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Parexel Offers early-Study Support Parexel International is providing companies with dedicated support for proof-of-concept studies, which are mainly conducted in targeted patient populations and are designed to demonstrate early signals of a product’s efficacy. The goal of these studies is to help clients avoid costly late-stage clinical development failures by making better and faster go or no-go decisions. “As the biopharmaceutical industry explores new development paradigms to bring safe and effective treatments to market more efficiently, companies are conducting more complex and rigorous proof-of-concept studies,” says Herman Scholtz, M.D., corporate VP, early drug development. Integrated, early-phase development strategies and expertise support ID and selection of the most promising compounds, says Parexel’s Dr. Herman Scholtz. DPM Splits Off CME DPM (Donahoe Purohit Miller) has separated its medical-education unit, CPE Communications, into an independent business in response to guidelines recently set by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME). Ahnal Purohit, president and CEO of DPM, says the decision to separate formalizes the daily operations and removes any doubt about commercial influence on the accredited medical education developed by CPE. Southern Research Institute Establishes Biosafety Consulting Group Compliance management solutions help organizations develop, execute, and maintain sustainable biosafety programs. Southern Research Institute’s new consulting company, BioSafety Solutions (BSL), provides services ranging from technical and operational support for existing biosafety and biosecurity programs to the development and implementation of comprehensive programs for high-containment laboratories and organizations involved in life-sciences research and development. “In today’s highly regulated environment, organizations face a multitude of difficult and complex challenges when it comes to working safely with infectious diseases and biothreat agents,” says John “Jack” Secrist III, Ph.D., president and CEO of Southern Research. “BioSafety Solutions was formed to help organizations put in place programs that improve safety, reduce costs, and increase efficiencies, further resulting in decreased risk for their employees, technologies, and bottom line.” Debra Sharpe has been named president of BioSafety Solutions. She led the infectious disease contract research group at Southern Research and currently manages the compliance and physical security programs. We look forward to working with diverse public and private entities to guide them through the maze of complex regulations, says Debra Sharpe, who has been named president of BioSafety Solutions. Myriad Genetics to Separate Into Two Businesses Myriad Genetics is spinning its research and drug development businesses off from its molecular diagnostics business, forming two well-capitalized, highly focused, independent public companies. The transaction is intended to enable each of the companies to excel in its respective fields, acknowledging the different needs of a high-growth, profitable molecular diagnostics business and a pharmaceutical R&D business. Once the spinoff is complete, the molecular diagnostics business will operate under the name Myriad Genetics Inc. and the research and drug development businesses will operate under the name Myriad Pharmaceuticals Inc. “By separating these unique businesses, we believe we will be able to unlock the intrinsic value of both business opportunities and create greater value than under our current structure,” says Peter Meldrum, president and CEO of Myriad Genetics. “Each company will be able to pursue its long-term strategic initiatives, maximize its core technology strengths, seek new product opportunities, have a capital structure appropriate for its financial profile, and compete more effectively in its respective markets.” New Pharma Company Focuses on Alzheimer’s Disease Archer Pharmaceuticals is a new company using modern technologies for the identification of novel treatments for Alzheimer’s disease. Archer was created based on the research of a team led by CEO Michael Mullan, M.B.B.S., Ph.D., and Chief Technical Officer Fiona Crawford, Ph.D. The company has several compounds ready to enter clinical development, including ARC029 and ARC031, two compounds targeted at the reduction of soluble amyloid proteins, which are thought by many researchers to be the main culprits in degeneration of neurons in the brains of Alzheimer’s disease sufferers. “ARC029 acts to lower the soluble forms of amyloid before they damage the brain’s neurons,” Dr. Mullan says. A Phase I/IIA clinical trial, which is currently being conducted in Europe, was designed to evaluate the safety of nilvadipine, the active ingredient of ARC029, in Alzheimer’s sufferers. The study has shown that the drug was well-tolerated in Alzheimer’s patients. We believe that the soluble, rather than the deposited forms, are the real culprits in the disease, and so reducing them is our goal with this compound, says Dr. Michael Mullan of Archer Pharmaceuticals. around the globe Abbott has established new development laboratories and a pilot plant facility in Germany to research technologies and test large-scale production of newly developed drug formulations. The expansion is part of Abbott’s global drug delivery business, Soliqs, which is based in Ludwigshafen. For more information, visit abbott.com. Charles River Laboratories International has opened a 60,000-square-foot preclinical facility in Shanghai. The new facility better positions Charles River to support the growing demand from multinational pharmaceutical clients for outsourced drug-development services. For more information, visit criver.com. Covance is no longer pursuing a 50-50 joint venture with WuXi Pharmatech to provide preclinical contract research services in China. Instead, the CRO plans to build its own preclinical facility to complement its existing China-based Phase II/III clinical development, central laboratory, and bioanalytical capabilities. For more information, visit covance.com. Elsevier has launched DoctorConsult (doctorconsult.de), a German-language version of its MD Consult clinical reference product, in an increased effort to provide interactive clinical reference and clinical decision support tools to new markets in Europe. Additional localized versions of MD Consult are in development for Italy, France, and Spain. For more information, visit elsevier.com. inVentiv Clinical Solutions, a division of inVentiv Health, has added a new office in Madrid as part of its strategy to expand operations outside of North America, including the emerging eastern European region. The company’s European operations are being led by Fernando Martinez, Ph.D. For more information, visit inventivclinical.com. Market research services provider Medimix International has established an office in Mexico City. Managed by Medical Director Tessa Schoor, M.D., the new location offers support to the Latin American headquarters of pharmaceutical companies based in Mexico and assists in developing Medimix panels throughout Latin America. For more information, visit medimix.net. NextDocs, a provider of Microsoft Office SharePoint Server-based regulatory document and quality management software, has opened a branch in Munich to provide local sales and technical support for the European customer base. The new location plays a vital role in the global expansion of NextDocs. For more information, visit nextdocs.com. WeissComm Agency Helps Build Successful Health-Based Brands WeissComm Partners has launched Invigorate Communications, a full-service public relations agency offering a range of services, including consumer marketing, healthcare communications, issues and crisis management, corporate reputation, media relations, interactive marketing, corporate and product branding, investor relations, public affairs, advocacy relations, and internal communications. Invigorate leverages cutting-edge research to understand what makes clients’ target audiences tick. The agency uses integrated, highly targeted communications via new and traditional media vehicles that capture consumers’ imaginations, stimulate the right conversations, and create a call to action. “Because consumers have become increasingly integral to the healthcare decision-making process, Invigorate taps into the ‘consumerization’ of healthcare,” says Diane Weiser, president and chief operating officer of WeissComm Group. Invigorate is led by Managing Director Tom Jones, who was formerly an executive director of communications at Novartis Pharmaceuticals. According to CEO and Chairman of WeissComm Group Jim Weiss, Invigorate is focused on serving the diverse communications needs of biopharmaceutical, device, healthcare service, and consumer companies. Pfizer and UCB Form Drug Discovery Technology Company Cyclofluidic, a technology company that has been established by Pfizer and UCB, aims to significantly accelerate the drug-discovery process by allowing researchers to test a greater range of potential new medicines in a shorter time. Cyclofluidic is developing technologies that automate and integrate processes known as flow chemistry and flow biology to help pharmaceutical companies shorten timelines within the drug-development process. The company is jointly owned by Pfizer and UCB in an arrangement facilitated in part by the U.K. government’s Technology Strategy Board. “Cyclofluidic’s entry into the rapidly evolving microfluidic technology area has the potential to radically transform the medicinal chemistry and biology interface,” says Neil Weir, Ph.D., senior VP of research at UCB. Annette Doherty, Ph.D., VP and research head at Pfizer’s European R&D headquarters adds: “We are excited by the potential of this new partnership to help us identify the most effective medicines for later stages of development and, ultimately, create new and improved therapies for patients.” Partners+simons Creates Healthcare Market Research Practice Partners+simons has launched a new health practice focused on providing evidence-based marketing and outcomes research to clients across the life-sciences industry. The health practice incorporates existing health outcomes business with additional resources and capabilities. According to Tom Simons, president of Partners+simons, a hallmark of the agency is its commitment to evidence-based marketing. As a result, the agency has generated quantitative outcomes in the healthcare and health-sciences sectors — acquisition, conversion, campaign effectiveness, and brand-tracking outcomes. In addition, the agency measures campaign effectiveness to provide clients with detailed information on their results and success. In an effort to expand the company’s capabilities, Deborah Hernandez joins the health practice team. She brings a mix of clinical knowledge, marketing expertise, and strategic branding insight to her role as director of professional marketing. Ms. Hernandez was previously VP of corporate marketing at StemCyte. She earned an MBA in marketing from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. Tom Simons of Partners+simons says years of deep domain expertise and a commitment to evidence-based marketing led to the launch of the health practice. Follow up Archer Pharmaceuticals Inc. is an independent healthcare company dedicated to enhancing and extending healthy human life. For more information, visit archerpharma.com. DPM (Donahoe Purohit Miller) is an independent, full-service healthcare communications company. For more information, visit dpmadvert.com. Myriad Genetics Inc. is a healthcare company focused on the development and marketing of novel therapeutic and molecular diagnostic products. For more information, visit myriad.com. Parexel International Corp. provides a broad range of knowledge-based contract research, medical communications, and consulting services to the worldwide pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical-device industries. For more information, visit parexel.com. Partners+simons is a brand communications firm dedicated to outcomes measurement and evidence-based marketing. For more information, visit partnersandsimons.com. Pfizer Inc. is a global pharmaceutical company committed to helping people improve their health by discovering and developing medicines. For more information, visit pfizer.com. Southern Research Institute is a nonprofit organization that conducts basic and applied research in the areas of preclinical drug discovery and development, advanced engineering, environmental research, and energy production. For more information, visit southernresearch.org. UCB SA is a global biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the research, development, and commercialization of innovative medicines with a focus on the fields of central nervous system and immunology disorders. For more information, visit ucb.com. WeissComm Partners is an independent public relations firm focused exclusively on healthcare. For more information, visit wcpglobal.com.