the terms of the agreement, American Pharmaceutical will issue to American BioScience shareholders about 86 million additional shares of American Pharmaceutical common stock. The merger agreement has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2006. For more information, visit appdrugs.com. Aptuit Inc., a drug-development services company based in Greenwich, Conn., has acquired InfoPro Solutions, Agoura Hills, Calif., a developer of industry-standard, IT-based clinical-trial materials management solutions. The acquisition enables Aptuit to leverage InfoPro’s expertise to deploy the industry’s first global, multicustomer, multisite platform to enable clients to track the details of their drug-development projects anywhere in the world in real time. As part of the deal, Aptuit has acquired InfoPro’s facilities in Agoura Hills; Westford, Mass.; Bangalore, India; and Frankfurt, Germany. Aptuit has retained InfoPro’s 120 employees. The company is operating under the name of Aptuit Informatics. For more information, visit aptuit.com. Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd., a global pharmaceutical company based in Hyderabad, India, has acquired Roche’s API business — including all employees and business supply contracts — at the manufacturing site in Cuernavaca, Mexico. The total investment outlay is about $59 million, including working capital. Roche, Basel, Switzerland, is one of the world’s leading research-focused healthcare groups in the fields of pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. Its API business involves the manufacture and sale of APIs, including intermediates to Roche and other innovator companies. The product portfolio currently comprises about 18 products, including mature APIs and a range of intermediates and steroids. This acquisition provides an opportunity for Dr. Reddy’s custom pharmaceutical services business to grow from $10 million to $100 million in the next 18 months. For more information, visit drreddys.com. INC Research, Raleigh, N.C., has acquired NDDO Oncology BV, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, a global contract research organization in the field of anticancer drug development. INC Research is a therapeutically specialized CRO focused on managing oncology and CNS trials. For more information, visit incresearch.com. OSI Pharmaceuticals Inc., Melville, N.Y., has acquired Eyetech Pharmaceuticals Inc., New York, a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of novel therapeutics to treat eye diseases. OSI discovers, develops, and commercializes novel pharmaceuticals for patients with cancer, eye diseases, and diabetes. The company acquired Eyetech for about $685 million in cash and about 5.7 million shares of OSI’s common stock. The transaction has created a company that focuses on therapeutic disease areas of significant market potential and effectively leverages core expertise in drug discovery and development. OSI now has two major marketed products and a robust product pipeline, which offers new indications for the marketed products and novel therapeutics in all three disease areas. For more information, visit osip.com. Protein Polymer Technologies Inc., a biotechnology device company focused on improving medical and surgical outcomes, has signed a letter of intent to merge with Thuris Corp., a privately held biopharmaceutical company focused on medical-device solutions to aid in drug development and diagnosis of central nervous system disorders. The merger is expected to enable the companies to significantly accelerate their strategic plans, diversify their product portfolios and revenue bases, and further broaden their respective therapeutic device programs. Under the proposed terms, Thuris, Irvine, Calif., would become a wholly owned subsidiary of Protein Polymer, San Diego. Protein Polymer also has signed an asset purchase option agreement with Sugica Corp., El Dorado Hills, Calif., which manufactures and markets embolization medical devices. Under the terms of the agreement, Protein Polymer will acquire a two-year option to purchase substantially all of Surgica’s assets for an initial common stock grant of 2 million shares. If the asset purchase option is exercised, Surgica would operate as a division of Protein Polymer; it is expected that Surgica’s founder and CEO, Louis R. Matson, would become division president. For more information, visit ppti.com. Thomson Scientific & Healthcare has acquired NexCura Inc., a Seattle-based healthcare information and communications company that offers targeted, tailored medical information. Thomson Scientific & Healthcare is a part of the Thomson Corp., Stamford, Conn., which provides integrated information solutions to business and professional customers. The acquisition strengthens Thomson’s existing healthcare solutions with critically important tools and channels to effectively reach patients. For more information, visit thomson.com. Vendome Group LLC, a New York-based business publisher, has acquired the McGraw-Hill Companies’ Healthcare Information Group. The McGraw-Hill Companies is a global information services provider based in Columbus, Ohio. The Healthcare Information Group comprises magazines — The Physician and Sportsmedicine, Postgraduate Medicine, and Healthcare Informatics — as well as a variety of healthcare information programs that serve the medical market. For more information, visit vendomegrp.com. Ortho-McNeil Inc. Established to Focus Exclusively on Primary-Care Professionals A new U.S. healthcare company, Ortho-McNeil Inc., has been formed through the combination of the primary-care and hospital products and resources of the companies formerly known as Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical Inc. and Janssen Pharmaceutica Products LP. Additionally, Ortho-McNeil has launched PriCara, a special unit fully dedicated to serving the needs of primary-care healthcare providers and their patients. This establishes Ortho-McNeil/PriCara as the only major healthcare company in the United States singularly focused on primary care. “We’ve created a company focused specifically on primary care because we recognize the vital role the primary-care healthcare provider (PCP) plays on the front line of medicine,” says Jeff Smith, president of Ortho-McNeil. “We are committed to providing PCPs with important medical solutions and patient education that will help identify and address unmet needs in primary care.” Based in Raritan, N.J., Ortho-McNeil has nearly 3,000 employees. The company markets prescription medicines, including Levaquin, Aciphex, Duragesic, and Ultracet. The company continues to explore other areas in primary care to expand its ability to help primary-care providers care for their patients. “As the medical environment continues to become more complex, primary-care providers face many challenges,” says Norman Rosenthal, M.D., VP of medical affairs at Ortho-McNeil. “We recognize the importance of primary-care professionals and our goal is to develop the most comprehensive and innovative solutions to help them advance patient care.” Around the Globe Criterium Inc., a global technology-based contract research organization based in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., has opened an office in Pune, India, after working there for the past two years. The office employs an experienced data-processing and quality-assurance staff under the leadership of Gautam Jit Kanwar, who has been named director of Criterium India. Mr. Kanwar has more than 10 years of experience in developing data-processing solutions and managing offshore teams. The project team in India works directly with Criterium teams in Saratoga Springs, as well as those located at the company’s offices in Johannesburg, South Africa, and Rolling Hills Estates, Calif. The time difference between the four offices enables the team to provide 24-hour coverage on all projects. With the proper use of technology and unified personnel, the data flow and communication are seamless. For more information, visit criteriuminc.com. M|C Communications, a Boston-based medical education and event management company, is launching the first Pri-Med Conference and Exhibition in Japan this year. The event, which is planned for Tokyo, is a joint venture between M|C Communications and E.J. Krause and Associates of Bethesda, Md., an international organizer of conferences and exhibitions. Developed and presented by Harvard Medical School in partnership with leading institutions in Japan, the program will offer a clinical curriculum that includes the latest advances in patient care and a special focus on the Japanese practitioner. The event also includes an exhibition of innovations in diagnostics, drug therapies, and medical and information technologies. For more information, visit mc-comm.com. Quintiles Transnational Corp., Research Triangle Park, N.C., has extended its Asia operations with the opening of an office in Hanoi, Vietnam. Quintiles, a global pharmaceutical services company, now has clinical development offices across eight countries in East Asia, including China, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam. The company emphasizes local language skills, clinical knowledge, and regulatory expertise; therefore, the new office will employ Vietnamese clinical research monitors. Additionally, Quintiles will work closely with the Vietnam Ministry of Health to increase the number of sites trained in good clinical practice. For more information, visit quintiles.com. Follow up Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc., Cheshire, Conn., is engaged in the discovery and development of therapeutic products aimed at treating a wide array of severe disease states, including hematologic and cardiovascular disorders, autoimmune diseases, and cancer. For more information, visit alexionpharm.com. Creative Force Video Productions, Orlando, Fla., is a producer of hospital-based patient videos. For more information, visit patienteducation.tv. Intellisphere LLC, Plainsboro, N.J., is the publisher of MD Net Guide journals and eDigest newsletters, which reach more than 250,000 physicians in primary care and eight different specialties. For more information, visit mdng.com. Nexus Communications, North Wales, Pa., is an independent, global healthcare communications and education company. For more information, visit nexuscominc.com. Ortho-McNeil Inc., Raritan, N.J., a division of Johnson & Johnson, is a healthcare company specifically focused on the primary-care market. For more information, visit ortho-mcneil.com. Quintiles Medical Communications, Hawthorne, N.Y., and Parsippany, N.J., a division of Quintiles Transnational, designs physician-education programs that advance practitioner knowledge and the adoption of appropriate therapies. For more information, visit quintiles.com.