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Vincent Aurentz, executive VP of portfolio devel opment, says this activity complements the compa ny’s tool kit of collaborative approaches to build a highquality portfolio with partners. “The creation of a venture capital fund under lines our commitment to be a best partner for biotech entrepreneurs and their investors,”he says. Merkle has created a formal busi ness practice that exclusively focuses on providing datadriven marketing strategies and integrated communi cations to companies within the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries. Merkle decided to formalize the healthcare practice in response to increasing industry demand for mar keting solutions that demonstrate a measurable return on investment; changing marketing, sales, and regu latory dynamics within the health care and pharmaceutical sectors; and an increasing shift toward direct customer relationships in place of mass advertising. Heading up the group as VP and client team leader is Jeff Wiltrout, Ph.D., who has served for 13 years in marketing leadership roles within major pharmaceutical and healthcare com panies, most recently as director of integrated mar keting and media services at GlaxoSmithKline. He received an M.A. and a Ph.D. in industri al/organizational psychology from Ohio University. “Pharmaceutical firms are experiencing a shift ing dynamic that is creating new challenges in how they must market their products to both consumers and physicians to achieve the desired return on their marketing investment,”Dr.Wiltrout says.“While mass advertising and inperson meetings with physicians were once effective marketing approaches,pharma ceutical companies are finding that these methods are not providing the same results that they once did just a few years ago.” Merck Serono Forms VENTURE CAPITAL FUND The new realities of pharmaceutical marketing translate into complex, unique challenges requiring specialized expertise and vision for success, says Merkle’s Dr. Jeff Wiltrout. New Merkle Practice Focuses on HEALTHCARE CLIENTS Merck Serono Ventures, a strategic, corporate venture capital fund formed by Merck Serono, is investing in emerging biotechnology companies that have the potential to provide innovative prod ucts, or enable the discovery and development of such products, in the company’s core therapeutic areas. These areas include neurodegenerative dis eases, oncology, and autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. Merck Serono Ventures has an initial commit ment to invest up to 40 million euros during the next five years. The fund is included in the company’s portfolio development function and closely linked to the research and development organiza tion. It is part of the Merck Serono’s strategy to be recognized as the best partner in the industry. “Biotech startup companies are an important element in scientific innovation,” says Bernhard Kirschbaum, executive VP of research and develop ment at Merck Serono.“Merck Serono’s venture capital fund provides the opportunity to support scientific excellence in our core fields of interest and provides startup companies with the opportunity to interact early on with our organization.” The creation of a venture capital fund underlines our commitment to be a best partner for biotech entrepreneurs and their investors, says Vincent Aurentz. Merck Serono’s venture capital fund provides the opportunity to support scientific excellence in our core fields of interest, says Bernhard Kirschbaum. Health Strategies Group has realigned its pharmaceutical salesforce effectiveness service and renamed the group Strategic Selling Outlook, with the goal of helping clients address the complex issues posed by today’s selling environment and to anticipate and successfully navigate the selling envi ronments of the future. “The world is changing dramatical ly for those involved in pharmaceutical sales, and the wisest course of action is to embrace that change and make use of the opportunities it presents,” says Rick Rosenthal, a principal at Health Strategies Group and leader of the company’s salesforce effectiveness practice, which includes the Strategic Selling Outlook group as well as services geared to sales management and hospital salesforce effectiveness. Using interviews and surveys, Strategic Selling Outlook gives pharmaceutical companies a complete picture of the selling environment for the upcoming year as well as scenarios looking five years into the future. Reflecting the perspectives of multiple stakeholders, each analysis looks at several key factors affecting sales and customer relationships, including how individual salesforces are rated, how their competitors compare, and personal traits and professional best practices shared by effective sales rep resentatives. The findings,coupled with counsel by HSG staff members, who are experts in salesforce effectiveness, are used in planning sales strategies and developing sales training and coaching programs. “Information that is immediately actionable against a specific challenge is good, but today’s selling environment requires information that helps companies assess physician attitudes andprescribing behavior over time,”Mr.Rosenthal says. Thenew fund invests in biotech startup companies focused on MerckSerono’s core therapeutic areas. It’s critical to get ahead of emerging trends and uncover unmet needs and gaps in knowledge; our goal with Strategic Selling Outlook is to provide both types of intelligence, says Rick Rosenthal. Health Strategies Group Addresses RAPIDLY CHANGING SELLING ENVIRONMENT WHAT’S NEW NEW HEALTHCARERELATED PRODUCTS, SERVICES, AND COMPANIES LEGENDS AND LEGACIES: PERSONAL JOURNEYS OF WOMEN PHYSICIANS ANDSCIENTISTSATM.D.ANDERSONCANCERCEN TER is a collection of essays by 26 current leading faculty women from the office of Women Faculty Programs at The University of Texas M.D.Anderson Cancer Center. The collection presents these women’s reflections on their for mative years and influences,and the hurdles andopportunities they faced as they pursued rewarding careers — and leadership roles — in science and academic medicine. For more information, visit mdanderson.org. The Ruth Group (TRG) has expanded its commu nications consulting services to include healthcare marketing, leveraging the agency’s strong track record and healthcare client portfolio focused on investor relations and public relations. The new healthcare unit provides TRG’s existing and potential healthcare clients with marketing strategies for prod uct launches,clinicaltrial recruitment,salesforce sup port, patient advocacy programs, and physician out reach programs.TRG has appointed Scott Lerman to lead the newmarketing communications team asVP. Mr. Lerman has 15 years of healthcare communications experience in implementing marketing plans across multiple medical disciplines and products. “This strategic initiative allows us to consult healthcare companies that are looking to drive visi bility among the medical and scientific communi ties, as well as consumer and advocacy groups,”says Carol Ruth, founder, CEO, and president of TRG.“The unit focuses on drug,device,and healthcare services launches, patient and physician education, clinical trial recruitment, and other marketing initiatives, serving to enhance TRG’s ongoing media and investor relations efforts.” The Ruth Group Launches HEALTHCARE COMMUNICATIONS UNIT Contact Russ Sieger at 2676852396 or firstname.lastname@example.org Let Triple i introduce you to our multichannel marketing solutions that are easy to understand, execute and evaluate. Our integrated marketing solutions span the range of patient care touchpoints, from diagnosis and treatment to education and adherence. …shouldn’t require an advanced degree in marketing analytics.” “Optimizing your multichannel marketing strategy… Barnett Education Services has released an updated edition of its “backpocket” guide, GLOSSARY & ACRONYMS FOR CLINICAL RESEARCH PROFES SIONALS. This newest edition has twice as much information as the previ ous version, with more than 900 key terms and more than 500 acronyms. Additionally, it includes crucial terminology to support professionals who are working in the current global clinical and regulatory environment. For more information, visit barnettinternational.com. ON THE SHELVES WHAT’S new “The RAC has become a highly respected standard in the regulatory profession,” says RAPS Executive Director Sherry Keramidas, Ph.D. “As the regulatory profession has grown globally and regions such as Asia and Latin America have seen more health care product development, the need for a new RAC certification covering regulatory material beyond North America and Europe has become increasingly apparent.” The General Scope can didates must take an exam covering knowledge of the full product life cycles for medical devices, IVDs, pharmaceutical and medicinal products,as well as international guidelines and standards from a number of global regulatory agencies, including the World Health Organization. The first GS exam will be offered worldwide beginning in October 2009. The newest regulatory affairs cer tification (RAC) from the Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society (RAPS), the RAC General Scope, denotes knowledge related to the general practice of regulatory professionals in the healthcare product sector, regardless of geographic location. The General Scope certificate joins the society’s three established, regional certifications covering regulations specific to the United States, the European Union, and Canada. The RAC is the only professional certification specifically for healthcare product regulatory professionals. To date, more than 5,000 professionals have earned certificates. WHAT’S new Verticals onDemand, developers of the first softwareasaser vice (SaaS) customer relationship management application (CRM) for the lifesciences industry, has changed its name to Veeva Systems. Additionally, the company has established operations in Europe. Veeva,a variant of the Latin word viva that means to live,attests to the company’s commitment to the lifesciences industry and to fulfilling its mission of delivering all of the benefits of SaaS to every facet of the global lifesciences industry. “We are one of the fastestgrowing organizations in the pharma CRM space, so it makes sense that we extend the advantages of SaaS, like unparalleled flexibility and low maintenance costs, to other areas in the lifesciences segment,”says Peter Gassner, pres ident and CEO of Veeva Systems. “It’s a natural evolution of our product portfolio.” HEALTH STRATEGIES GROUP is a provider of market intelligence to pharmaceutical and biotechnology professionals. For more information, visit healthstrategies.com. MERCK SERONO is a division of Germany’s Merck KGaA focused on innovative prescription pharmaceuticals.For more information, visit merckserono.com. MERKLE is a database marketing agency. For more information, visit merkleinc.com. Follow up THEREGULATORYAFFAIRSPROFESSIONALS SOCIETY (RAPS) is an international membership organization of regulatory professionals in the rapidly growing medical device, pharmaceutical,and biotechnology sectors. For more information, visit raps.org. THE RUTHGROUP is a fullservice investor and public relations agency dedicated to healthcare and technology.For more information, visit theruthgroup.com. TGAS ADVIORS is a comprehensive benchmarking and advisory services firm focused on pharmaceutical commercial organizations.For more information, visit tgas.com. VEEVA SYSTEMS (FORMERLYVERTICALS ONDEMAND) provides software as a service (SaaS)based solutions to the global lifesciences industry. For more information, visit veevasystems.com. Matt Wallach, executive VP and general manager at Veeva Systems, says to prevent wasteful spending and to enable business agility, it’s critical that companies adopt SaaS technology not just in sales,but across the entire organization. On the heels of its name change, Veeva Systems has established European operations with the opening of an office in Stockholm and the forging of an exclusive partnership with Madridbased Pharma Advisors. The Stockholm office is being managed by Peter Nordblad, Veeva’s newly named EMEA director of sales.Through these two new locations, Veeva intends to introduce its VBioPharma SaaS CRM solution to lifesciences companies throughout Europe, as well as provide local implement a tion and support services. Lifesciences companies around the world are grappling with major upheaval, requiring fundamental changes to their business models and processes, says Matt Wallach. As one of the fastest growing organizations in the pharma CRM space, it makes sense that we extend the advantages of SaaS to other areas in the lifesciences segment, says Peter Gassner. Verticals onDemand Becomes VEEVA SYSTEMS As the regulatory profession has grown globally, the need for a new RAC certification covering regulatory material beyond North America and Europe has become increasingly apparent, says Dr. Sherry Keramidas. RAPS Adds INTERNATIONAL REGULATORY AFFAIRS to Credentials List TGaS Advisors is offering M&Abenchmark services to provide operations executives with the tools to make complex operational decisions quickly and efficiently. “Many of our operations clients have already begun asking us for advice because of our indepth knowledge of their operations and our breadth of experience across sales, marketing, and man aged markets organizations,” says Managing Partner Stephen Gerard. TGaS can help companies identify best practices in key sectors such as sales force automation and market research, advise on resource synergies and sizing models, short and longterm capabilities;and develop postintegration operations business plans and strategy roadmaps. We already have data useful to both partners in terms of coordination and scalability and can help them hit the ground running when time is of the essence, says Stephen Gerard. TGaS Adds M&AADVISORY Benchmarking Service The General Scope certificate joins the society’s three established, regional certifications covering regulations specific to the United States, the European Union,and Canada.