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Dohmen Life Science Services Acquires Siren Interactive

Trending now: Holistic patient-service model complemented by rare disease expertise.


PV0215_WendyWhiteDohmen Life Science Services, a provider of outsourced business services for biopharma and medtech innovators, has acquired Siren Interactive Corp., a rare disease relationship marketing company. The acquisition further expands Dohmen’s direct-to-patient service model, by helping life-sciences companies in the rare disease space locate, educate, and interact with the patients they serve.

“Healthcare is shifting from a one-size-fits-all model driven by volume to a more precise and bespoke care model driven by value,” says Cynthia LaConte, CEO, Dohmen Life Science Services. “We created and launched DLSS as a platform for life-sciences innovators to reach smaller, more targeted patient populations in the most direct and interactive way possible. We did it because 30 million patients in the United States are afflicted with 7,000 rare diseases, yet given the historically high cost of developing and commercializing blockbuster therapies, only a few hundred of these diseases have any available treatment. We believe that people living with a rare disease deserve a more efficient and effective service model; one that accelerates access to care and empowers the healthiest, most productive life possible. Siren shares our desire to drive innovation by helping life-sciences innovators reach people suffering from rare diseases, whether the challenges involve development, diagnosis, or day-to-day care. Siren understands these complexities and has overcome them by successfully connecting rare disease patients with life-science innovators for more than 15 years.”

Siren Founder and CEO Wendy White joins Dohmen as senior VP of the rare disease segment. Ms. White, who created her company as a result of her own personal struggle with a family member’s rare disease experience, says Dohmen shares her commitment to improving the quality of life for people with rare disease.


MedNet Launches Cloud-Based Clinical Service

MedNet Solutions, a global life-sciences technology company specializing in clinical study management systems, has launched iMedNet eClinical, a cloud-based technology platform. iMedNet provides an intuitive, flexible, and affordable software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution, which is ideal for clinical trial sponsors and CROs wishing to quickly and efficiently build studies themselves.

“This iMedNet release delivers significant new and enhanced functionality throughout the system, encompassing our PV0215_GoingGloableasy-to-use forms designer and randomization modules, as well as our casebook manager and robust reporting toolsets,” says M. Clareece West, chief operating officer of MedNet Solutions. “At MedNet, we’re dedicated to continually refining our eClinical technologies to ensure we always deliver fully compliant and validated best-in-class solutions. Our most recent iMedNet release is tangible proof of that promise to our customers.”

Fingerpaint Expands

Fingerpaint, a strategic marketing agency in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., has opened a new office in Villanova, Pa., to accommodate its rapid growth.
“The new space reflects Fingerpaint’s growing presence in the greater Philadelphia area, as well as our plans for future expansion,” says Andy Pyfer, who heads up Fingerpaint’s Villanova location. “The move also allows us to improve client service and continue to draw on the incredible talent in the area.”

The Villanova office services numerous clients including CSL Behring, Alimera Sciences, Eagle Pharmaceuticals, New Haven Pharma, and several others.

Cello Health Acquires Promedica

Cello Health has further expanded operations with the acquisition of the San Francisco-based market research company Worldwide Promedica, its second acquisition this year.

Promedica, which was founded in 1984, is a full-service market research consulting firm specializing in new product planning for life-sciences companies.

As an advisor to biotech, pharma, diagnostic firms, start-ups, and the investment community, the company helps inform decisions and mitigate risk through custom primary market research and thought partnership.

Promedica will work closely with Cello Health’s market research arm Cello Health Insight, which is based in London, New York, and Chicago, as well as Cello Health’s U.S. capabilities in consulting and communications.  The move opens up Cello Health’s first capacity on the west coast.

“This acquisition, and the introduction of Promedica’s experienced and talented team into Cello Health, will enable us to open up capacity on the west coast, where we are seeing significant activity and potential with both pharmaceutical and biotechnology clients,” says Cello Health Chairman Stephen Highley.

“We are now very much focused on our expansion in the United States through our three core capabilities, and the acquisition of Promedica fits with this strategy,” he says.

BBK Worldwide and ACRES Collaborate on Patient Role in Research

PV0215_BonnieBresciaBBK Worldwide, a clinical trial marketing firm, and the Alliance for Clinical Research Excellence and Safety (ACRES), an alliance-driven nonprofit organization operating in the public interest and dedicated to enhancing quality, safety, integrity, and operational effectiveness in drug development and health research, are collaborating to ensure that patients are a central part of the organization’s efforts in standards development, which is one aspect of ACRES work in the development of a global system for clinical research.

Under the new partnership, BBK Founding Principal Bonnie Brescia is participating in the alliance organization’s efforts around patient centricity and advocacy, including the ACRES Site Accreditation and Standards Initiative (SASI) Phase III patient engagement subcommittee. Building on earlier phases, which surveyed the current clinical research environment to identify key issues regarding site standards, the third phase involves formal creation of standards and metrics for site accreditation. Experts drawn from the global stakeholder community will develop standards in at least seven domains, including that of recruitment and enrollment.

“We’re thrilled to be working with ACRES in this way, as we know that they are equally committed to raising the voice of the patient,” Ms. Brescia says. “Organizations with a patient-centric approach will outperform and maintain a competitive advantage over those who are solely focused on their bottom line. By including patients in study design, outreach, message development, site orientation, and training — we all benefit. And we couldn’t be happier to see the ways in which the industry is working to bring patients in to the research process.”

Caribou Biosciences Co-Founds Intellia Therapeutics

Caribou Biosciences, a developer of technology-based solutions for cellular engineering, has launched Intellia Therapeutics, a new company created by Caribou and Atlas Venture. Intellia will use Caribou’s proprietary CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing and repair technology platform in the development of new therapies targeting a variety of genetic-based diseases.

Caribou has provided Intellia with an exclusive license to use its technology platform for the discovery, development, and commercialization of human gene and cell therapies. The platform centers on a protein called Cas9, derived from a bacterial system known as CRISPR, which destroys invading viruses.

“We are delighted to have partnered with Atlas Venture in the founding of Intellia Therapeutics,” says Rachel Haurwitz, Ph.D., CEO and co-founder of Caribou Biosciences. “The exceptional management team assembled and external advisors assembled for Intellia will enable it to translate the potential of Caribou’s CRISPR-Cas9 platform for gene editing and repair into viable clinical programs.”

Cas9 can be programmed to use guide RNAs to target the protein to a specific sequence within double-stranded DNA, enabling simple, flexible targeting of nearly any site in a given genome. Caribou’s technologies are based on research into the biology of CRISPR systems carried out by the Doudna Lab at the University of California, Berkeley, and their collaborators. At the core of Caribou’s extensive CRISPR technologies IP portfolio is an exclusive license to the foundational CRISPR-Cas9 work from the University of California and the University of Vienna. This work was recently recognized by the award of a Breakthrough Prize to Caribou Co-founder Jennifer Doudna, investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Professor, U.C. Berkeley and her collaborator Emmanuelle Charpentier, Helmholtz Center for Infection Research and Umeå University.

“We are excited to work closely with the team at Caribou, whose scientific leadership has helped shape the CRISPR field as we know it today,” says Nessan Bermingham, Ph.D., CEO and co-founder of Intellia. “Caribou is an ideal partner for Intellia as we seek to rapidly advance new therapies into the clinic, while further developing the technology to realize its full potential for a wide range of patient needs.”

Caribou is building and deploying the CRISPR-Cas9 technology platform through relationships with companies in multiple market sectors. By partnering with companies in diverse application areas, Caribou is able to integrate discoveries from therapeutic research, agricultural biotechnology and industrial biotechnology to develop the platform further. Caribou is pursuing near-term opportunities to develop the platform to engineer improved models of disease and for improved biomaterial production. (PV)

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