January 2009 has come and gone. A wrap-up report of Russo Partners’ activities shows that biotech and medtech companies kicked off the year with a fast start. Here are some of the January highlights:
S*BIO, Singapore’s most advanced biotech company, celebrated success on the business-development front with the announcement of two significant deals. The agreements, with Onyx Pharmaceuticals and Tragara Pharmaceuticals, involved different types of kinase inhibitors in early stages of development. Russo Partners worked closely with the communications teams at Onyx and Tragara to maximize publicity for the respective announcements. With the successful navigation of the media landscapes in the U.S. and Singapore, Russo Partners generated significant media coverage for all companies involved. S*BIO’s executive team was inundated by calls and e-mails from other possible partners worldwide.
Anadys Pharmaceuticals’ stock price soared by 114% following the announcement of viral load reduction data from an early study of ANA598 in chronic Hepatitis C patients. By working with the data and select media under embargo prior to the distribution of a news release and the company’s hosting of a conference call with investors, Russo Partners lifted the curtain on the data in a big way. This PR approach produced a tremedous return in the form of in-depth media coverage that contained the key messages developed for the announcement. The PR results were far greater than any others of comparable Phase I trials.
Many of Russo Partners’ clients spent the second week of the month navigating the hotels and restaurants in San Francisco’s Union Square for JPMorgan Healthcare Conference activities. Russo Partners scheduled and coordinated close to 100 meetings for clients with VCs, investment bankers, fund managers and journalists. For new clients CorNova and Molecular Insight Pharmaceuticals, the conference was their first agency outing and involved high-powered meetings with members of the investment and media communities.
Other conference participants with Russo Partners included BIOCOM, San Diego’s life science industry organization, and the Burnham Institute for Medical Research. Media interviews conducted at the agency’s base camp in the Hotel Nikko along with TV interviews taped at a nearby studio added to the lively mix of activities.
Corthera, which is developing the hormone relaxin as a treatment for acute heart failure, took the podium at the JPMorgan Healthcare Conference and presented an update on the Phase II/III study. In late-2008, Russo Partners unveiled an interim analysis of the Phase II data to journalists at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions — a story that Cardiovascular Business reported as one of the most significant developments announced at the conference thanks to Russo Partners’ aggressive pursuit of media coverage.
Radi Medical Systems, which St. Jude Medical acquired in December, enjoyed broad media coverage of the New England Journal of Medicine‘s publication of the FAME one-year follow-up data. See the January 20 blog entry to read more about this successful PR campaign.
In typical Russo Partners fashion, the agency continued its handling of the game-changing events in healthcare. This time the event was the FDA’s clearance for Geron to initiate the world’s first clinical trial of a human embryonic stem cell therapy. Take a look at the January 28 blog entry.
Russo Partners looks forward to maintaining the fast PR pace in February with major client and industry events around the corner.