News

Company News: Affectis Pharmaceuticals Raises €3.3M in Financing and Names Alex Martin Chief Executive Officer

Affectis Pharmaceuticals AG today announced it has raised €3.3M in the first tranche of a Series D financing. Existing investors LSP, Aescap Venture, KfW, Bayernkapital and EMBL Ventures were participating in the round. Moreover, the company announced the appointment of Alex Martin as Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Martin had previously served on the Supervisory Board of Affectis and joined the company fulltime as CFO in August of 2009. He succeeds founding CEO Herbert Stadler, who is retiring.

Mr. Martin brings over 20 years experience in the pharmaceutical industry, including roles at Novartis, where he was Vice President, Global Business Development & Licensing, and SmithKline Beecham where he held positions of increasing responsibility in sales, marketing, and business development. Immediately prior to Affectis Mr. Martin served as COO of Intercept Pharmaceuticals based in New York.

The full announcement is available at Affectis’  website.

Company News: Micromet Closes $80.5 Million Public Offering of Common Stock

Micromet, Inc. (NASDAQ: MITI) announced today the closing of its previously announced underwritten public offering and raises net proceeds of approximately $ 75.3 million, after deducting the underwriting discount and estimated offering expenses. For more information, please click here.

Food for Thought: Improving Media Coverage on Healthcare

Whether it’s about vaccines, new drugs or side effects of existing medications –  media coverage of medical topics very often is poor and biased. Written from an industry or pharma critics perspective, it exaggerates either risks or benefits. In addition, writers often do not seem to be familiar with the various tedious tasks, steps and regulatory requirements of drug development.

Enter Media Doctor, an initiative by Australian academics and clinicians from the Newcastle Institute of Public Health, who are interested in promoting better and more accurate media coverage in the area of medical treatments. They founded Media Doctor Australia, a website reviewing and rating news items on medical treatments using a standardized rating scale. The website also presents examples of reports regarded as good or bad.

Media Doctor applies ten different rating criteria in six categories, respectively: Pharmaceutical, Adverse Effects, Diagnostic Tests, Surgical Procedure, Complementary and Alternative Medicines, and Other. As an example, an article is regarded unsatisfactory if it does not mention sources and possible conflict of interest or does not attempt at independent corroboration. A satisfactory story for example needs to discuss the strength of evidence in detail.

Meanwhile, the idea has spread to Canada, Hong Kong, and the U.S. (under the name of Healthnewsreview). The U.S. website in particular is very outspoken, and does not hesitate to label poor stories as “shovelware straight from a news release” or an “unbalanced story” providing only “two rosy anecdotes” as evidence.

Useful statistics provide the reader with insights on which media and journalists provide the most reliable stories. That’s exactly the lever for improvement, and – for journalists – also a possibility to demonstrate competence and quality.

akampion now has learned that a German version of Healthnewsreview is in preparation at the University of Dortmund’s Chair of Science Journalism. We will keep you updated on how and when the site will be up and running!

Company News: Micromet Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2009 Financial Results

Micromet, Inc. (NASDAQ: MITI), a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of next-generation antibodies for the treatment of cancer, today announced its financial results for the fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2009.  The Company also highlighted recent pipeline progress and outlined expected 2010 milestones.

Further details can be found at: www.micromet-inc.com

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