Abbott announced that it plans to separate into two publicly traded companies, one in diversified medical products and the other in research-based pharmaceuticals. The diversified company will consist of Abbott’s existing diversified medical products portfolio, including its branded generic pharmaceutical, devices, diagnostic and nutritional businesses, and will retain the Abbott name. The research-based pharmaceutical company will include Abbott’s current portfolio of proprietary pharmaceuticals and biologics and will be named later.


Ferring Pharmaceuticals announced that it has completed the purchase of Cytokine PharmaSciences Inc. (CPSI) and its UK subsidiary Controlled Therapeutics (Scotland) Ltd. (CTS), a global biopharmaceutical company with a particular focus in obstetrics. Ferring is already well-established in the field of reproductive health and believes that the acquisition of CPSI/CTS will strengthen its position over the next few years. It is Ferring’s second major investment in the therapeutic field in two years, having purchased the global marketing rights for Lysteda (tranexamic acid) for the treatment of heavy menstrual bleeding, in May 2010.


Yahoo! And BBDO announced findings from a comprehensive joint quantitative and qualitative research study designed to establish best practices for brand storytelling in the new era of paid, owned and earned media (POE). The output of the study, which incorporates insights from more than 1,000 consumers and marketing professionals, suggests a new framework for how marketers can shape their stories within each of these three different media. In particular, the study showed that virtually all consumers (95%) crave some sort of engagement with brands and that viewing storytelling on POE through the prism of a dating relationship can help marketers increase their chances for success.


A new National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) report documents the flexibility in the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) review of potential treatments for patients with rare diseases. Released at the U.S. Conference on Rare Diseases and Orphan Products, the study examined the basis for FDA’s approval of 135 non-cancer orphan drugs—those for rare diseases—since the Orphan Drug Act was enacted in 1983 to provide incentives to encourage development of treatments for rare diseases. This is the first study of its kind, and the first time that there has been a systematic examination of the basis for approval for any category of drug products extending over such a long period of time.


The new American Life Sciences Innovation Council (ALSIC) announced its board of directors: William Harrison, the President and Chief Executive Officer of VIDA Sciences; Dr. Joseph Dunn, Chief Executive Officer and Director of Research at OmniPharm Research International; H. Dean Hart, Chief Commercial Officer of NanoInk, Inc.; Steve Knuth, Chief Executive Officer at Public Affairs Company; and David Mohler, a leading public policy attorney and consultant to the life sciences industry. ALSIC will share its research and policy positions with policymakers and encourage its supporters and the general public to communicate their views on these issues at all levels of government. ALSIC will seek the commitment of these policymakers to implement statutes, rules, and regulations consistent with principles supporting life science innovation.


Centron announced the formal launch of ActionAgainst.MS, a video-based Web site featuring exercise and lifestyle tips for those with multiple sclerosis. For the past several months, the Centron team has worked with Jacalyn Flax to design and build a Web site for MS patients and caregivers. Flax, an MS patient herself, developed a variety of exercise and lifestyle routines to help her counter the effects of the disease. “I believe that this site will help spread the message that with the right balance of exercise and proper diet, those of us with MS can all begin to live fuller lives,” said Flax.


AdverseEvents, Inc. utilized RxFilter, its proprietary data aggregation and refinement process, to conduct a class-wide safety comparison of marketed statin drugs with data from the FDA Adverse Event Reporting System (AERS) database. In a review of over 150,000 muscle-related adverse event reports covering the period from 2004 through the first quarter of 2011, AdverseEvents found that Pravachol (Bristol-Myers Squibb) and Mevacor (Merck) have the best muscle-related safety profile, while Crestor (AstraZeneca) has the worst. Recent scientific literature has conflicting views on withinclass safety differences between the major statins, including research that indicates that the drugs share similar muscle-related safety profiles. The report published by AdverseEvents suggests that this latter conclusion may not be supported in large consumer populations.


MicroArts Creative Agency (a full-service brand launch agency) and Lightfin Studios (a digital marketing firm) announced they will unite as one team of multidisciplinary brand and marketing communication specialists. The union creates a full service agency uniquely capable of meeting the modern needs of brand managers tasked with leveraging best practices in marketing disciplines that didn’t even exist 10 years ago.


Moroney & Gill, Inc., a full-service advertising agency, celebrated its 20-year anniversary by expanding to larger offices in Cape Harbour Marina near Ft. Myers and Naples, FL. President and CEO Kevin Moroney said, “There are many new opportunities for us in providing advertising and marketing services to physician groups and hospital networks, particularly in Southwest FL and Miami.”


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