Wednesday, June 30, 2010

2 lines of copy that really connect

I like the headline of the latest corporate ad from Pfizer:

“Working to stay ahead of Alzheimer’s.
And to stand behind everyone it touches.”

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Twitter Productivity

"The participatory nature of Twitter and Facebook also makes them excellent tools for supercharging creativity."

I wrote about "access" to social media tools in issue 15 of our Accelerate newsletter. Now, it looks like there are others who agree that time on Twitter and Facebook may actually contribute to productivity.  Click here to read more.

Monday, June 28, 2010

m-health: a new application of cell phones to help improve care and save money

Until recently, the only connection between cell phones and health was the fear they might cause cancer or traffic accidents.  Now, cellular operators are trying to become providers of wireless-health-care products and services.

The market, known as mobile or m-health, spans everything from text messaging services to remind people to take medications to implants that monitor heart patients. There are even pills with edible computer chips; the chips send signals to a skin patch, which in turn transmits data to a doctor's cell phone or computer. The information helps doctors track when patients take their medicines and whether there are adverse reactions.

Bloomberg Businessweek writer Kerry Capell covers this trend in “Remote Health Care: Body Parts Make Phone Calls.”  He writes that cellular carriers facing saturated markets are jumping into the revolution of mobile technology that identifies and acts on medical problems

Telecom operators view m-health as one of three future revenue streams, along with content and advertising.

The cell-phone providers are joining a crowded field. Medical equipment giants such as GE Healthcare, Philips, and Siemens, chipmakers such as Intel, and countless startups are developing remote monitoring devices, wearable sensors, and health-related mobile-phone applications as rising costs force a shift in patient care from the hospital to the home.

By monitoring patients at home using mobile technology, doctors can spot irregular heart rhythms and adjust treatment, potentially avoiding rehospitalization.

Before the m-health market can take off, however, hospitals, insurers, and doctors need to work out the business model. To persuade insurance companies or government health systems to cover mobile health costs, hospitals and telcos need to collect more clinical evidence showing that m-health can improve care and save money.

Telecom providers believe one way to build the business is to team up with medical equipment makers.  That's why we at STINSON Brand Innovation are thinking about how we might accelerate the adoption of this application of technology.

Friday, June 25, 2010

5 biggest wastes of time at an airport

Any suggestions for more innovative uses of the hours spent waiting at airports?

(Chart credit: WIRED Magazine "Strategist")

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Ensuring color-blind care in pain management

Just recently posted online is an article presenting an analysis of predictors of clinically important reduction in pain intensity among ER patients.  The investigators found that nonwhite physicians achieved better pain relief with less analgesia.

Here is the abstract:

Physician Race/Ethnicity Predicts Successful Emergency Department Analgesia

This study investigated the association between effectiveness of ED pain treatment and race of patients, race of providers, and the concordance of patient and provider race, with a prospective, multicenter study of patients presenting to 1 of 20 US and Canadian EDs with moderate to severe pain. Primary outcome is a 2-point or greater reduction in pain intensity, measured with an 11-point verbal scale, considered the minimum clinically important reduction in pain intensity. A total of 776 patients were enrolled. The sample included 57% female, 44% white, 26% black, and 26% Hispanic. The physician was white in 85% of encounters. Arrival pain score (adjusted odds ratio, 1.14; 95% CI 1.06, 1.24), receipt of any ED analgesia (1.59; 95% CI 1.17, 2.17), and physician nonwhite race (1.68; 95% CI 1.10, 2.55) were significant predictors of clinically significant reduction in pain intensity in multivariate analysis. Nonwhite physicians achieved better pain control without using more analgesics. Future research should explore the determinants of this difference in patient response to pain treatment related to provider race including provider characteristics and training that were not measured in this study. This study provided no evidence supporting an effect of racial concordance on the primary outcome.

The lead author, Dr. Alan Heins, has previously written that ER pain care is "often inadequate and prone to racial disparities."  For example, although analgesic use in ERs has increased over the years, he says, white patients are still more likely to receive opioid prescriptions.  To further complicate matters, physicians may not realize that various cultures react to pain differently.  For example, Dr. Heins says, Hispanics are often very vocal about their pain, while Native Americans tend to bear pain stoically.

All this suggests more than just brand innovation in pain medications – moving to total treatment innovation.

The study authors are:

Alan Heins
Department of Emergency Medicine
University of South Alabama
Mobile, AL

Peter Homel
Pain and Palliative Care
Beth Israel Medical Center
New York, NY

Basmah Safdar
Section of Emergency Medicine
Department of Surgery
Yale University
New Haven, CT

Knox Todd
Pain and Emergency Medicine Institute
Beth Israel Medical Center
New York, NY

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Guide to Naming

Quick...make a mental list of your favorite companies and businesses.

What do memorable company names have in common? Most probably have a unique, memorable, or catchy name.

That's by design, according to Lisa Merriam whose book advises to pick a name that evokes the right associations and get close to what that company wants to convey with their positioning.

Nathan Gannon reviewed the book Merriam's Guide to Naming in a recent issue of B-to-B magazine.

For example, Merriam recently advised IT company Proxios on its name change from what she called the cheesier and generic Super-Server. Derived from the Latin word proximus, the company's new name means closely connected, reflecting, too, the vendor's desired relationship with customers. Despite a name's importance, Merriam said there is a proliferation of bad naming advice all over the Internet that frequently leads companies astray. She said many names go overboard trying to be memorable or, conversely, stay conservative and end up boring and overly descriptive. Some selections even convey unexpected connotations. For instance, before settling on Proxios, Super-Server had favored Axios, a Greek word meaning trustworthy. But testing showed people instead associated the name with deodorant, thanks perhaps to Axe body spray and its testosterone-dripping deodorant advertisements.

If it's a name that's just a little bit out there and makes you a little uncomfortable, she said, that's probably a winner.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

PA hospital financial data shows their struggles

Today’s entry features a posting from one of referred blogs you’ll find on the right-hand column of this page.  The health care blog of Portfolio online business journal is called “Heavy Doses” and is written by Brett Chase.

Health care is sometimes referred to as a recession-proof industry, a fallacy that's refuted by just-released financial data for Pennsylvania hospitals.

Losses on investments combined with an uptick in the number of patients who don't pay their bills contributed to an $865 million drop in net income among the state's 167 general hospitals, a report shows.

The Pennsylvania survey is consistent with what hospitals around the country are seeing during this recession. Charity care cases are rising as more people lose their jobs and their insurance. Like the rest of us, hospitals are seeing lower returns or losses on investments.

The Pittsburgh Business Times has more:

Most of the $865 million drop in statewide net income was the result of a $764 million decline in non-operating income, revenue mostly from investments in stocks, bonds and other securities.

"Hospitals, much like other sectors of the economy, face mounting pressures," says Carol Scanlan, president and CEO of the Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania, a Harrisburg-based trade group.

For example, one-third of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's 15 hospitals reported negative operating results for fiscal 2009.

To read the full article, click here.

Monday, June 21, 2010

4 models of drug development programs compared

Perhaps the time has come to re-examine the concept of virtual development and what that really means.  That point-of-view from Greg Dombal, the VP of Regulatory and Clinical Affairs at biopharmaceutical consultant Halloran Group, writing in a recent issue of GEN.

He says that despite the industry’s grounding in science and its need for precision, we are loose with our business terms. For example, if an executive says, “We are running this program on a virtual model,” there might be several sets of criteria that define exactly what constitutes virtual.

Typically in a virtual model, a company hires a select number of internal staff and then contracts the rest of the work to vendors. Most pharmaceutical and biotech companies operate under some level of outsourcing, though, so there needs to be some specifics for where to draw the line between a virtual model and a lean yet traditional outsourcing model.
  1. The Sponsor-Vendor Relationship:  Pharma companies and their service providers have a symbiotic relationship. Project leaders and development teams are adept at utilizing contract research organizations (CROs) to expand capabilities by both discipline and geography.
  2. The Preferred-Provider Arrangement:  The natural evolution of this sponsor-vendor relationship. Sponsors receive a modest discount on services, and the vendor has priority status in landing new business from them without having to go through a lengthy and costly proposal or bidding process.
  3. Risk-Sharing Deals: Range from CROs agreeing to reduce or defer compensation in exchange for equity, to profit-sharing deals, to direct investment in a sponsor company.
  4. The Virtual Model: An interesting development because of the evolution of how programs and products are described. For example, a molecule is no longer just a drug candidate but also an asset, a milestone is a value inflection point, and a product pipeline is a portfolio. These terms were once limited to financial descriptions. Now, however, they are used in development situations to facilitate new ways of looking at product advancement.
It is easy to imagine how a virtual team constructed around this concept could improve program efficiency and considerably reduce development costs. Such gains in efficiency could lead to more sophisticated financial models with which to manage risk across product portfolios while helping promising therapies reach patients more quickly.

Click here to read the full article.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Exploring Therapeutic Options for Acromegaly

Tomorrow morning, our Stinson Brand Innovation market research team will be attending a symposium entitled, "Exploring Therapeutic Options for Acromegaly."

The Program Director is Steven G. Waguespack, MD of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Here is an overview of the program agenda:
"Initial Care of the Patient with Acromegaly: Medical Management, Surgical Management, or Both?"
Roberto Salvatori, MD, Johns Hopkins Univ
"The Use of Somatostatin Analogs in Clinical Practice," Marcello Bronstein, MD, Univ of Sao
Paulo (Brazil)
"The Patient with Resistant Acromegaly: Current & Future Options for Treatment," Ashley Grossman, MD, St Bartholomew's Hosp (London)

Learning Objectives:
Upon completion of this educational activity, participants should be better able to:
  • Explain the risks and benefits of surgical, medical, and radiotherapeutic treatment options for acromegaly
  • Discuss the role of medical therapeutic options as monotherapy or in combination with other medical, surgical and radiotherapeutic interventions
  • Discuss current and future treatment options for the patient with acromegaly refractory to initial medical and/or surgical therapies

Friday, June 18, 2010

5 directions in which to move with the new rules of persuasion

Dr. B.J. Fogg, director of the Stanford University Persuasive Technology Lab, has been in the behavior-changing game for more than 15 years. Here are his insights into how to successfully use technology to influence people.

Choose a simple behavior to target
The first critical step in designing for persuasion is to select an appropriate target behavior. I believe the best choice is the simplest behavior that matters. Often this requires a team to reduce their ambitious long-term goal to a small near-term objective.

Learn what is preventing the target behavior
With the target behavior selected, a design team can then investigate what is preventing people from performing the target behavior.  The answers to such questions always – yes, always – fall into some combination of the following three categories:
  • Lack of motivation  
  • Lack of ability 
  • Lack of a well-timed trigger to perform the behavior
Choose the right tech channel
While technology presents us with many options for persuasion – from websites to video games – the selection of channel must match the target behavior and the audience. To fail on either account will doom your project.

If the target behavior is to share a message with at least one friend, then the channel could be email, online video, or social networks, because all of those channels make sharing easy. If the target behavior is donating to a political party, then the web will need to be part of the solution because it enables financial transactions. Some channels, including online video, social networks and video games, are effective at increasing motivation. Other channels, such as installed software and specialized devices, excel at making a behavior simpler, which increases ability.

Start small and Fast
Today, innovation has a new rhythm, with the best teams launching early and iterating quickly. What drives this new method? The low cost of creation and distribution. In a handful of hours you can create a new website, a Facebook app, or a phone application. And you can share it quickly with the world. With no money down, you can test a new intervention using text messaging. Using new tools, the fastest way to learn what works in the marketplace isn’t by meeting and discussing but by implementing and launching. Many crummy trials beats deep thinking.

Build on small successes
I believe big companies and academic research labs are often biased against simplicity. This is why so many of today’s winning consumer services started in dorm rooms and garages. Small teams with limited budgets had to find success quickly. And that often meant figuring out the simplest solution.

When a simple service succeeds, the doors for expansion open. With the success of our relaxation pilots, we can move forward with confidence in one of five directions.
  1. Get people to repeat the behavior on a fixed schedule, creating a routine
  2. Increase the difficulty of the behavior
  3. Scale the intervention to reach more people
  4. Target other simple health behaviors
  5. Expand to audiences who are less persuadable

Thursday, June 17, 2010

4 generations of healthcare consumers: differences and changing expectations presented by Michael Howe

In a recent online seminar, healthcare pioneer Michael Howe shared the differences in the 4 generations served by today’s healthcare providers.

For instance, the current healthcare system is structured to meet the expectations of the Greatest Generation, yet it is out of date for the majority of patients providers are now facing. Baby Boomers are looking for a system that provides two way communication and shared decision making. As the younger generations (Gen X’ers and Millennials) increase their personal and family usage of the healthcare system their service expectations will not be met. The Millennial generation is looking for a healthcare experience that is more consistent with the communal support and technology based access they experience in their personal lives (think Facebook, Twitter, and blogging).

Today’s providers can learn a great deal from other service minded organizations that are successfully meeting these changing expectations driven by the new generations.

Michael Howe is the former Chief Executive Officer of MinuteClinic - pioneer of the retail health care concept. From June 2005 to June 2008, he strategically led the national expansion of this disruptive model of health care to more than 525 health care centers in 27 states.

According to Howe, physicians are being overwhelmed by comments about consumerism and the steps they should take to make their practices successful in this new environment. Typically their derisive retort in the face of this input is, “Healthcare is not a retail store. We have nothing to learn from other service providers.” The truth is successful retailers understand they can change consumer behavior (i.e. purchase patterns) by delivering an experience that matches the consumers’ expectation. Healthcare providers can improve compliance to a treatment regimen (i.e. quality of care) by delivering an experience that matches their patients’ expectations in communication, education, and engagement.
Howe offers these learnings:
  • New insights in what is driving the consumer decision making 
  • Differences between the 4 generations served by today’s healthcare providers 
  • What consumers are expecting from their healthcare system
  • How physicians can deliver on the needs and expectations of their changing patient cohort

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

7 insights on China healthcare and life sciences market to to covered at FT Summit

While I was in Shanghai a few weeks ago, I learned more about the accelerated initiatives to help life science companies better understand the market in China.

As governments around the world grapple with the challenge of reforming their ailing healthcare systems, China has moved faster and further than most.

And because we at STINSON Brand Innovation are exploring opportunities to accelerate the commercialization of medical treatments, we’re watching the ambitious plans in China to provide universal access, transform public hospitals, and create a superlative life sciences industry.

The resultant transformation -- if successful -- has the potential to catapult China into a leading position in healthcare innovation and advancement. Expertise ranges from traditional Chinese medicine to innovative stem cell and gene therapy research.

In light of this, we’d like to share information about the inaugural FT China Healthcare and Life Sciences Summit.  The program will be held July 13, 2010 at the JW Marriott Hotel Shanghai at Tomorrow Square.

It will provide critical insights into this fast evolving market, its regulatory framework and financing requirements, and the steps companies should take to identify and meet China's changing healthcare needs, adjust their product portfolios, and expand their market focus.

The Financial Times, in partnership with the UK Programme of Events at Shanghai World Expo 2010, is bringing together senior public and private sector decision-makers from China and the UK to share their expertise in the operation of national healthcare systems and discuss the unprecedented opportunities being created across the entire value chain, from the provision of medical insurance, services, devices and IT, to the research and development of new drugs.

Themes to be covered include:
  • Critical assessments of China's healthcare reform programme
  • Experiences shared from the UK's state healthcare system, and lessons that can be learned from successful and unsuccessful reforms in other countries
  • Capitalising on emerging opportunities in China's healthcare IT, medical devices, health insurance and medical services markets
  • Seizing the opportunities in China's life sciences, assessing the implications of healthcare reform for pricing, distribution, marketing and product strategies
  • Gaining a foothold in the evolving retail, wholesaling and OTC markets in China
  • China as a new epicentre for life sciences innovation and investment, new frontiers in vaccines, stem cell and cutting-edge biomedical research
  • Perspectives of financiers and investors on the growth potential and opportunities in China's expanding healthcare and life sciences markets
Speakers announced to date include:
  • George Baeder, Partner and Vice President, Monitor Group Asia
  • Wilf Blackburn, CEO, Allianz China Life Insurance
  • Canwen Jiang, Vice President and Head of R&D Asia, Genzyme Corporation
  • James Li, Partner, Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers
  • Min Liang, Vice President and CSO, TTY Oncology (TOT), TTY Biopharm
  • Li Ling, Professor of Economics, China Center for Economic Research, Peking University
  • Roberta Lipson, CEO, Chindex International and Board Chair, United Family Hospitals and Clinics
  • Rajesh Parekh, Director, Greater China Healthcare & Pharmaceutical Practice, McKinsey & Company
  • Stefano Pessina, Executive Chairman , Alliance Boots
  • Zhang Wei, Assistant Professor of Management, China Europe International Business School (CEIBS)
  • Wang Xiaochuan, Chairman and CEO, Sundia MediTech
  • Ben Zhou, Vice President and Managing Director, Dell Services Public Sector, Greater China
  • Sarah Barber, Team Leader, Health Policy and Systems, World Health Organisation
  • Wang Fucai, Chairman, Ruinian International
  • Vicky Chen, Partner, China Healthcare Partnership, Martin Currie China
Click here to read more and review the agenda.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

M&A is on the rise again – and so is the speculation about companies like WaferGen

One area where another buyout may happen is a heretofore out-of-the-way sector of biotech: DNA sequencing and genetic analysis. Consider the deals already produced over the past 3 years.

One investment banker is quoted as saying, "We are going to see increasing momentum in acquisition activity as the large players in genomic research try to acquire emerging technologies by buying the innovative smaller companies."

One player is Illumina, a leading maker of integrated systems for large-scale analysis of genetic variation and biological function. Some are betting that Illumina – which markets an array of products for gene expression, sequencing and genotyping – will continue to be one of the major acquirers in a consolidating genomics industry.

In 1/07, Illumina picked up Solexa, a company developing next-generation sequencing technology.  Two other bigger players have pursued and acquired smaller biotechs. In 8/07, Roche bought NimbleGen, a maker of custom microarrays. And in 12/09, Life Technologies purchased BigTrove, which makes chips for detecting particular genes involved in specific diseases.

One likely buyout target is Wafergen Bio-Systems. It's an emerging company whose SmartChip technology -- used for analyzing gene expression -- is "paradigm-shifting," says one biotech analyst. With gene expression analysis becoming a focus in disease research and drug development, he says, Wafergen could see significant growth in the sale of its SmartChip product over the coming years.

Wafergen is in talks with drugmakers (incuding Pfizer, Amgen, and Novartis) about using its SmartChip product. The discussions could lead to a partnership or a merger deal with one of the companies, says one Wafergen executive.

SmartChip enables scientists to know which genes or proteins are turned on or off in a given tissue sample in a cheaper, faster and more powerful way. It helps researchers and scientists in their quest to develop new drugs that target specific genes affecting a given disease.

With the broad applicability of SmartChip, Wafergen may be an attractive acquisition target for a number of established companies, including Illumina and Life Technologies.

See more in a full article from DailyFinance.

And read more about Wafergen Bio-Systems at

Monday, June 14, 2010

140 extra hours a month -- what would you do with the extra time?

Cindy Brumm, the chief of staff at Stinson Brand Innovation, provides today’s blog on how to find more time in your day.

Ever wonder why you can’t seem to find time to accomplish your growing stack of “to do” projects, or why you can’t find time to get together with friends, cook healthy meals, or get to the gym?  If you’re an average American, perhaps it’s because you have a “video habit.”

140 hours a month.  That’s how many hours the average American viewer watches television each month, according to the Nielson Company in their 3Q09 “3 screen” report (TV, internet, mobile devices).  That monthly figure doesn’t include an additional 27 hours of internet and 3 hours of video-watching via mobile devices.  Break that down and that’s about 37 hours a week or a little more than 5 hours a day.

Wow! We complain about being overscheduled, stressed to the max, and sleep deprived, but we still manage to glue ourselves to video screens at an accelerating rate.

Yes, TV (and internet and mobile video) can be entertaining - who doesn’t love a good “Real Housewives…” marathon, or SNL shorts on YouTube? But let’s face it, what it offers is usually pretty mindless, often negative, and without much real value. When we’re vegging out on something mindless, we’re watching other’s lives and aren’t engaged with our own. That’s okay once in awhile, but over time it has the nasty ability to disconnect and distract us from real life.  And think about it: a lot of what’s broadcast is sensationalized, mean-spirited, and depressing, which only adds to our already high stress levels.

Not everything we see on television and the internet is in our own best interest.  There’s a lot of misleading information and stereotypes out there, contained not only in television program content but also in commercials and product placement.  Just think of all the messaging you’re bombarded with – not always 100% truthful – during a typical TV or online session.  Advertisers wouldn’t spend huge amounts if they didn’t expect their messages – truthful or not - would influence you, the consumer.

37 hours a week sitting and watching.  Not moving, not engaging.  Life is short and that’s a lot of time that could be spent on more enjoyable things – playing a sport or going for a walk, reading a good book, learning a new skill or craft, engaging in a fun, leisurely activity, spending time with friends and family, getting rid of the dreaded “to do” list.  Most importantly, this is valuable time that could be used to help you accomplish the goals that are important to you and allow you to experience and build a more rewarding life.

You have a responsibility to yourself to live the fullest life possible and cut out unnecessary distractions.  So what’s stopping you?

Take control of your video devices and manage your viewing time wisely.  Curbing your TV and video habit can be relatively painless.  Here are a few ideas to get you started:
  • Turn off the TV/computer after 8pm.  By reducing video stimulation, you may find that you sleep much better
  • Designate one night a week as a “no TV” night. You can add an additional “no TV” night each week.
  • Don’t record any programs or movies for a whole week. You’ll be surprised at what you don’t miss.
  • If you tend to come home and turn the TV on to avoid silence in the house, put on music instead.  Music has been shown to increase focus and feelings of well-being in contrast to the distraction TV can cause.
Notice how you feel overall at the beginning of your “reduction.”  Do you find that there aren’t enough hours in the day to accomplish everything you’d like to do?  Are you easily distracted? 

After a couple of weeks of reduced video consumption, do another pulse check.  Are you enjoying life and accomplishing more?  Do you feel more positive and relaxed? 

There’s a good chance you will.  You just have to try it.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

1st milestone reached by Emerald Biostructures in its collaboration with UCB to discover and develop novel anti-inflammatory drugs

Emerald Biostructures announced this week that it has successfully achieved the first milestone in its collaboration with UCB on the structure-based discovery of small molecule modulators of undisclosed cytokine targets. 

Working in close collaboration, the team of researchers at Emerald and UCB has gained high resolution X-ray crystallographic structures of small fragment-like molecules that antagonize inflammatory cytokine signaling. 

“Emerald and UCB initiated their innovative collaboration partnership in January of 2009 and in a little over a year have arrived at breakthrough insights. Emerald’s insights are highly enabling to inform structure-guided medicinal chemistry efforts for novel cytokine signaling antagonists,” said Neil Weir, Sr. VP of Research at UCB. 

This milestone is another example of Emerald BioStructures’ fragment-based X-ray structure technology used in lead discovery.  

“In this collaborative effort, we’ve identified allosteric modulators of protein structure,” said Alex Burgin, COO of Emerald BioStructures. “We look forward to moving on to achieve our next milestone with UCB."

Learn more at

Saturday, June 12, 2010

PepsiCo10 -- open call for promising start-ups in media, communications and technology

PepsiCo launched an innovation incubator program last week called PepsiCo10, an open call for promising start-ups in media, communications and technology.

In this unprecedented initiative, PepsiCo will select up to 10 aspiring entrepreneurial groups, match them with industry mentors, and join with them to activate pilot programs with PepsiCo brands.

Entrepreneurs can find out more information about the PepsiCo10 and apply online now through June 24, 2010:

PepsiCo is partnering on the program with global venture capital firm Highland Capital Partners and premiere social media publication Mashable and is connecting selected entrepreneurs with other business partners, including OMD Ignition Factory, TracyLocke, dmg :: events and Weber Shandwick.

"The PepsiCo10 initiative is our chance to identify, support and team up with some of the most original emerging technologies and to connect those entrepreneurs with some of the top companies in media and technology to develop innovative marketing ideas," said PepsiCo's Director of Digital and Social Media B. Bonin Bough.

Entrepreneurs are asked to focus PepsiCo10 submissions on one of four innovation segments: social media, mobile marketing, place-based and retail experiential marketing, or digital video or gaming. Proposals will also be evaluated on their ability to impact brands and/or further PepsiCo's corporate Performance with Purposepriorities, which include health and wellness, environmental sustainability, and talent development.

"With this program, we are championing outside innovation and welcoming it into the organization to push our marketing and communications expertise to new levels, including how to leverage innovative tools to better connect with and engage our consumers," said Seth Kaufman, Director of Media Strategy and Investment for PepsiCo North America Beverages.

Following two rounds of rigorous assessment, 20 finalists will be invited to PepsiCo headquarters for a two-day PepsiCo10 event, during which they will present their ideas to PepsiCo marketing executives and a variety of partner media and investment agencies. PepsiCo teams will then evaluate the presentations and potential of each company and hear keynote addresses and panel discussions from top media, communications and technology visionaries. Following the presentations, up to 10 entrepreneurs will be named the inaugural PepsiCo10. These organizations will have the opportunity to execute a pilot project with one of the elite PepsiCo brand teams.

"The PepsiCo10 offers an outstanding opportunity to identify and work with emerging start-ups that are driving the next wave of innovation and entrepreneurship across the globe," added Bob Davis, General Partner with Highland Capital Partners. "We're excited to work with PepsiCo and lend our expertise to the program."

While PepsiCo10 is a new vehicle for the company, PepsiCo's track record of partnership with innovative start-ups is healthy. Recently, PepsiCo has inked contracts with location-based social networking site Foursquare, endorsement marketing firm Brand Affinity, and Twitter advertising platform

5 priorities for U.S. to overcome risk of losing global lead in medical innovation

The United States is quickly losing ground as the global leader in medical innovation -- and must pursue coordinated action at the highest levels of government to ensure U.S. competitiveness.  Most important, to find cures to costly and life-threatening diseases,
This according to a new study prepared by Battelle, entitled Gone Tomorrow? A Call to Promote Medical Innovation, Create Jobs, and Find Cures in America,” commissioned by the Council for American Medical Innovation (CAMI).  The study reflects direct feedback of leaders representing patients, academia, private industry, research, labor, venture capital, government, and economic development.

“Medical innovation presents the best opportunity to help innovate our way out of the health and economic crises facing America today, but it's clear the clock is ticking,” said Richard Gephardt, Former U.S. House Majority Leader and CAMI Chairman. “Advancing a national strategy for medical innovation that engages all sectors – public, private and academic – through an empowered federal office is an effective first step.”

For more than a year, CAMI has met with an array of experts, including entrepreneurs, innovators, clinicians and patient advocates, in communities across the United States to understand the challenges faced by those working to advance medical innovation. Based on those conversations, CAMI commissioned Battelle to identify and highlight the best public policy ideas, which CAMI will bring to Congress and the Obama Administration as part of a call for a focused national policy framework for medical innovation.

5-part National Policy Framework

Based on the core findings of the Battelle study, as well as the thousands of conversations and idea-sharing sessions held across the country, CAMI today outlined the following 5 near-term priorities to help drive this targeted framework:
  1. White House-Level Leadership: CAMI is calling on the Obama administration to give an appropriate federal office the responsibility to lead collaborative efforts to address the key challenges we face. Coordinating efforts at the highest levels of government is essential to ensuring near-term progress.
  2. Forming Unique Public-Private Partnerships: One consistent theme heard across the past year and cited in the study is that neither government nor the private sector is positioned to address single-handedly the challenges to America's leadership in biomedical innovation. Creating jobs, finding cures, and ensuring U.S. competitiveness for decades to come requires a coordinated national effort that engages leaders in the public and private sectors. For example, public-private collaboration is needed to bridge the gap referred to as the “valley of death” that exists between early-stage research, often funded through public sources, and later-stage development projects funded by private-sector sources. This gap currently delays the availability of new life-saving medicines, treatments, and technologies.
  3. Strengthening Investments in R&D and Manufacturing to Foster Job Growth and Enhance U.S. Competitiveness: Congress has a near-term opportunity to make the federal R&D tax credit permanent and raise it to levels that make it globally competitive, thus providing incentives for investment that will serve as a cornerstone of a national medical innovation agenda. CAMI also urges the federal government to adopt tax and economic incentives that will help boost manufacturing and export-related job growth resulting from medical innovation.
  4. Enhancing Regulatory Sciences Efforts at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA): CAMI is calling on federal leaders to strengthen and meaningfully fund a collaborative effort to develop a Regulatory Sciences Roadmap that builds upon and advances existing efforts to bring the best science to the review and approval of biomedical advances.
  5. Increasing the U.S. Biosciences Talent Pool: With the U.S. falling behind other nations in math and science test scores and the technical skills needed to fuel a knowledge-based economy, CAMI is calling for targeted federal support for the biosciences through K-12 science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education efforts, bioscience teacher preparation and professional development.
“It is time for all stakeholders, from the private sector to government, to embrace an aggressive and comprehensive medical innovation agenda. If we make the right decisions today, the economic and human benefits provided through medical innovation will be far reaching. The time for action is now,” said Debra R. Lappin, president of CAMI.

“Our goal from the outset was to identify the core challenges and corresponding policy solutions to help keep the U.S. competitive in the long-term,” said Mitch Horowitz, vice president of Battelle. “The overwhelming message was that medical innovation has significant positive outcomes for the health of the nation, the health of the economy, and the health of Americans.”

For a full copy of the report, please visit

Friday, June 11, 2010

3D CatholicTV

Our blog post today was submitted (in three-dimensional color) by Katie Pendlay, global designer director for STINSON Brand Innovation.

Growing up Catholic, my brother and I had many interesting ideas on how to make religion more exciting and enticing. Most of these innovative approaches to Catholic teaching were hatched in the parking lot of church, where we would sit listening to the radio with the church bulletin in hand to “prove” we went. Now, I know this is a tad sacrilegious, but among our ideas were “drive-thru churches”…supersize my body of Christ, please. There were also the Sunday morning evangelist television shows, which my mother insists do NOT count. But, I wonder, would 3D CatholicTV count?

CatholicTV® is the first diocesan television station in the world. Under the auspices of then Archbishop Richard Cushing, the station was founded in the 1950s, offering faith-filled, family-friendly programming 24 hours daily. At Catholic Broadband Network®, you can see all CatholicTV original programming and so much more. Of course they also have Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Blog (named “iCatholic”) and iPhone apps.

The latest innovation from the CatholicTV -- 3D video -- is now available, including some of our most popular original series and more! You will need 3D glasses to enjoy these videos.

So, with my daughter’s Hannah Montana 3D glasses in hand, I am pondering why nobody at CatholicTV has thought about branding their own Catholic “vision” 3D glasses.

Click here to read more.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Accelerating development of an innovative approach to heart failure treatment

While the death rate for heart attack and angina patients fell by a third over the two decades through 2004, heart attack survivors often go on to develop congestive heart failure (a condition in which a weakened heart is unable to pump enough blood to the body's organs). In extreme cases patients' lungs and limbs fill up with water, making them feel as if they are drowning. The U.S. spent $37 billion treating congestive heart failure last year.

The drugs for heart failure work, but only for a subset of patients. As many as 30% of patients who take beta blockers or angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors die, and another 40% are readmitted to the hospital within six months.

A company called Cytokinetics is tapping a different biological mechanism.  And it was profiled recently in Forbes by writer Kerry Dolan.

Cytokinetics has developed an expertise in the cytoskeleton -- the structural and mechanical system inside cells. Its drug, omecamtiv mecarbil, works by activating proteins inside heart muscle cells to help the heart beat more effectively. "We are working to keep patients alive and functioning longer outside the hospital," says Cytokinetics CEO Robert Blum.

Omecamtiv is intended for higher-risk heart failure patients in stable condition. The drug, given either in IV or oral form, works by activating a protein called cardiac myosin. Myosin is responsible for converting chemical energy into mechanical force, enabling heart muscle contraction. Existing positive inotrope drugs speed up muscle contraction by increasing the amount of calcium inside muscle cells. The increased rate of muscle contraction, however, has been linked to dangerous side effects and death.

Amgen is keen on tapping the heart failure market and announced a partnership with Cytokinetics, so far paying $125 million and covering the cost of the remaining clinical trials, which should take another three to five years.

Blum has grand plans to apply his researchers' knowledge of the cytoskeleton -- and the lessons from the $400 million the company has spent thus far -- to an array of other diseases in which muscles are weakened. Midstage trials on a drug to treat amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease) will start this spring.

Other targets on Blum's radar screen include asthma, hypertension and coronary obstructive pulmonary disease.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

The Bad Case of the PI

In today’s blog, Brandy Gonsoulin, operations and project manager at Stinson Brand Innovation, offers more insight on communication and involvement with the patients – this time with a focus on the package insert.

If you don’t work in healthcare, the first thing you’d probably think of when you see the letters “PI” is the mathematic constant. 

However, if you do work in healthcare, the first thing you’d probably think of is Prescribing Information. And if you work in healthcare marketing, you understand when I say -- the bad case of the PI.

Most who have touched product messaging development in the launch stages can tell you a story or two about PI’s wrecking their timelines.  And if you’ve worked on the development of pharmaceutical sales tools (whether it be a sales aid, leave behind brochure, etc.), then you’re familiar with the conversation, “Where are we going to put the PI? . . .  Guess we need a pocket, eh?”

We’ve been forced to design around them, hide them, make them as small as possible . . . so we build pockets, we fold them down to teeny-tiny sizes, we glue them inside a fold.  And we walk away glad to have complied to FDA rules. And even though they are, perhaps, the most important piece of information regarding a drug, the more we don’t have to have one on materials, the happier we as marketers are.

You probably have a PI in your medicine cabinet right now.  I didn’t start reading them until I worked in healthcare because, face it, they aren’t exactly coffee table reading.

Can we assume that the average patient doesn’t read them either?  Can we assume the same for doctors? 

And if the PI is not being read, then what are we really accomplishing except compliance?

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Collective is focus group

Overheard on the internet...”the collective is the focus group."

Call Melanie at our office and let her share her impassioned view of this — and how our N-of-8 method fuels the revolution.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Poetic Space & Quiet Places -- tour of Wright homes

Here's an example of looking different sources of creative inspiration, submitted by Melanie:

On Saturday, June 5 I drove up to Racine, Wisconsin to go on “The Wright and Like” Homes Tour. Not only was it a nice urban get-away, but the inspiration I get from seeing majestic architecture and beautifully decorated homes is invaluable to me.

The day-long tour included two of Frank Lloyd Wright's most important works, the SC Johnson Administration Building and Wingspread, both of them National Historic Landmarks.

It also included an elegant townhouse by Russell Barr Williamson and a mid-century Usonian, both in Kenosha, a Prairie house in Racine's Southside Historic District, along with three 1950s homes by John Randal McDonald, including one recently enlarged and sensitively upgraded by Racine architect Ken Dahlin.

The theme of the tour was “Poetic Space & Quiet Places.” This was absolutely the case as three friends and I found ourselves listening to the stories behind the home – the architect’s inspiration, the owners motivation, and the recent modernization.

My favorite of all the homes was the Richard J. and Ada T. Christensen House 1954/2009. John Randal McDonald was the original architect, designing the home to fit into the side of a gently sloping site and using all natural materials such as stone, wood, bamboo, and cork. In 2009, architect Ken Dahlin updated the home with subtle modernizations to create an extraordinarily elegant and serene environment.

The owner of the home showed off her books, photos, and artifacts from over hundreds of countries traveled. Exciting room focal points included a 15-foot long, raised hearth and a meditation platform, while the oversized Japanese soaking tub and steam room were hidden between the bedrooms.

The kitchen was intellectually metallic, with splashes of color, and vegetarian recipe books; most dishes presumably using fresh ingredients from the garden on the side of the house.

Touring these homes over the course of a raining Saturday was reenergizing. It made me see lines and layers, forms, and colors in a new way. The homes were beautifully and sustainably built, drawing on nature– weaving the elements – to produce the finest results

For more information on the tour, visit

2 university researchers fighting back against antibiotic resistance

The 1928 discovery of penicillin has been widely touted as one of the greatest scientific achievements in the past century. This first antibiotic went into more frequent use after World War II, but bacteria quickly found a natural way to ward it off; within two to three years of its introduction into health clinics, scientists isolated the first penicillin-resistant bacteria.

Today, pathogens like MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) cause thousands of deaths each year in this country. With experts recognizing that the overuse of all antibiotics is creating a major public health problem, researchers in the lab of Erik Sontheimer at Northwestern University’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences have taken a step toward outmaneuvering resistant bacteria.

Sontheimer (pictured on the right in the photo) and post-doctoral fellow Luciano Marraffini (left) became involved in the problem by trying to answer questions about horizontal gene transfer, which is how bacteria can spread antibiotic resistance. In conjugation—one form of horizontal gene transfer—bacteria mate and pass on resistance genes from one cell to the other. This can happen between bacteria that are harmless to humans and those that can be dangerous. Sometimes foreign genes benefit the recipient bacterium, but in other cases (such as when the foreign genes come from viruses) they do not. Therefore many bacteria have evolved mechanisms to limit or control their exposure to horizontal gene transfer. Marraffini and Sontheimer’s findings, which were published in the December 2008 issue of Science, offer insights into a new mechanism used by bacteria to stop horizontal gene transfer.

If their work eventually leads to successful clinical application, patients in hospitals may someday be able avoid infections like MRSA altogether. It could also lead to fighting antibiotic resistance in other harmful bacteria, including those that cause salmonella, tuberculosis, and cholera. “If this could be exploited like RNA interference, it would be a very, very big thing,” Sontheimer says.

Click here to read the full story by Laura Schocker and see more photos.

Friday, June 04, 2010

A Virtual Call to Action on the Streets of New York

Greg Dosmann, a brand designer at Stinson Brand Innovation, recently read the book, Ads to Icons: How Advertising Succeeds in a Multimedia Age. It explains how traditional media has been revitalized by the adoption of innovative approaches, which contribute to more creative and more impactful ad campaigns. In today’s blog, Greg shares a case study from the book.

"Pathways to Housing" is a New York charity experimenting with new technologies to raise awareness about the problem of homelessness and hopefully reach out to new donors.

Thinking of all space as ad space, "Pathways to Housing" projected the image of a homeless man sleeping on the side of a building in Manhattan. Words also projected onto the side of the building ask those walking by to send a text message to help get him off the streets. Through SMS technology, when someone sends a text message, it initiates a new video loop in which the man gets up and walks in the door of his new home.

As the man gets up, the organization's name and website address are projected next to the image. The person who sent the text message receives a message back asking if they would like to make a $5 donation that would be added to their cell phone bill. This is a really cool interactive idea to get pedestrians engaged in helping the homeless. Living in Chicago, I see people walk by homeless people everyday without paying too much attention. However, it’s interesting that the virtual homeless are grabbing people’s attention and compelling people to act. I must admit that I probably could not resist sending a text message to witness the technology unfold before my eyes.

"Pathways to Housing" set up the projections at nine locations. During a week, of 200 people who sent text messages, more than 30 opted to make a cell phone donation. The organization says that it also saw an increase in the number of people visiting its website and becoming a fan of the Facebook page.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

10 top bio stories since BIO2010

As a way to look back on the BIO International Convention held in Chicago the first week of May, I asked the editors of the BIO SmartBrief to share with me their top 10 most-clicked stories from the past 30 days. Here’s a look at what biotech readers were most interested in reading:

1) Pathway Genomics picks Walgreens stores to sell genetic tests

Pathway Genomics is expected to announce today its plan to commercialize its saliva collection kits, genetic tests that are meant to help predict a person's risk for certain diseases, at 7,500 stores of Walgreens. "It's more consumer awareness than we could get from advertising online," said Jim Woodman, Pathway's vice president for corporate strategy. Some leaders in genetics say there is not enough information on genes' links to diseases to make the tests significant to consumers.

2) N.C. biotech, device startups compete for as much as $1B in tax credits

Early-stage biotech and medical-device firms in North Carolina are looking to participate in a $1 billion program that will provide tax credits and grants as part of the health reform law. Sam Taylor, president of the North Carolina Biosciences Organization, said the program will allow participating startups to get a 50% reimbursement for money they put into research and development.

3) Piglets are born with pluripotent stem cells in scientific breakthrough

Scientists bioengineered piglets to carry pluripotent stem cells by injecting the cells into a pig embryo. The cells were harvested from an embryolike cell, which was produced by infusing six genes into another pig's bone marrow cell. The researchers are optimistic that the effort will aid studies on human illnesses as well as in bioengineering livestock to benefit tissue transplants and food consumption.

4) Intercell will purchase Cytos' technology for $20.1 million

Intercell agreed to pay $20.1 million to acquire Cytos' technology platform designed to prevent and treat infectious diseases. The deal is expected to help Intercell develop therapies for hospital-acquired infections and other conditions.

5) GSK suspends trial of drug formulated from red wine substance

GlaxoSmithKline stopped a clinical trial of SRT501, a compound derived from the red wine substance resveratrol, in multiple myeloma patients after some of them developed cast nephropathy. GSK, which is developing the drug with Sirtris Pharmaceuticals, said its decision comes "out of an abundance of caution" as it reviews clinical data further.

6) Major drugmakers pitch deals to smaller companies at BIO convention

Some of the biggest-name drugmakers took advantage of the BIO convention to ask smaller companies to consider a partnership or buyout. Genentech is looking for deals that would boost its nascent neuroscience and immunology units, and Bayer said it is pursuing "products that can be real breakthroughs" in fields such as cancer, neurology and ophthalmology.

7) GSK will be back in the acquisition game, CEO says

GlaxoSmithKline, which has abandoned five potential deals since October, is working on two small acquisitions, CEO Andrew Witty said. "We've done very few deals between October last year and the last couple of weeks because we saw a number of companies, but we couldn't get to a price that made sense for our shareholders," Witty said.

8) Genzyme unveils strategy for sustainable growth

CEO Henri Termeer said Genzyme is evaluating strategic options for its businesses in genetic testing, diagnostics and drug intermediates, saying the units do not fit in with the biotech firm's plan for sustainable growth. Genzyme also plans to buy back $2 billion in shares.

9) BIO conference focuses on effects of recession on biotech firms

The biotech industry saw a 25% decline in publicly traded firms as a result of the banking crisis in the U.S., according to data from the BIO conference in Chicago. BIO President and CEO Jim Greenwood said the lack of access to capital also resulted in the bankruptcy of 50 biotech companies. But some companies achieved success despite the recession, such as Dendreon with the approval of its prostate cancer vaccine Provenge.

10) Compound from broccoli zeroes in on breast cancer stem cells

U.S. scientists found that broccoli contains a compound, called sulforaphane, that attacks breast cancer stem cells. Experiments on mice with breast cancer showed that the compound was effective in reducing the population of stem cells without causing significant harm to normal cells.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

PROLIA now FDA-Approved: New Injectable Osteoporosis Treatment for Postmenopausal Women

We've been following the development and approval process for Prolia (denosumab). So, we were excited to see today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Prolia, an injectable treatment for postmenopausal women with osteoporosis who are at high risk for fractures.

Osteoporosis is a disease in which the bones become weak and are more likely to break. According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, 80 percent of the people in the United States with osteoporosis are women. One out of every two women over age 50 will break a bone in their lifetime due to osteoporosis.

People with osteoporosis at high risk for fracture include those that have had an osteoporotic fracture, or have multiple risk factors for fracture; or those who have failed or are intolerant to other available osteoporosis therapy. Prolia works to decrease the destruction of bone and increase bone mass and strength. An injection of Prolia is recommended once every six months.

“Due to its prevalence, osteoporosis is a serious concern to public health,” said Julie Beitz, M.D., director of the FDA’s Office of Drug Evaluation III. “The approval of Prolia provides another treatment option for postmenopausal women with osteoporosis who are susceptible to fractures.”

The safety and efficacy of Prolia in the treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis was demonstrated in a three-year, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of 7,808 postmenopausal women ages 60 to 91 years. In the study, Prolia reduced the incidence of vertebral, non-vertebral, and hip fractures in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis.

The most common side effects reported with Prolia include back pain, pain in the extremities, musculoskeletal pain, high cholesterol levels, and urinary bladder infections. Serious adverse reactions include hypocalcaemia (low calcium levels in the blood), serious infections, including infections of the skin, and dermatologic reactions such as dermatitis, rashes, and eczema.

Prolia causes significant suppression of bone turnover and this suppression may contribute to the occurrence of osteonecrosis of the jaw, a severe bone disease that affects the jaw, atypical fractures, and delayed fracture healing.

Prolia was approved with a risk evaluation and mitigation strategy (REMS) that includes a Medication Guide for patients and communications to health care providers that explains the risks and benefits of the drug.

Prolia is manufactured by Amgen Manufacturing Limited, a subsidiary of Thousand Oaks, Calif.-based Amgen Inc.

For more information, visit

A look at The Ideas Economy: Human Potential

Today, humanity is on track to advance mentally, physically and economically more than ever before. But there are still serious challenges ahead.

For instance, how do we educate billions of new people in the coming decades—and manage their successful entry into the global economy—in an age of high unemployment and aging demographics?

It is this kind of global challenge that can only be resolved by bringing together the smartest minds from government, academia and business—including education, human resources, healthcare, design, policy, science and technology—to debate tough issues and collaborate on practical solutions.

With a new workforce that will be unlike any ever seen—a generation of young workers demanding entirely new work environments, and an aging population that requires heavy resources—the nature of work and talent development must evolve dramatically.

It is against this backdrop that The Economist is sponsoring its event, "Ideas Economy: Human Potential," which will take place September 15-16 in New York City.

The "Ideas Economy: Human Potential" event is an opportunity to understand these important issues from every perspective—and meet the leaders who can help optimize human potential, for individuals, companies, and society at large in the decades to come.

I’m especially intrigued by the section on “Healthcare for an aging world.”
  • What are the human resource implications of an aging workforce?
  • Will Social Security go bankrupt?
  • Will ObamaCare save or ruin healthcare?

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

3 steps to address territorial behavior (or how to respond to “Outta My Cave!!!”)

As part of our ongoing training initiative at Stinson Brand Innovation, Nancy Burgess recently participated in a course on work environment.  In today’s blog, Nancy shares insights on her key learnings.

Did you know that our Neanderthal instincts overtake our behavior in the business world? That’s what I recently learned in an online business seminar. Sure, I was aware that some people were more possessive of their staplers. (Think about Milton in the movie Office Space.) But what I didn’t realize was that 3 other types of territorial behavior occur when employees perceive a threat in the work environment:
  • Personal Defense
  • Informational Manipulation
  • Placement of Communication
Personal defense responses include ignoring, censuring, and intimidating. These behaviors are more typical of someone who is higher up in the corporate food chain. Not returning phone calls and not responding to greetings are examples of ignoring behavior. Yelling and aggressive body language are forms of intimidation. Public rebukes are a form of censuring.

Information manipulation is likened to a squirrel burying nuts. Confusion, distraction, and restriction are all forms of information manipulation. Withholding information needed to do a job, changing the subject, or restricting access are forms of this territorial behavior.

Placement of communication includes territorial behaviors that control access (eg, gatekeepers, screening calls and e-mails), create inconveniences (eg, offsite meeting, 6 am meetings, weekend calls), or simply noncompliance (eg, “Didn’t you get that? My e-mail must be acting up”).

The territory that is threatened may include information, associations (people), or decisions. For example, managers who feel their decisional territory is being threatened may be control freaks, change their minds often, and show favoritism by giving the best assignments to their supporters. Their employees are forced to be hyper-alert and flexible.

How should you address territorial behavior? Take 3 simple steps:
  1. Identify the territory being defended.
  2. Clarify that you’re not threatening the person’s right or claim to that territory. 
  3. Explain why you’re in the person’s territory.
For example, “John, I know you’re the marketing research guru, and I’m not trying to interfere with the project. I was hoping to get this fact to finish my report.”