Industry Briefs December 2014

PageScience Launches Health Insights Dashboard

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Contextual ad targeting leader, PageScience, has optimized the way in which agencies, pharmaceutical and hospital brands view their daily ad impressions with the launch of a Health Insights Dashboard. According to the company, the dashboard offers daily ad impressions with a choice of 60 major health condition categories. More specifically, the impressions can be broken down by location, market and by PC or mobile interfaces. Also, some of the categories tracked include allergies, cancer, diabetes and pregnancy.

Satnam Gandhi, CTO of PageScience said, “With this new dashboard, agencies and brands can now instantly access all the PageScience-scored premium programmatic ad availabilities for their specific audiences.”

Valeant Buys Nicox’s U.S. Opthalmic Subsidiary

In a deal worth up to $20 million, Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc., purchased Nicox Inc., a subsidiary of Nicox’s U.S. ophthalmic diagnostics. The strategic move arises from Nicox’s recent gaining of the company Aciex—which provided the company with a significant opportunity to focus on the commercial and development resources on ophthalmic therapeutics. This strategic move also provides the company with an opportunity to build international companies in Europe as well as the U.S.

Bayer’s Contest for First Annual CTEPH Awareness Day

Bayer Healthcare’s “Breathless Moments” contest launched in an effort to educate the public and raise awareness about chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH), a rare, debilitating disease that makes breathing difficult and affects heart function. The contest is meant to highlight inspirational events, sights or moments that “take someone’s breath away.” Submissions are open to all and will be accepted until February 27, 2015. To enter, visit www.breathlessmoments.cteph.com, and answer four simple questions about CTEPH.

J&J to Pay Historic U.S. Healthcare Fraud Settlement

Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiaries agreed to pay over $2.2 billion to settle criminal and civil claims for marketing off-label prescription drugs, unapproved by the FDA, according to the Department of Justice. The claims involve alleged kickbacks to doctors and pharmacies to promote the antipsychotic drugs Risperdal, Invega and Natrecor.

The agreement, one of the largest healthcare fraud settlements in history, is centered on Risperdal, an antipsychotic drug that Johnson & Johnson marketed for treating elderly dementia patients, treating behavioral disturbances in children and for people with disabilities. The settlement included criminal fines and forfeited profits totaling about $485 million, as well as civil payments to the federal government and various states that total more than $1.7 billion.

Johnson & Johnson Vice President and General Counsel Michael Ullmann said in a statement, “This resolution allows us to move forward and continue to focus on delivering innovative solutions that improve and enhance the health and well-being of patients around the world.” On Monday, November 3rd 2014, the company said no additional charges will be recorded to earnings in connection with the settlement.

Practice Fusion Launches EHR Platform for iPad, iPad mini and Android Tablets

As the nation’s largest cloud-based electronic health records (EHRs) platform, Practice Fusion launched a new EHR for its community of more than 112,000 medical professionals. The new platform was created after the company received more than 20,000 requests from users for a mobile-optimized EHR experience for iPad, iPad mini and Android tablets. According to the company, the new EHR performs faster, is more responsive, has more intuitive workflows and is built on industry-leading technologies designed with the medical professional in mind.

The platform leverages technologies such as Bootstrap, HTML5, jQuery, D3.js and Ember.js, and is supported by back-end technologies including the Microsoft .Net Framework and Amazon S3. With a tablet-optimized EHR, physicians are not bound to their desks in exam rooms. They can move freely around the office, accessing patient records and logging patient visits on the go. It also integrates seamlessly with the consumer-facing portal Patient Fusion, in which patients can access their own personal health records.

Actavis To Acquire Allergan

Actavis has agreed to acquire Allergan for $66 billion or about $219 per share—creating one of the top 10 global pharmaceutical companies by sales revenue. Brent Saunders, CEO and President of Actavis, said in a statement, “This acquisition creates the fastest growing and most dynamic growth pharmaceutical company in global healthcare.”

Valeant Pharmaceuticals was also attempting to acquire Allergan, but J. Michael Pearson, Chairman and CEO of Valeant, said in a statement that the price of $219 per share was too high for the company.

Precision Therapeutics Becomes Helomics Corporation

As of now, Precision Therapeutics, Inc. is renamed Helomics Corporation. By changing the name, Helomics Corporation reflects the company’s new strategic vision, growth strategy and in-depth approach to characterizing patients’ live and archived cancer cells. In addition to the name change, the company appointed Neil J. Campbell as President and CEO, Dane R. Saglio as Vice President and Chief Financial Officer and Ed A. Whigham as Vice President of Sales. Helomics will offer an expanded platform of Precision Cellular Analytics, genomics and proteomics as well as bioinformatics and personalized analytics.

Everyday Health Acquires DoctorDirectory

Wellness company, Everyday Health, purchased DoctorDirectory for $65 million—thought to be the largest technology company deal in Western North Carolina history. The company says it helps improve patient care by providing physician data about medications electronically and then communicating the medication’s effectiveness to its network of 450,000 physicians. DoctorDirectory will now have relationships with more than 600,000 physicians electronically—more than two-thirds of all of the doctors in the U.S.

Blueprint Medicines Secures $50 Million in Series C Financing

Blueprint Medicines, a leader in discovering and developing highly selective kinase inhibitors for genomically defined cancers, announced the completion of a $50 million Series C financing. According to the company, Blueprint’s ability to discover and develop potent and selective kinase inhibitors against drivers of specific cancers is efficient and reproducible.

“The proceeds from this financing provide us with the financial strength to initiate clinical trials for our FGFR4 and KIT Exon 17 inhibitors in 2015,” said Blueprint Medicines’ CEO Jeffrey Albers in a statement, “with the goal of establishing proof of concept rapidly and ultimately improving the lives of patients.”

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