What’s New

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Carolyn Gretton

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New Healthcare-related Products, Services, and Companies

Featured Briefs: Kantar Health Focuses on Cancer Patients’ Healthcare Decision-Making Aerpio Therapeutics Makes Debut In other news… Inspiration Biopharmaceuticals Moves Corporate Headquarters AROUND THE GLOBE Kantar Health, a healthcare-focused global consultancy and marketing insights company, has released Consumerism, a proprietary analysis that focuses on the growing importance of patients in healthcare decision-making in cancer, as part of its Oncology Market Access US service. The analysis describes the emergence of the patient as a key stakeholder in decisions about cancer therapies and implications of this evolving trend. “Historically, patients with cancer largely have deferred to their physicians regarding treatment decisions,” says Debbie Warner, VP with Kantar Health’s commercial planning team. “These patients have a complex disease and a psychologically overwhelming diagnosis, often with limited treatment options.” Ms. Warner further observes that insurance coverage has traditionally insulated cancer patients from the bulk of costs related to their treatment. “Now, however, growing costs are being shifted more and more to patients, and evidence suggests that they are beginning to perform personal value assessments, weighing costs against outcomes,” she says. Consumerism reviews the different types of cost shifting and their impact on patient behavior. Included in the service are results of Kantar Health’s patient study, which was designed as a trade-off analysis to determine the importance of product characteristics, including cost to the patient, in the decision to ask about or undergo treatment. “Consumerism in cancer is nascent, leaving opportunity for key stakeholders to learn how best to position drugs and services so that decisions to treat remain focused on clinical vs. economic considerations,” Ms. Warner says. { For more information, visit kantarhealth.com. Aerpio Therapeutics Makes Debut Aerpio was created in a spin-out transaction from Akebia Therapeutics to enable more rapid development of its novel small molecules and monoclonal antibodies for the treatment of vascular disease and enhancement of wound healing. Aerpio’s lead program, AKB-9778, is a Tie-2 activator under development for diabetic macular edema (DME), with a Phase IIa study expected to begin in second quarter 2012. The company’s second program includes Hypoxia-inducible Factor 1 stabilizers, with AKB-4924 in late preclinical development for inflammatory bowel disease. The new organization is managed by the same team from Akebia, employing a similar outsourced approach to pharmaceutical development. “The formation of Aerpio allows us to focus and attract resources to the substantial opportunity we believe our lead programs represent,” says Joseph Gardner, Ph.D., president and CEO of both Aerpio and Akebia. “AKB-9778 could enable a transformation in the management of diabetic macular edema.” The spin out of Aerpio is representative of a broader industry trend. “This transaction provides investors the opportunity to capture both the near-term and long-term value of these promising programs,” says Campbell Murray, managing director, Novartis Venture Funds. { For more information, visit aerpio.com. In other news… Dudnyk has opened a full-service office in Carlsbad, Calif., as part of its efforts to expand the agency’s presence in the growing biotech sector in southern California. Scott Greisler has been named senior VP, general manager, and has relocated from Dudnyk’s Philadelphia headquarters to lead the operational management of the Carlsbad office. “Commercial development teams in biotechnology companies are facing increasing pressure,” Mr. Greisler says. “Because these companies are leaner than ever, they often lack the full power of pharma marketing departments in terms of planning, strategy, or brand development. By setting up shop in close proximity to the companies that need us most, Dudnyk will be able to work in partnership with biotechnology companies to bring their revolutionary brands to successful commercial launch.” { For more information, visit dudnyk.com. Inspiration Biopharmaceuticals Moves Corporate Headquarters Inspiration Biopharmaceuticals, a company focused on the development and commercialization of new treatment options for people with hemophilia, has relocated to the East Coast as part of the company’s transition to product commercialization. Formerly located in Laguna Niguel, Calif., Inspiration’s new location in Cambridge, Mass., puts the growing company at the center of growth and innovation in the biopharmaceutical industry. “We expect the close proximity to some of the leading academic and research institutions will help attract top talent as we continue to build a world-class company focused on improving the life of individuals with hemophilia,” says CEO John Butler. In October 2011, Inspiration named Mr. Butler CEO. He joined Inspiration from Cambridge-based Genzyme, where he most recently served as president of the company’s rare genetic diseases business. “The Boston metro area has always been a center for growth and innovation in the biopharmaceutical industry,” he continues. “As we move toward the launch of Inspiration’s first products, including IB1001, our recombinant factor IX product for hemophilia B, it is the perfect location to establish our corporate office. “ Inspiration’s lead product candidates are IB1001, an intravenous recombinant factor IX (FIX) product for the treatment and prevention of bleeding in individuals with hemophilia B, and OBI-1, an intravenous recombinant porcine factor VIII (FVIII) product for the treatment of individuals with congenital hemophilia A, who have developed inhibitors against human FVIII and for individuals with acquired hemophilia. Inspiration recently submitted its first marketing application for IB1001 in Europe, with a subsequent regulatory filing planned in the United States. Earlier-stage preclinical programs at Inspiration are focused on human recombinant factor VIIa (FVIIa), for individuals with either hemophilia A or hemophilia B who have developed inhibitors, and for individuals with factor VII deficiency; and human recombinant FVIII, to treat individuals with hemophilia A. { For more information, visit inspirationbio.com. Chandler Chicco Companies (CCC), part of inVentiv Health, has acquired two German healthcare communication firms, Haas & Health Partner Public Relations and SanCom Creative Communication Solutions. The two Eltville, Germany-based companies further strengthen CCC’s thriving European operations and are linked to the inVentiv Health ­Communications/Europe “super-agency” ­structure, a multi-disciplinary, pan-European operation that brings together inVentiv’s ­advertising, public relations, public policy, ­market access, medical education, marketing, branding, and digital services. { For more information, visit chandlerchiccocompanies.com. ICON PLC, a global provider of outsourced ­development services to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device industries, is acquiring Chinese contract research ­organization BeijingWits Medical Consulting Ltd. BeijingWits ­offers full-service clinical development capabilities and has a strong track record in clinical trial ­execution in China. In addition to boosting Icon’s service capabilities in the region, BeijingWits strengthens Icon’s presence through the addition of more than 100 highly qualified and ­experienced professionals in Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Wuhan, and Hong Kong. { For more information, visit iconplc.com. Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide Hong Kong is acquiring a majority stake in Hong Kong-based healthcare communications firm Mind ­Resource Healthcare Consulting Limited. The­ ­acquisition helps Ogilvy PR make further inroads into Hong Kong’s growing healthcare industry that includes pharmaceuticals, healthcare ­services, and medical devices, where demand has been spurred by the growing affluence and aging of the population. { For more information, visit ogilvypr.com. Quintiles has launched Kun Tuo, a local ­contract research organization (CRO) in China focused on developing customized solutions to help local and global biopharma companies achieve ­successful registration of new ­medicines in China. Kun Tuo provides a full range of services, including clinical trial ­management, regulatory submission ­preparation, biostatistics, and data management. The CRO is also able to tap ­Quintiles’ resources to develop offerings in key therapeutic areas, along with vaccines, late-phase studies, medical devices, and diagnostics. { For more information, visit quintiles.com.

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