Company news: Astellas; AMM; MAHF; MedPage Today and Medscape Mobile

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Japan-based Astellas Pharmaceuticals is further cementing its relationship with US-based Optimer Pharmaceuticals with a $20 million upfront payment to develop and sell fidaxomicin tablets in Japan. The partnership over the C. Difficile treatment—known as Difficid in the US-- will allow Astellas to develop and sell the drug in Japan, and includes $70 million in additional payments as Astellas hits regulatory milestones and a percentage of net sales. The agreement builds on a prior arrangement that gave Astellas rights to this same medication in Europe, where it is known as Dificlir. Jefferies analyst Eun K. Yang estimated in a research note that the drug's Japanese market would be about $360 million. C. Difficile is linked to a deadly form of diarrhea; Centers for Disease Control figures indicate it is linked with 14,000 adult deaths in the US every year.

”The Association of Medical Media named Haymarket Media's Alison McCauley and New England Journal of Medicine's Corrie Bridgeman as the winners of its 20th Annual AMM Nexus Sales Representatives of the Year Awards. McCauley, who took honors in the Specialty Publication category, is national sales manager at Haymarket. She joined Haymarket from Cline, Davis & Mann in 2005, taking on sales duties for Clinical Advisor and, more recently, Monthly Prescribing Reference. Bridgeman, winner in the Multi-Specialty Publication category, is regional sales director at NEJM, which she joined from Reed-Elsevier in 2006.

MedPage Today saw monthly registered users jump 238% to 16,000 a month from 2010 to 2011 while unique monthly visits rose 228% to over 1.9 million a month, said parent Everyday Health, citing Manhattan Research data. Overall, traffic increased 80% in 2011, according to comScore figures, said Everyday Health. Meanwhile, Medscape Mobile now has 2 million registered users, said parent (and Everyday Health archrival) WebMD.

The Medical Advertising Hall of Fame initiated the first roundtable meeting between current Hall of Famers and the up-and-coming “Future Famers” Thursday. The meeting, at LLNS Healthcare Communications' Midtown office included veterans Lester Barnett (2004), Al Nickel (2012) and John Kallir (1998). The industry veterans and future famers discussed the ever-present truths of advertising excellence, including the need to overcome departmental silos for success. “Your job is to go around and interview everyone,” Barnett said, so that individuals understand how each part of a given account works, and what each needs. Barnett said that a holistic understanding keeps the focus on the work, not the people. “It's what's in the middle of the table, not who's around it that matters,” he said. Kallir said he “managed by walking around,” looking at what people were working on so he could get a full understanding of what was underway and how all the parts fit together. Barnett also told the Future Famers to be wary when hearing about better advertising eras. “There were no good old days,” he said. “The good old days [are] now the future.”
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