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New Healthcare-related Products, Services, and Companies
Featured Briefs: The Learning Key Offers Tools for Learning about Partnerships The Learning Key has launched a game, Partnering Success: The Challenge, as a way to make learning fun and memorable. The business-based board game provides trainers and participants an interactive approach to learning the ins and outs of strategic partnering and outsourcing. It provides a forum to discuss outsourcing strategies and approaches in creating long-lasting partnerships. It improves employee understanding of the stages of outsourcing and partnering and gives employees insights into ways to enhance partner relationships quickly and efficiently. The Learning Key also has released PharmGame 2. Building on the success of the original PharmGame, the new version has additional categories of questions, such as: biologics, discovery, nonclinical/preclinical, chemical process/manufacturing, clinical, computer systems, general/history/business environment, regulatory, and sales and marketing. The Learning Key’s publication, Strategic Partnering, A Five Stage Process To Improve Strategic Alliances and Outsourcing Relationships by Dr. Elizabeth Treher and Michael Mead, provides a high-level overview of key stages to build strong partnerships and ensure success. Included are strategies and checklists for partner organizations to work together from the beginning. The book complements the learning tool Partnering Success-The Challenge. inVentiv Launches Human Resources Business Unit The new unit provides both external and internal solutions. inVentiv Health has launched inVentiv Resource Solutions, a business unit that provides human resource solutions to external clients, as well as manages a variety of internal HR needs. inVentiv Resource Solutions offers three distinct services: • Web portal, pharmajobboard.com, for the recruitment and development of pharmaceutical sales representatives. The portal provides candidates with online learning capabilities through a partnership with Post University and an invitational social network for information exchange. • Temporary personnel staffing business, which enables inVentiv to provide all aspects of sourcing, screening, identifying, and presenting candidates for available assignments for external and internal clients. • Full suite of HR solutions to assist clients in developing their strategic capabilities, including organizational development, cultural strategy, and other essential HR services. Leading this new division within inVentiv Commercial is Managing Director Brian Holland, who reports to Tristen Herrstrom, executive VP of Resource Management for inVentiv Health. We expect inVentiv Resource Solutions to further improve efficiency within our organization, says Terry Herring, Chief Operating Officer of inVentiv Health and President and CEO of inVentiv Commercial. Draftfcb Healthcare Creates Division for Closed Loop Marketing Draftfcb Healthcare has launched Connect Tech, a division that creates content for closed loop marketing (CLM) programs for pharmaceutical clients. The division provides strategic and creative direction, project management, content mapping, development, design, programming, and implementation of CLM programs to maximize the impact and effectiveness of a salesforce. Draftfcb Healthcare has created more than 4,000 screens of content using CLM platforms. Fully competent in the use of Proscape and Exploria SPS and in the final stages of training on Skura’s SFX system, Draftfcb Healthcare is now harnessing this experience within the unit. Connect Tech is dedicated to optimizing the power of CLM platforms for existing and potential clients and working directly with its current agency teams. Total Learning Concepts Offers Sales Rep Training Total Learning Concepts has introduced Clinical Boot Camp, a training program for sales representatives. The program provides both basic and advanced training and uses a blended learning format to help salespeople analyze clinical studies and use them in various selling situations. Blended learning uses a variety of learning modalities: classroom, e-learning, audio, and video. The basic training teaches reps how to integrate clinical studies into sales calls. The curriculum includes Reprint Ready!, Clinical Selling Workshop 101, and e-Prints. The company also introduced Serious Game-based Learning system. The system helps sales representatives increase their knowledge retention, typically up to 10 times, from 5% up to 45%. The system was developed by Qube Learning and uses customizable instructional game templates to reinforce learning. It includes an online authoring platform that allows companies to develop custom games that support virtually any subject matter delivered in any media form, including instructor-led training, PowerPoint, books, videos, and Webinars. The system has been fine-tuned to minimize the time, effort, training, and cost required to create custom-based learning programs. The system includes the QBook, a customizable online page-turning book. Used as an alternative to Webinars, PowerPoint, or PDF files, the QBook allows readers to absorb large amounts of online content, including text, quickly and easily. By using the Serious Game-Based Learning System, people retain more than 45% of what they’ve learned, says Dr. Glen Low, Director of eLearning Strategies for Total Learning Concepts. M&A Activity Amgen, Thousand Oaks, Calif., a biotechnology company that discovers, develops, and delivers innovative human therapeutics, has completed its acquisition of Ilypsa, a private company developing nonabsorbed drugs for renal disorders. The transaction provides Amgen with a late-stage phosphate binder for the treatment of hyperphosphatemia in chronic kidney disease patients on hemodialysis. In a separate transaction, Amgen has concluded its acquisition of Alantos, a private company developing drugs for the treatment of diabetes and inflammatory diseases. The transaction provides Amgen with Alantos’ DPP-IV inhibitor, which is in Phase IIa trials for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes, as well as its matrix metalloproteinases platform for osteoarthritis. For more information, visit amgen.com. Cell Therapeutics Inc., Seattle, a biopharmaceutical company committed to developing an integrated portfolio of oncology products, has completed the acquisition of Systems Medicine Inc. (SMi), a privately held oncology company, in a merger valued at $20 million. The acquisition of SMi provides CTI with worldwide rights to Brostallicin, a DNA minor groove-binding agent with proven antitumor activity. SMi continues to operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of CTI. For more information, visit cticseattle.com. Global pharmaceutical company Merck, Whitehouse Station, N.J., has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire NovaCardia, a privately held clinical-stage pharmaceutical company focused on cardiovascular diseases. The acquisition gives Merck access to KW-3902, an investigational Phase III compound for acute congestive heart failure. Under the agreement, Merck acquires all of the outstanding equity of Nova Cardia for $350 million plus the amount of cash on hand at the time of closing. For more information, visit merck.com PRA International, Reston, Va., a global CRO, has entered into a definitive merger agreement to be acquired by affiliates of Genstar Capital LLC, San Francisco, a private equity firm. The transaction is valued at about $790 million. For more information, visit prainternational.com. Premier Research Group PlC., Philadelphia, an international pharmaceutical services group, has acquired ARS Inc. and D-Target SA. The acquisition of these privately held companies continues the company’s strategy of building an international business. For more information, visit premier-research.com. SurModics Inc., Eden Prairie, Minn., has acquired Brookwood Pharmaceuticals, Birmingham, Ala., a provider of drug-delivery technologies to the pharmaceutical industry, from Southern Research Institute for $40 million in cash at closing and up to an additional $22 million in cash upon the successful achievement of specified milestones. The combination of the two businesses strengthens SurModics’ position in polymer-based drug delivery. For more information, visit surmodics.com. Around the GLOBe MDS Pharma Services, King of Prussia, Pa., has expanded its development and regulatory services (DRS) business in Europe with two offices, one near Paris in Sevres, France, and the other in Winnersh, near London. The company is offering full-service DRS consulting services to support development of drugs and biopharmaceutical products for clients in Europe. The European DRS organization is fully integrated with consultants in the United States and Canada to provide product development consulting, program management, and regulatory affairs services for new drugs and biopharmaceuticals. The European expansion is being supported by the appointments of two industry experts, Didier Saur, M.D., VP of medical affairs, in the Sevres office, and Sarah Roberts, Ph.D., senior director of regulatory affairs, in Winnersh. For more information, visit mdsinc.com. PPD Inc., Wilmington, N.C., plans to expand its operations in Lanarkshire, Scotland, and create additional jobs to meet the increasing demand for its drug-development services. PPD currently employs more than 350 professionals in Scotland. The company expects to invest up to 15 million pounds to further expand its offices in the next three years, creating jobs in biostatistics, data management, pharmacovigilance, product development, and clinical-trial management and monitoring. PPD’s investment includes the construction of a 34,000-square-foot facility to be built adjacent to the company’s existing Fleming House offices also in Scotland. For more information, visit ppdi.com. Abraxis BioScience Inc. has separated its hospital-based business, to be named Abraxis Pharmaceutical Products (APP), from its proprietary business, which retains the name Abraxis BioScience. Abraxis BioScience is strategically focused on its nab technology platform, the development of its pipeline, and expanded commercialization of Abraxane. “By separating these unique business units into two entities, we believe we will be able to unlock the intrinsic value of both companies by allowing each company to pursue its unique long-term strategic initiatives and address diverse operational and capital needs,” says Patrick Soon-Shiong, M.D., chairman and CEO of Abraxis BioScience. SDI Launches Division to Address Patient Compliance Surveillance Data Inc. (SDI) has launched SDI Direct Access to increase patient drug therapy compliance. SDI Direct Access converts the retail pharmacy into a direct-to-patient media channel with measurable ROI for pharmaceutical companies seeking to improve patient compliance, persistence, and disease awareness. SDI Direct Access enables the pharmaceutical brand to segment highly specific patient populations based on the product (form, dose, strength); length of therapy (new or continuing); level of compliance (current and previous); regimen; titration; concomitant therapies; physician specialty; patient demographics; age range; gender; copays; and geography. SDI Direct Access enables brands to select the most effective and timely intervention for the appropriate patient population, such as nurse/pharmacist-staffed call centers, Web-based therapy management, onsite lab testing and screening, and onsite pharmacy consultation. Until now, pharmacies have been a relatively untapped source for educating patient populations about the benefits of continuing their drug therapies, says David Nussbaum, VP of SDI, and Head of the SDI Direct Access Division. Abraxis BioScience Inc., Los Angeles, is an integrated global biopharmaceutical company dedicated to meeting the needs of critically ill patients. For more information, visit abraxisbio.com. Draftfcb Healthcare, New York, is a full-service marketing communication agency designed to build clients’ businesses by focusing on consumer behavior. For more information, visit draftfcb.com. Inventiv Health Inc., Somerset, N.J., is a provider of commercialization and complementary services to the global pharmaceutical, life-sciences, and biotechnology industries. For more information, visit inventivhealth.com. Surveillance Data Inc., Plymouth Meeting, Pa., provides longitudinal patient-level data serving pharmaceutical, biotech, and consumer product retail companies with healthcare data. For more information, visit surveillancedata.com. The Learning Key Inc., Washington Crossing, Pa., a woman-owned small business that provides innovative learning products, instructional design, and training and consulting for pharmaceutical, biotech, chemical, banking, information services, and other technology-based industries. For more information, visit thelearningkey.com. Total Learning Concepts, Boston, a Publicis Healthcare Communications Group company, provides pharmaceutical and biotech sales training. For more information, visit tlconline.com.