Archive for April, 2013



Patient-centered trials: Can they boost participation AND empower patients?

April 18th, 2013
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The traditional clinical trial (which, by the way, has been a “tradition” for only about 30 years) involves recruiting a number of people who are required to come to a site on a regular basis to participate. After the trial is over, the trial participant receives payment (sometimes) and not much else. Rarely, if ever, are results or data shared with participants.
 
This model is starting to show some cracks (particularly for U.S.-based trials), however, as recruitment becomes more challenging, and regulatory and liability issues require larger and more complex trial structures. But our era of the Internet, greater consumer power and a trajectory towards tailored, “precision” medicine could provide an answer: more personalized, patient-centered clinical trials. And the trials are more than just a lure for volunteers; they can change how medical research is conducted, all the way down to the results.
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A “Real Biz Model 2 Win” or “Merely a Bubble” for Digital Health?

April 9th, 2013
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There’s been discussion recently about a lack of life science venture capital (VC) enthusiasm for emerging digital health companies. I happen to feel that this concern, if you will, is misplaced. I engaged industry and opinion leaders on this subject plus have my own thoughts on the digital health funding environment.
 
In his latest article in Forbes, contributor David Shaywitz characterizes life science venture capitalists as just “kicking tires” on potential digital health investments, citing fears from prominent investor Nimesh Shah that innovations in digital health are “merely a bubble,” and that these firms lack a “real biz model.”
 
Shaywitz bases his position on quotes from venture capital executives, but also from the $1.4 billion that was invested in digital health last year, which he says is a fraction of all the life science VC money available. He responded to my post in the Digital Health LinkedIn group that this “reflects the uncertainty that many investors feel regarding whether viable business models will emerge.”
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Welcoming Stephanie Kreml, M.D. as Newest Team Member

April 3rd, 2013
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I’m pleased to announce that Stephanie Kreml, M.D. has returned to Popper and Company, joining our core team of life science advisors as Principal.
 
Like all of our team members, Stephanie is committed to delivering perspective, value, and high-quality, hands-on service to clients across the life sciences spectrum.  As a practicing physician with an engineering background, Stephanie brings a unique multi-disciplinary perspective to helping life sciences companies address diverse healthcare issues.  She is an excellent addition to our existing team of experts whose operational backgrounds span clinical, technology, marketing and finance in a variety of capacities in the diagnostics, medical device, pharmaceuticals and digital health industries.
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When Seeking Partners, Look for the un-Usual Suspects

April 1st, 2013
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For many new and growing companies, it’s not enough to have a plan for identifying strategic partners. You also need to successfully implement the plan—and that’s often easier said than done.
 
Reaching your company goals will no doubt require more capital, perhaps new investors to inject that capital, more third-party involvement, and probably a partner to help with product commercialization. New outside stakeholders add another dimension to your goals; now you’ll need to see how your product/service fits into someone else’s strategy.
 
How do you find the right fit? The answer actually lies in getting creative in a way that expands the universe of potential partners.
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