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What’s new New healthcare-related products, services, and companies CommonHealth Launches Interactive Agency Qi Interactive addresses clients’ digital and online needs. CommonHealth has launched Qi Interactive, a full-service digital agency. The new unit focuses on interactive and Web-based solutions to help clients drive brand performance in the online space and through professional healthcare media. Qi (pronounced kee) Interactive offers clients the ability to take an interactive campaign from the research phase – determining physician and patient behavior and attitudes online – through the planning, development, ongoing-maintenance, and ROI-assessment stages. Jim Clifford heads up the agency while continuing his responsibilities as group company chairman of CommonHealth. The unit launches with several proprietary online research tools, including PeerSight, PatientSight, MDTalk, and PatientTalk. Qi Interactive clients also can assess the overall structure of the online space in key markets and therapeutic arenas through Qi’s NetWatch process. Qi Interactive’s offerings also include a 24-hour hosting service, multimedia and 3-D animation capabilities, the building of Websites and online Website suites, and developing applications that run on desktops and laptops, PDAs, CD-ROMs, and the Web. The agency offers a wide variety of productivity tools, including online brand-information libraries, finders, organizing and scheduling systems, rep extenders, and pharmacoeconomic and dosage calculators. Qi also provides distance and interactive education for sales representatives, physicians, and patients through a turnkey teaching and training service. Many of our services are enabled by innovative technologies and processes and haven’t been seen before. They provide deep intelligence and high relevance during a time of rapid change for the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries, says Matt Giegerich, President and CEO of CommonHealth. New Biopharm Company Is Formed An investor group led by the Hopkins Capital Group has formed Accentia Biopharmaceuticals. The company is the result of the acquisitions of Analytica International, TEAMM Pharmaceuticals, and a majority interest in BioVest International. “The management of Accentia Biopharmaceuticals recognizes that drug discovery can be a tedious, inefficient process that often results in wasted dollars spent on research that doesn’t pan out,” says Steven R. Arikian, M.D., president, product development and market services, of Accentia Biopharmaceuticals. “By purchasing the rights to investigational drugs in the later stages of development, the company is investing in a much safer bet.” Accentia Biopharmaceuticals’ goal is to bring a combination of late-stage investigational therapies and acquired products to market. Two products in the pipeline may offer the potential to change the treatment and outcome of targeted diseases. The first is Biovaxid, a personalized cancer vaccine in Phase III trials for the treatment of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma that was acquired from the National Cancer Institute. The second is intranasal, encochleated amphotericin B for the treatment of chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) that was acquired from the Mayo Foundation For Medical Education And Research. The company’s pipeline includes more than 15 products, a number of which are in areas of large unmet needs, says Martin G. Baum, President, Commercial Operations, of Accentia Biopharmaceuticals. IMS and Premier Healthcare Informatics Partner to Offer New Service IMS Health and Premier Healthcare Informatics, a subsidiary of the Premier Inc. healthcare alliance, have entered into an exclusive comarketing agreement for IMS Inpatient Therapy Profiler, a new information service designed to provide better insights into hospital drug and medical-device use and disease treatment. IMS Inpatient Therapy Profiler provides details by hospital characteristics, diagnoses/procedures, patient demographics (as allowed under HIPAA), and physician specialties. The service also gives clients the flexibility to track key metrics such as patients’ average length of stay, average dosing, and average drug/device costs. “Pharmaceutical companies and medical-device manufacturers need to know more about the inpatient hospital channel and how their brands are used in that environment,” says Rosanna D’Orazio, VP of brand management at IMS Americas. Enabled by Premier’s Perspective, a comprehensive acute-care clinical comparative database, IMS Inpatient Therapy Profiler includes de-identified patient-level information on every discharge at hundreds of hospitals across the nation. This information helps pharmaceutical and medical-device marketers assess market size and dynamics by targeted segments, monitor product performance, and improve effectiveness of promotional campaigns and sales-training strategies. “We believe that the use of robust clinical data, such as that found in Perspective, improves the accuracy and reliability of clinical treatment and improves the quality of healthcare, which is our ultimate goal,” says Stephanie Alexander, senior VP and general manager for Premier Healthcare Informatics. WHAT’S new Belsito & Company Launches Consumer Agency Belsito & Company has launched demand, a consumer brand communications agency to help healthcare and consumer marketers better promote the healthcare and well-being benefits of brands, products, and services directly to consumers. William G. Daddi, who is president of demand, has more than 20 years of experience in consumer marketing. Marybeth Belsito, founder and owner of Belsito, is CEO of the new agency. “Healthcare marketers – from pharmaceutical companies to hospitals and advocacy groups – are increasingly looking to implement consumer-outreach campaigns,” Ms. Belsito says. Chiltern Expands Contract Personnel Services Chiltern International has rebranded its contract personnel department. The department is now known as Chiltern Integrated Resourcing Solutions (CIRS) to reflect a wider service offering. CIRS now offers pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies short-, medium-, or long-term solutions for personnel requirements, training, management, and the recruitment of permanent staff. The service is available to clients in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Europe. Additionally, once the initial client-based project has been completed, staff are free to move to alternative client positions or join one of Chiltern’s in-house project teams. “Initiatives include placing trainee staff at a zero fee for an initial period, with those personnel benefiting from the hands-on experience and the client benefiting from the training input we have given that person,” says Linda Christmas, who was recently promoted to associate director of CIRS. “We can provide individuals or teams and offer a genuinely cost-effective alternative to the normal routes if a client is looking for a team of monitors or data managers dedicated to a specific project and this gives the client greater control.” Marketers within the healthcare industry understand the need to create awareness among consumers. But in today’s information-rich culture, awareness is not enough, says William G. Daddi, President of demand. FDA Establishes New Cancer Office The FDA has created the Office of Oncology Drug Products (ODP) to be housed in the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER). This office consolidates three areas within CDER responsible for the review of drugs and therapeutic biologics used to diagnose, treat, and prevent cancer. Additionally, drugs and certain therapeutic biologics used in medical imaging, many of which are used to detect, treat, or monitor cancer, are now being reviewed by ODP. The therapeutic biologic products include recombinant therapeutic proteins and monoclonal antibodies. “This initiative by the FDA benefits cancer patients in the future by helping important cancer drugs reach the community,” says National Cancer Institute Director Andrew C. von Eschenbach, M.D. “As NCI promotes research to develop new interventions to prevent, detect, and treat cancer, we look forward to supporting FDA’s efforts.” CIRS offers pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies short-, medium-, or long-term solutions for personnel requirements, training, management, and even the recruitment of permanent staff, says Linda Christmas Associate Director of CIRS. Marketers can improve their understanding of their brands’ penetration and share, concomitant drug use, and product switching patterns to help them fine-tune positioning, enhance message effectiveness, and ultimately improve the quality of healthcare in the hospital environment, says Rosanna D’Orazio, VP of Brand Management at IMS Americas. Industry Veterans Launch Adult Learning Company Peter Sandford and Robert Christensen have launched NXLevel Inc., a technology-based learning company. “NXLevel is taking a different approach to adult education, fully engaged learning,” says Peter Sandford, executive VP. “For 16 years, we’ve been involved in adult learning as it has advanced from print to video to animation to CBT to the Web and to learning-management systems. Now that many pharmaceutical sales reps have broadband connections, we can use that creative bandwidth to deliver media-rich learning programs. When learning objectives are presented in a creative and engaging manner, new information is absorbed and retained more readily, which leads to improved employee knowledge and job performance.” NXLevel offers a variety of services, including complete corporate learning strategies, technology consultation and integration, and individual courses for existing learning infrastructures. In the pharmaceutical and healthcare arena, the company produces courses that include new employee orientation, sales training, and externally focused training, such as CME. In addition to custom solutions, NXLevel partners with leading subject matter experts to author off-the-shelf courses for industrywide use. The key is marrying solid instructional design principals with creative concepts and following through with flawless production, says Peter Sandford, Executive VP at NXLevel. What’s New on the Shelves The Accountable Organization: Reclaiming Integrity, Restoring Trust – a guide book to identify a company’s values and purpose. Written by John Marchica, this book offers readers practical and actionable guidance on how to identify a company’s values and purpose, integrate the findings into a strategic plan, and develop a focused roadmap for execution. The book, published in April 2004 by Davies-Black Publishing, shows how, through the collective efforts of dedicated individuals, corporate cultures based on accountability and trust can transform today’s business environment. For more information, visit daviesblack.com. The Source Book of Multicultural Experts, 2004-2005 Edition – a reference guide for marketers. Published by Multicultural Marketing Resources Inc., this guide lists more than 200 companies and organizations with full contact information and, for many, a description of services. Companies are listed by business type (i.e., ad agencies, corporations, professional organizations, seminars, and research firms) and by industry area of expertise (i.e., financial services, entertainment, and telecommunications). Market sections are sponsored by leading advertising agencies that help companies reach these markets. For more information, visit multicultural.com/experts. Investigations Operations Manual (IOM) 2004-2005 Edition – a guidance document on FDA inspection policy and procedures. Published by FDAnews, this guide outlines the steps of the inspection process, including what the FDA requires investigators to do; the methods used to access records and interact with the company; and regulatory agreements the FDA has with other parts of the federal government, states, and foreign nations. For more information, visit fdanews.com. The Medicare Billing Troubleshooter for Clinical Trials- a guidance for Medicare billing regulations. The guide provides: analysis of the National Coverage Decision; information on what costs are covered for both drug and device trials; instructions on the special rule that applies to some investigational devices; steps to help obtain private insurance coverage; and guidance on the mechanics of billing. The guide is published by HCPro Inc. For more information, visit hcmarketplace.com. Cardinal Health Acquires Alaris Medical Systems Cardinal Health Inc. has completed its acquisition of Alaris Medical Systems Inc. Alaris develops and markets systems for the safe delivery of intravenous medications and holds long-term contracts to provide disposable products for use in those systems. The transaction is valued at about $2 billion, including the assumption of outstanding debt. The acquisition of San Diego-based Alaris extends Cardinal Health’s portfolio of products and services to healthcare providers and increases its presence in strategic markets outside the United States. In 2003, Alaris had revenue of $533.9 million. Invitrogen Forms Biological Defense Systems Invitrogen Corp. has launched Biological Defense Systems Inc. (BDS), a new venture that consolidates and expands the company’s biosecurity applications by leveraging products and knowledge gained through its long-standing efforts in pathogen research. BDS builds on Invitrogen’s current product lines, which include detection kits for airborne pathogens, such as anthrax and smallpox. Invitrogen also supports researchers working on vaccines and other prophylactic measures through programs such as integrated high-throughput target-screening technologies from the Drug Discovery Solutions business and support for vaccine development at BioReliance. Invitrogen has appointed James M. Meegan, Ph.D., as senior director of biodefense to head the research team at BDS. Dr. Meegan comes to BDS after 13 years with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), where he developed initial programs for biodefense. Follow up Accentia Biopharmaceuticals Inc., Morrisville, N.C., is a privately held, vertically integrated specialty biopharmaceutical company formed by the Hopkins Capital Group LLC. For more information, visit accentia.net. Belsito & Company Inc., New York, is dedicated exclusively to health and medical communication. For more information, visit belsitoco.com. Cardinal Health Inc., Dublin, Ohio, develops, manufactures, packages, and markets products for patient care; develops drug-delivery technologies; distributes pharmaceuticals and medical, surgical, and laboratory supplies; and offers consulting and other services that improve quality and efficiency in healthcare. For more information, visit cardinal.com. Chiltern International Ltd., Slough, U.K., provides clinical operations, project management, data management, biostatistics, medical writing, quality assurance, and regulatory and medical-affairs services to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical-device industries. For more information, visit chiltern.com. CommonHealth, Parsippany, N.J., is a healthcare-communications resource and a WPP Group company. For more information, visit commonhealth.com. The Food and Drug Administration, Rockville, Md., is responsible for protecting the public health by assuring the safety, efficacy, and security of human and veterinary drugs, biologics, medical devices, foods, and cosmetics. For more information, visit fda.gov. The Hopkins Capital Group LLC, St. Louis, is a private equity fund specializing in healthcare investing. For more information, visit hopkinscap.com. IMS Health, Fairfield, Conn., provides information solutions to the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries. For more information, visit imshealth.com. Invitrogen Corp., Carlsbad, Calif., provides life-sciences technologies for disease research, drug discovery, and commercial bio-production. For more information, visit invitrogen.com. NXLevel Inc., Hopewell, Pa., offers a variety of learning services, including complete corporate learning strategies, technology consultation and integration, and individual courses for existing learning infrastructures. For more information, visit nxlevel.com. Premier Healthcare Informatics, San Diego, offers measurement and benchmarking systems to support healthcare quality improvement. For more information, visit premierinc.com/informatics. This new structure highlights the FDA’s ongoing commitment to finding new and better ways to get safe and effective treatments to cancer patients, says Dr. Lester M. Crawford, Acting FDA Commissioner.