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New healthcare-related products, services, and companies
GfK Consolidates Market Research Operations Operating as one entity allows GfK Healthcare to pull together its strengths and individual leadership positions across multi-client research. The GfK U.S. Healthcare Companies has consolidated its three marketing research operations into one entity, GfK Healthcare. The three companies — GfK Market Measures, GfK Strategic Marketing, and GfK V2 — are combining in response to client requests and project requirements that demand increasingly closer cooperation among the companies. GfK Healthcare is maintaining its staff and operations in Blue Bell, Pa., East Hanover, N.J., and Princeton, N.J. Richard Vanderveer, Ph.D., former group CEO of GfK U.S. Healthcare Companies and CEO of GfK V2, has assumed the same lead role as CEO of GfK Healthcare. Barry Zimmerman, former president of GfK Market Measures, is president and chief operating officer of GfK Healthcare; Brian Hull, former president of GfK Strategic Marketing, is chief consulting officer; Jim Callandrillo, former chief operating officer of GfK Market Measures, is chief research and operations officer; and Maureen McLaughlin, former chief marketing officer of GfK Market Measures, is chief marketing officer of the combined entity. Kinetix Pulse Communications Channels Provide Targeted Access to Healthcare Providers The Kinetix Group has introduced Kinetix Pulse Communication Channels, a group of health professional specialty networks. These networks capitalize on the efficiency of online communication, combining Kinetix’s proprietary Education Engagement Platform promoting awareness, adherence, and compliance with Kinetix’s industry knowledge and experience in key opinion leader communication networks. The Pulse Communications Channels provide representatives with a convenient and effective method to communicate with physicians about their product. “Recent studies have shown that 19% of physicians no longer meet with sales representatives,” notes John Strapp, cofounder and chairman of Kinetix. “This is compounded by the changing regulatory environment and declining return on investment from traditional marketing channels.” Kinetix has two offerings: the Kinetix proprietary Pulse Communication Channels, each of which addresses a specific unmet specialty; and private networks customized for sponsors, which are developed according to a client’s needs and guided by medical advisors. Forma Therapeutics Focuses on Oncology Target Discovery Newly formed global drug discovery company Forma Therapeutics is focused on integrating important new advances in biology and chemistry to unlock essential oncology targets that have eluded scientists in the past. Forma was founded by a team of life-sciences executives and researchers from the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. Forma Cofounder, President, and CEO Steven Tregay, Ph.D., was previously managing director with the Novartis Option Fund, one of the providers of initial equity and funding to Forma. Genetic studies of human cancers have provided important insights into oncogenic pathways and their associated drug targets. Many of these high-value drug targets, however, have posed significant challenges. Combining its technological capabilities and oncology expertise, Forma will work to access this novel target space and to develop a new generation of breakthrough oncology drugs. “We intend to leverage our platform through collaborations in other therapeutic areas,” Dr. Tregay says. According to Richard Vanderveer, Ph.D., the decision to officially unite as one organization was a natural evolution of and logical next step in the group’s strategy. Our goal is to develop a robust pipeline of innovative drugs with qualified mechanisms of action, says Dr. Steven Tregay, CEO, Forma. New ICC Agency Targets Emerging Medical Technologies Integrated Communications (ICC) has launched a new healthcare marketing communications agency, ICC Redshift, which focuses on the emerging medical technologies sector — from high-tech medical devices and diagnostics, to home care, to medical facilities, to advanced IT systems and software. ICC Redshift builds on ICC’s expertise in high-tech brands to capitalize on opportunities in the expanding and transforming healthcare system. ICC has tapped John Friedberg to head up ICC Redshift as general manager. Mr. Friedberg’s career includes stints at IBM, Johnson & Johnson, DuPont, Siemens Medical, and Beth Israel Medical Center. Most recently, he served as executive VP of the health technologies unit of Cossette Communications. “The future of healthcare will rely on the ability to use technology to understand disease earlier, develop the best treatment plans, improve clinical workflow, and decrease costs,” Mr. Friedberg says. “Every component in the healthcare continuum will be connected in some form or other via technology.” ICC Redshift is about the future, about where healthcare is going to be, says John Friedberg, ICC Redshift’s General Manager. on the shelves NMCR ANALYTICS, a business unit of the AmerisourceBergen Specialty Group, and SEQUENCE MEDICAL, publishers of the Journal of Medicine, are collaborating to produce the first individually tailored oncology journal published in the United States. NMCR’s partnership with Sequence Medical allows NMCR research to be peer-reviewed and provided to all U.S.-based physicians through the Journal of Medicine. Physicians will be able to register for their specific clinical interests and decide on a format to receive the Journal of Medicine through Sequence Medical’s Website. This oncology-focused edition is due for release in early 2009. For more information, visit sequencemed.com. THE SOCIETY FOR CLINICAL DATA MANAGEMENT (SCDM) has published Data Management Plans, a set of best practices on creating and adhering to an effective data management plan for clinical trials. Published as a stand-alone chapter, the information is the newest addition to SCDM’s Good Clinical Data Management Practices (GCDMP), a resource for data managers and others involved in medical device, biotechnology, and pharmaceutical studies. For more information, visit scdm.org/gcdmp. 3D COMMUNICATIONS has released The FDA Advisory Committee Survival Manual, a book that provides a step-by-step process to help clients prepare for a successful U.S. Food and Drug Administration Advisory Committee meeting. The book collects the experiences and knowledge gained by authors Jim and Cindy DiBiasi, two of 3D’s principals, in their years of preparing pharma and biotech companies for FDA advisory hearings. The manual also includes interviews with industry leaders and former FDA advisory panel members. For more information, visit 3dcommunications.us. Publicis Healthcare Communications Group Reorganizes Messaging Divisions Rick Keefer heads up the new Publicis Healthcare Communications Messaging Group as president and is responsible for the overall leadership of the group. Publicis Healthcare Communications Group (PHCG) has formed a new messaging group within the company that allows PHCG to provide a full spectrum of multichannel messaging solutions to biopharma’s key customers. The new Publicis Healthcare Communications Messaging Group strategically aligns PHCG’s messaging companies — Publicis Selling Solutions, Scientific Voice, Pharmagistics, and Arista Marketing Associates — under one strategic group. The messaging group is headed by Rick Keefer, president and CEO of Publicis Selling Solutions. In addition to the current Publicis Selling Solutions leadership team, Laura Lynner, managing director, Scientific Voice; Roseanne Branciforte, managing director, Pharmagistics; and Christine Student, managing director, Arista, all report to Mr. Keefer. Former Centocor Communications Executive Launches Pitch360 Pitch360 is a public relations, marketing communications, and issues management consultancy that leverages its pharmaceutical and biotechnology experience to transform the way companies communicate to their customers, key stakeholders, and mainstream and social media, recently was launched by Michael Parks, former VP of corporate communications for Centocor. Mr. Parks says he is using his 15 years of experience in the pharma industry to design a consultancy catering to the next generation of biopharma companies. “In particular, small companies can now bypass the trial-and-error process of their predecessors and immediately put breakthrough strategies to work for their business,” Mr. Parks adds. Follow up Forma Therapeutics Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company focused on unlocking targets and pathways that have been validated through genomic medicine as root causes or major drivers of human cancers. For more information, visit formatherapeutics.com. GfK Healthcare is a provider of fully integrated custom healthcare marketing research. For more information, visit gfkhc.com. ICC Redshift, a division of Integrated Communications Corp. (ICC), is a healthcare marketing communications agency focused on the emerging medical technologies sector. For more information, visit icclink.com. The Kinetix Group is a specialized healthcare consulting firm using exclusive, proprietary communication channels to build and implement innovative marketing programs. For more information, visit thekinetixgroup.com. Pitch360 Inc. is a publicity, public relations, and marketing communications consultancy. For more information, visit pitch360inc.com. Publicis Healthcare Communications Group (PHCG), a member of Publicis Groupe SA, is one of the largest healthcare communications groups in the world. For more information, visit publicishealth.com.