What’s New

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BIO Undergoes a Facelift

Trending now:  Innovation is at heart of updated BIO model.

PV0316_JimGreenwoodTo better reflect the remarkable progress and groundbreaking innovations its members achieve in healing, fueling, and feeding the world, BIO — the world’s largest biotechnology trade association — has changed its name to Biotechnology Innovation Organization. The organization will continue to use the shortened BIO name.

In the more than 22 years since its founding, BIO has united scientists, entrepreneurs, policymakers, and the public to advance breakthrough cures and products in fields ranging from health, food and agricultural to industrial and environmental.

“This name change does not alter our mission or the value we deliver,” says BIO President and CEO Jim Greenwood. “We are better describing what our members do, who they are, and how they think. Our members are some of the most innovative people on the planet. Biotech companies and research institutions are filled with scientists and entrepreneurs who see a different future. And then they innovate to change the course of history.”

BIO represents biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers, and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other countries. BIO members are involved in the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products.

“Everything we do is focused on improving the world we live in,” Mr. Greenwood says. “Our name and identity need to reflect the accelerating sense of improvement and discovery our members are helping to lead.”

More than 250 biotechnology healthcare products and vaccines are available to patients, many for previously untreatable diseases.
More than 18 million farmers around the world use agricultural biotechnology to increase yields, prevent damage from insects and pests and reduce farming’s environmental impact.

Playing Nice in the New Sandbox

GA Communication Group, a full-service agency with more than 30 years of pharmaceutical and healthcare advertising experience, has rebranded itself Sandbox, an entirely new integrated marketing agency built on the foundation of four firms that believe together, they can deliver much more for their clients.

PV0316_JoeKuchtaThe new Sandbox agency, with some 350 employees and seven offices in the United States and Canada, was created to expand each agency’s client offerings while addressing a common client complaint about traditional advertising networks, i.e., many member companies just don’t play well together, making client’s lives and business more difficult than it has to be.

“We’re privately owned and operated by the same like-minded agency people who have already built successful businesses,” says Joe Kuchta, a principal of Sandbox and former CEO of GA Communication Group. “There’s a culture of collaboration at Sandbox that, along with our expanded resources and diverse backgrounds, gives our clients access to top-level thinking, creativity and business expertise while creating exciting new career opportunities for our people.
That’s the kind of agency people want to be part of and that clients need now more than ever. We truly do play well together and everyone benefits.”

The four founding members of Sandbox are GA Communication Group, with offices in Chicago and Los Angeles; McCormick Company, with offices in Kansas City, Indianapolis, and Des Moines, Iowa; Manhattan-based Underline Communications; and Canadian firm One Advertising, with headquarters in Toronto.

Calcium Has Strong Bones

Calcium USA announced that CEO Steven Michaelson (former founder of Wishbone) and Chief Strategy Officer Judy Capano (former Wishbone partner/owner) have finalized the purchase of the agency and its assets in December 2015. Mr. Michaelson and Ms. Capano, along with Managing Partners Steve Hamburg, chief creative officer and former Wishbone partner, and Garth McCallum-Keeler, general manager, have been running the agency since August 2015.

PV0316_StevenMichaelsonBefore 2015, Calcium had been the healthcare division of The Star Group, a New Jersey-based advertising and marketing firm. When Star ceased operations in 2015, Mr. Michaelson, Ms. Capano, Mr. Hamburg, and Mr. McCallum assumed management control.

“At Calcium, we have all the capabilities in place to develop industry leading, fully integrated strategic, creative, and digital solutions for our clients,” Mr. Michaelson says.

The Oncology Hub Matches Research Institutions With Sponsors and CROs

PharmaSeek, an investigative site network, has launched The Oncology Hub to provide sponsors and clinical research organizations (CROs) with a targeted, efficient approach to identify world-class clinical research institutions for oncology and inpatient studies.

“Oncology and inpatient research make up over a third of all new studies, creating a unique challenge when it comes to site identification,” says Lindsay McCarthy, general manager of The Oncology Hub. “It has become increasingly difficult to find new principal investigators (PIs) ready and willing to take on these types of studies.”

X-Chem Established as Independent, Privately Owned Biotechnology Company

X-Chem has been spun out to the shareholders of the parent company of Pharmaceutical Product Development (PPD) as an independent, privately owned biotechnology company.

X-Chem was acquired by PPD in 2014 following an initial investment in 2010. X-Chem has established collaborations with more than 70 therapeutic programs and has licensed 16 programs to its partners for further development. In 2012, X-Chem and PPD established X-Rx to advance programs in the areas of oncology, autoimmunity, inflammation and fibrosis, with the most advanced program expected to enter the clinic in 2016. (PV)

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