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New Healthcare-related Products, Services, and Companies
TGaS Advisors Offers Collaborative Benchmarking Services for Pharmaceutical Companies Pharmastance operational resource lets companies learn where they stand. TGaS Advisors has launched the Pharmastance family of benchmarks. These collaborative peer-set benchmarks enable clients to answer the question: “How do other pharmaceutical companies do it?” According to TGaS Managing Partner Stephen Gerard, the idea for the business evolved from this simple query he heard over and over again from his pharmaceutical colleagues. “Answering that question became our mission,” Mr. Gerard says. Along with Martin Driscoll and James Mercante, Mr. Gerard launched TGaS to provide clients with customized benchmark data and insights they can use to evaluate their own operational practices, resource allocations, processes, and organizational structures in comparison with their peers. Pharmastance comprises the following benchmarks: sales operations practices, specialty sales operations practices, district manager operations practices, marketing operations practices, marketing sciences operations practices, managed markets operations practices, and Internet marketing operations practices. Pharmastance uses a proprietary methodology involving thorough information-gathering and extensive, in-depth personal interviews conducted by professionals with extensive experience in the industry. Using the collected information, TGaS creates a blinded, confidential, comprehensive data set and then communicates the findings, insights, and recommendations exclusively to the companies in the peer-set. Unlike traditional consulting companies or data providers, TGaS does not offer any ancillary services nor does it syndicate its data. TGaS presents the unbiased results to each individual company and makes implementation recommendations. In a changing pharmaceutical marketplace, we saw a need for a more collaborative peer-set model capable of providing fact-based insights to pharmaceutical executives, says Stephen Gerard, Managing Partner of TGaS. PDI Launches PDI On Demand PDI’s On Demand portfolio of sales services provides customized solutions for pharmaceutical companies, which allows them to respond quickly to market changes. Recognizing the industry’s ongoing challenge of managing temporary vacancies in critical territories because of leaves of absence, PDI’s solution allows pharmaceutical companies to continue physician service during these times. PDI leverages its talent acquisition infrastructure to provide vacant sales representative territory coverage and provide service, with sales representatives matched to the client representative profile. The flexibility of PDI On Demand is useful in sales models, staffing solutions, services for providing immediate select physician access, and solutions for optimizing surge sales capacity. Michael Marquard, CEO of PDI, says, “Territory vacancies due to temporary leaves of absence can create service gaps for critical physicians, salesforce disruption as managers try to reshuffle resources, and inevitably, lost revenue.” PDI On Demand was launched as a direct response to support the changing needs of pharmaceutical sales and marketing teams, says Michael Marquard, CEO of PDI. Management Consulting Firm Enters Healthcare Sector The dual challenge of stimulating growth and nurturing creativity while focusing on productivity and impact is a dilemma faced by many chief communications officers and agency executives. Feldman & Partners, a new management-consulting firm, offers services to areas relevant to senior agency executives and chief communications officers. Headed by Bob Feldman, the consultancy’s services include organizational structure, determining proper funding levels, achieving ROI with agency relationships, and providing customized and best-in-class training. Joining Mr. Feldman is a core full-time staff and several senior industry executives who serve on the firm’s senior counselor advisory board. They include Don Cogman (former president of Burson-Marsteller), Debjani Deb (founder of Empower Research and former chief strategy officer at GCI), Tom Martin (former chief communications officer at ITT and immediate past president of the Arthur Page Society), and Greg Spector (former president of WPP’s Blanc & Otus). PDI On Demand was launched as a direct response to support the changing needs of pharmaceutical sales and marketing teams, says Michael Marquard, CEO of PDI. New Name, Leadership Team for Point-of-Care Marketing Company SMI, formerly Supply Marketing, has a new name, logo, and Website. Under the new leadership of Stephen P. Delozier as president, and John Polk as VP, operations, SMI offers pharmaceutical companies, brand managers, and other advertisers, access to its target audiences by placing media campaigns in healthcare facilities. The company’s product line includes branded exam table paper campaigns, educational health panels with advertisements, and flat-panel monitors streaming an interactive digital media network. New Company Founded on Breakthrough Cancer Research George Mason University (GMU) proteomics researchers Lance Liotta, M.D., Ph.D., and Emanuel Petricoin, Ph.D., have formed a company — Theranostics Health — that uses their breakthrough technology to provide critical new services to medical professionals in the war on cancer. Theranostics Health’s proprietary technology, which was developed by scientists at GMU, measures the activity of the actual protein drug targets in a patient’s biopsy. Current technologies can provide information as to whether a disease is present, but they cannot provide a portrait of the ongoing activity of the protein drug targets. “The platform provides the missing piece for personalized medicine that enables physicians to deliver the right drug to the right patient at the right time,” says Theranostics Health President and CEO Joseph W. Reilly. Using proteomics, the study of protein activity in cells, their research holds the promise of a new paradigm for personalized medical treatment. Starting in 2008, Theranostics Health will begin to work with physicians and hospitals to apply its technology to patient care. Theranostics Health will provide physicians with a clear and accurate analysis of which protein drug target pathways are specifically altered and activated in a given tissue specimen. The company initially will focus on oncology-related assays and later broaden its analytical scope to diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disorders, and infectious diseases, among others. Through their ongoing research, Dr. Liotta (left) and Dr. Petricoin, Codirectors of Mason’s Center for Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicine, are enabling physicians to provide more effective, individualized treatment to cancer patients through discoveries conceived at GMU. Abbott Opens state-of-art Biologics Manufacturing Facility Abbott has officially opened its state-of-the-art biologics manufacturing facility in Barceloneta, Puerto Rico, to support the long-term supply of its leading biologic agent, Humira (adalimumab), and other future biologics. The new facility, Abbott Biotechnology Ltd. (ABL), has received FDA approval to commercially produce Humira for the U.S. market. The new plant is Abbott’s single-largest capital investment to date, costing about $450 million, and expands Puerto Rico’s growing presence as the Bio Island. In addition to producing Humira, the facility is designed for large-scale production of future products in Abbott’s pipeline that will require advanced manufacturing technologies. “This new facility is a key milestone for Abbott as we move to focus our resources and future growth on biologic and potent-drug manufacturing,” says Lawrence Kraus, VP of manufacturing, global pharmaceutical operations, Abbott. M&A Activity Pharmaceutical services company, AmerisourceBergen, Chesterbrook, Pa., has acquired Xcenda LLC, a privately held firm, for about $25 million in cash. Xcenda becomes part of AmerisourceBergen Specialty Group, providing additional capabilities in the key areas of pharmaceutical brand services, applied health outcomes, and biopharma strategies. For more information, visit amerisourcebergen.com. Philadelphia-based Digitas LLC and Medical Broadcasting Company (MBC) have united to launch Digitas Health a highly specialized, next-generation agency brand. Cofounder of MBC David Kramer leads the company. Digitas Health serves the entire health-marketing spectrum, including top pharmaceutical, OTC, bioscience, and medical-device manufacturers. It brings a full-service set of integrated digital marketing capabilities, and focuses its services on several key platforms, including delivering relevant, engaging brand experiences for consumers and healthcare professionals to facilitate patient/physician dialogue. For more information, visit digitashealth.com. Eisai Corporation of North America, Woodcliff Lake, N.J., has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Morphotek, a privately held biopharmaceutical company, for $325 million. Eisai, a research-based human healthcare company, currently has an extensive global oncology research program for discovering small-molecule anticancer agents and, upon completion of the acquisition, will expand its capabilities into the biologic therapeutics field. By combining Morphotek’s proprietary technologies and promising therapeutic antibodies with Eisai’s existing research programs and infrastructure, the company can focus on the unmet medical needs of patients, especially cancer patients, around the world. On completion of the acquisition, Morphotek becomes an autonomous part of Eisai’s global discovery and development research network and collaborates closely with other Eisai R&D member companies in Japan, Europe, and the United States. For more information, visit eisai.com. IMS Health, Norwalk, Conn., a provider of market intelligence to the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries, has announced the acquisition of ValueMedics Research LLC, a healthcare research and consulting firm. The transaction brings together ValueMedics’ strategic competencies in health policy, outcomes research, health economics, and market access strategies with IMS’s global information assets, analytics, and consulting capabilities. For more information, visit imshealth.com. Roche, Basel, Switzerland, has announced two acquisitions. In the first, the global healthcare company has agreed to acquire BioVeris for about $600 million. In the second deal, Roche has acquired Therapeutic Human Polyclonals Inc. for $56.5 million. The acquisition of BioVeris, a global healthcare and biosecurity company, allows Roche Diagnostics to expand its immunochemistry business from the human diagnostics field into new market segments and to own the complete patent estate of the electrochemiluminescence technology deployed in its Elecsys product line. The acquisition of privately held biopharmaceutical company THP strengthens Roche’s expertise in therapeutic antibody research. Roche plans to fully integrate THP into the Roche Pharma Center of Excellence for Protein Research organization in Penzberg, Germany. For more information, visit roche.com. Wyeth, Madison, N.J., a research-driven pharmaceutical and healthcare products company, has completed the purchase of the final 20% stake of Wyeth K.K. from Takeda Pharmaceuticals Co. Ltd. Financial details of the equity transfer are confidential. For more information, visit wyeth.com. Elsevier Launches first-of-its-kind Journal Dedicated to Brain Stimulation Elsevier plans to publish the first international, peer-reviewed journal devoted to the emerging science of brain stimulation. The journal, titled Brain Stimulation: Basic, Translational, and Clinical Research in Neuromodulation, will premiere later this year. Brain Stimulation will cover all aspects of this rapidly evolving field, from the most basic molecular research, to innovative technology and surgical techniques, to practical clinical studies. The editorial focus will encompass all technologies and methods using any type of stimulation — electrical, magnetic, ultrasound, or pharmacological, and others — to affect brain function. The goal will be to provide a single source for studies in all areas related to neuromodulation, spanning scientific disciplines and medical and surgical specialties. Each quarterly issue of Brain Stimulation will present original scientific, translational, and clinical research in the field. Basic science topics will include the effects of stimulation on brain processes, the biophysics and biopsychophysics of stimulation approaches, and the use of these techniques to study patterns of neural connectivity. An equal emphasis will be placed on the therapeutic applications and adverse effects of stimulation techniques — not just clinical trials, but also conceptual pieces, consideration of ethical issues, and other issues related to the use of these new technologies to treat human diseases. In addition, the new journal will feature special topic reviews, perspective pieces on new technologies and techniques, and letters. Reflecting the enthusiastic response of the world scientific community, the editorial board consists of key leaders representing the many disciplines involved in brain stimulation research. “The field of brain stimulation represents a new discipline with remarkable potential to reveal brain-behavior relationships and to produce interventions with novel and powerful therapeutic properties,” says Dr. Harold A. Sackeim of Columbia University, founding editor of Brain Stimulation. Dr. Mark S. George of the Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, serves as editor-in-chief. Plans call for special subscriber-only online content, such as video and other documentation of brain stimulation procedures, supplemental data and tables, early-release papers, and clinical-trial listings. Patient Recruitment Consultancy Specializes in Clinical Arena The essence of recruitment for clinical trials is connecting patients to research opportunities. Hashimoto Consulting’s services cover a range from training and presentation support to patient recruitment strategy and vendor identification, and are available in combination or as single services. Lani Hashimoto, who has recruited patients in all major therapeutic areas, offers services to clinical researchers who want to improve timelines, increase ROI, and develop strong best practices. I’ve always been strongly connected to the concept of bridging patients and the research community, says Lani Hashimoto, Founder of Hashimoto Consulting Services. Rx EDGE Introduces a New Targeted Messaging Program Rx EDGE has teamed up with CVS/pharmacy to give pharmaceutical manufacturers the opportunity to deliver targeted messages on the receipt panel of prescription purchases. The program, ScriptPoint, is administered through the CVS CareCheck Plus Pharmacy System. Customized placement is activated according to various prescription purchase “triggers” — type of drug, therapeutic class, disease state/health condition, demographic and geographic selectors, and other variables such as payer type. ScriptPoint can accommodate brand awareness messages, direct consumers to nonbranded disease-specific Websites, or deliver health-related information. Follow Up Abbott, Abbott Park, Ill., is a global, broad-based healthcare company devoted to discovering new medicines, new technologies, and new ways to manage health. For more information, visit abbott.com. Elsevier, New York, publishes more than 2,000 journals and 1,900 new books per year, in addition to offering a suite of electronic products, such as ScienceDirect, MD Consult, Scopus, bibliographic databases, and online reference works. For more information, visit elsevier.com. Feldman & Partners, Los Angeles, is a management-consulting firm for communications in the healthcare sector. For more information, visit feldmanandpartners.com. Hashimoto Consulting Services, Wilmington, N.C., provides patient recruitment services and consulting for pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device clinical trials. For more information, visit lanihashimoto.com. PDI Inc., Saddle River, N.J., is a diversified sales and marketing services provider to the biopharmaceutical industry. For more information, visit pdi-inc.com. Rx EDGE, Hoffman Estates, Ill., is a business unit of LeveragePoint Media, which provides a broad array of retail marketing solutions. For more information, visit rx-edge.com. SMI Inc., King of Prussia, Pa., is a point-of-care marketing and communications company. For more information, visit smihealthmedia.com. TGaS Advisors, Ambler, Pa., provides comprehensive benchmark solutions for improving the strategy and effectiveness of pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical operations. For more information, visit tgasadvisors.com. Theranostic Health LLC, Rockville, Md., is a life-sciences company focused on individualized treatment of cancer patients. For more information, visit theranosticshealth.com.