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Sales Training Consultancy Formed
New consultancy launched to improve pharmaceutical training success. For pharmaceutical training professionals struggling to wade through the array of vendor pitches for products and services, Impactiviti LLC, led by industry veteran Steve Woodruff, founder, consults with clients to help design and deploy the most successful training strategies. Mr. Woodruff, formerly VP of business development for Pedagogue Solutions, says many trainers do not have the time or the background to carefully design a training initiative within the bigger picture of corporate strategies, learning technologies, and potential suppliers. “It is obvious that there are far too many supplier voices clamoring for the clients’ attention, each with a relatively narrow focus,” Mr. Woodruff says. “The real need is to find expertise to strategically design the right training intervention and intelligently source the development to best-of-breed suppliers.” Many initiatives fail because of a lack of definition or poor specifications, and that is an area where Impactiviti can bring very tangible value, says Steve Woodruff, Founder of Impactiviti LLC. MedPoint Communications Unveils Clinical-Research Division MedPoint Communications has formed a clinical-research division to address the needs of drug developers looking to improve the overall quality and effectiveness of training in support of research. According to MedPoint President Bill Cooney, who is spearheading this initiative, the mission of the division is to improve the training of study-site staff, and in so doing, improve the quality, speed, and cost of clinical trials. “The interest in better training has increased as pharmaceutical and biotech companies realize it can help improve research productivity,” Mr. Cooney says. “We have identified 12 areas for improvement in training for clinical research, including use of e-media, self-learning resources, learning assessment, and training reinforcement. Most of our clinical research clients have many opportunities to improve how they prepare study sites. We typically begin by re-engineering the investigator meeting that launches each study and take it from there.” Cramer Launches Healthcare Division Cramer has created a new healthcare practice that addresses three primary solution categories: marketing to consumers and patients; marketing to professionals; and training and sales communications. Cramer’s entire set of capabilities — including strategic and tactical planning, positioning and brand development, online and offline marketing, sales training, presentations and collateral, tradeshow marketing, and interactive design — supports these solution categories. Cramer VP Liz Kay is heading up the new division. HBA Establishes New Texas Affiliate The Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA) launched its first Texas affiliate in San Antonio. The new affiliate drew 70 HBA members and supporters to its launch event, which was held September 21. “We are launching exciting new opportunities to learn from each other and other leaders in our industry,” says Deb Wells, president of the HBA San Antonio affiliate. The event featured keynote speaker Lynne D. Sly, president of Therapeutic Surfaces for Kinetic Concepts Inc. (KCI), a San Antonio-based medical technology firm and the new affiliate’s first corporate sponsor. Other speakers were Nancy Larsen, two-time past HBA president and president of PROmedica Communications Inc., and Laurie Cooke, R.Ph., HBA CEO. The San Antonio affiliate provides networking, educational, and career development opportunities to members of the greater San Antonio area’s rapidly growing $14 billion healthcare and bioscience industry. The chapter seeks to attract professionals in medical devices, services, and pharmaceutical businesses, biotech firms, academic and medical institutions, as well as insurance, managed care, and health systems. In addition, the HBA is open to healthcare industry service providers, such as advertising, medical education, and publishing agencies. By putting our ideas, resources, and knowledge together, we are in a stronger position to grow our healthcare community and flourish as professionals, says Deb Wells, President of the HBA San Antonio affiliate. Ignite Health Fires Up Incendia Studios Ignite Health has formed Incendia Health Studios to develop and distribute unbranded disease-education programs targeting the millions of people who use the Internet and other digital technologies to seek and share information on chronic diseases. Fabio Gratton, chief innovation officer of Ignite Health and one of the agency’s four founding partners, has been appointed president of the new company and continues in his role with Ignite Health. “Incendia Health Studios turns the traditional medical marketing and advertising model on its head,” Mr. Gratton says. “Our main objective is to serve patients and caregivers affected by chronic diseases. They, in essence, are our clients. This makes Incendia Health Studios the first and only purpose-driven media company in the field of chronic disease education.” Mr. Gratton, a former Hollywood screenwriter who previously ran an interactive division of FCB Healthcare West, says several factors sparked the creation of Incendia Health Studios. “The need to educate and inform those living with chronic diseases was the driving force, but technology advances, demographic changes, new directions in healthcare marketing, and the emerging growth and power of online social networks around specific diseases also played a critical role,” he says. “We saw an opportunity to leverage the organic nature of these networks to help develop, retain, and grow them through programming that addresses their interests and unmet needs.” Incendia projects are funded by advertising, sponsorships, and grants but will not promote specific products or services. Mr. Gratton notes that public television has done well with this approach, providing audiences with quality, noncommercial programming while giving corporate supporters favorable visibility. Incendia Health Studios’ first productions, some of which will expand on programs initiated by Ignite Health, will provide important educational content to people living with HIV, cancer, diabetes, and hepatitis B. By leveraging the power of new and emerging technology, Incendia will provide an unprecedented number of people with engaging health information tailored to their specific needs and interests, says Fabio Gratton, Chief Innovation Officer of Ignite Health and President of Incendia. New Company To Battle Cancer Mauro Ferrari, Ph.D., a leading cancer nanotechnology authority, has created Leonardo BioSystems Inc., a new company that will focus on nanotechnology-based cancer therapeutics. Toward that end, Leonardo BioSystems integrates Dr. Ferrari’s extensive technology portfolio with the discoveries of many of the premier cancer research institutions. More than 11 million people are diagnosed with cancer every year. It is estimated that there will be 16 million new cases every year by 2020. Cancer causes 7 million deaths every year, greater than 12% of deaths worldwide. According to the Centers for Disease Control, it is the second leading cause of death for Americans behind only heart disease and is the leading cause of death for older Americans. Leonardo BioSystems will employ its growing portfolio of diverse technologies to develop new modes of delivering cancer therapeutics in a highly specific and integrated fashion. “We are at a very important junction in time in humankind’s battle against cancer,” Dr. Ferrari says. “The time is near that cancer will no longer be a sentence of death or suffering for anyone. We are all committed to doing all that is in our power to make this vision come true.” M&A Activity AAIPharma Inc., Wilmington, N.C., has acquired Cvitkovic & Associes Consultants S.A. (CAC), an international contract research organization specializing in oncology drug development and medical consulting. The acquisition of CAC provides AAIPharma with additional therapeutic expertise, while further strengthening its global clinical development business. CAC brings to AAIPharma specialized, full-service capabilities in the early stages of oncology drug development as well as in conducting large international Phase IIb/III studies. CAC has headquarters in Paris and offices in the United States, Europe (Western, Central & Eastern), and Latin America. For more information, visit aaipharma.com. Aptuit Inc., Greenwich, Conn., is acquiring the assets and operations of EaglePicher Pharmaceutical Services (EPPS) — the first step forward in Aptuit’s plan to build capabilities in active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) development and drug substance manufacturing. As part of this plan, Aptuit is investing substantially to expand its API and drug-development offering by building state-of-the-art API development scale capabilities in the EaglePicher facilities and in new facilities around the globe. The deal includes EaglePicher’s facilities in Lenexa, Kan., and Harrisonville, Mo. For more information, visit aptuit.com. ArcMesa Educators LLC, Eatontown, N.J., a multi-accredited online provider of education courses servicing professionals within 18 different industries, has merged with Scinexa LLC, Plainsboro, N.J., a developer of educational activities designed to enhance and improve patient care through the continuing education of healthcare professionals over a broad range of therapeutic areas. The merged company operates under the ArcMesa Educators’ name. For more information, visit arcmesa.com. INC Research, Raleigh, N.C., a therapeutically focused contract research organization, has acquired Pharmaceutical Resource Corp. (PRC), a Philadelphia-based contract research organization (CRO) specializing in adult and pediatric trials in Phases IIIb and IV. For more information, visit incresearch.com. The Thomson Corp., Stamford, Conn., a provider of information solutions to business and professional customers worldwide, has agreed to acquire Solucient LLC, Evanston, Ill. Solucient, which is primarily owned by VNU Group B.V., Veronis Suhler Stevenson, and VHA Inc., provides healthcare decision support solutions to nearly 3,000 customers, enabling them to effectively manage their organizations’ performance using data and advanced analytics. Upon completion of the acquisition, Solucient becomes part of the Medstat business within Thomson’s scientific and healthcare group. For more information, visit thomson.com. United BioSource Corp., Bethesda, Md., which delivers evidence-based services to demonstrate the medical and economic value of pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, and medical devices to healthcare providers, consumers, regulators, and payers, has acquired Bioniche Global Learning, McLean, Va. Bioniche specializes in developing and implementing international programs for training healthcare professionals who serve as investigators in clinical research. Bioniche joins UBC’s training and education group. For more information, visit unitedbiosource.com. VCG&A Inc., Holliston, Mass., which specializes in working with proprietary pharmaceutical companies and the biotech industry to provide strategies and tactics related to commercial product launch activities, has purchased New Pharmaceutical Strategies Inc., a Florida-based consultancy. For more information, visit vcgassociates.com. Follow up Cramer, Norwood, Mass., is an independent provider of integrated marketing solutions in the areas of brand development, product launches, sales and product training, internal communications, channel marketing, customer acquisition and retention, and meetings and events. For more information, visit cramerhealthcare.com. Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA), Fairfield, N.J., is a global nonprofit organization dedicated to furthering the advancement of women in the healthcare industry. For more information, visit hbanet.org. Ignite Health, Irvine, Calif., is an advertising agency that complements highly focused print strategies with a wide range of tailored electronic strategies — from online advertising and patient education to custom-engineered games and simulations. For more information, visit ignitehealth.com. Impactiviti LLC, Boonton, N.J., is a consultancy specializing in training for the life-sciences industry. For more information, visit impactiviti.com. Leonardo BioSystems Inc., Houston, focuses on nanotechnology-based cancer therapeutics. For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. MDS Pharma Services, Philadelphia, offers a full spectrum of resources to meet the drug discovery and development needs of the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. For more information, visit mdsps.com. MedPoint Communications Inc., Evanston, Ill., provides innovative communications services to global pharmaceutical and biotechnology clients. For more information, visit medpt.com.