John Higgins will be joining Ligand Pharmaceuticals as CEO. Higgins succeeds Henry Blissenbach who has served as chairman and interim CEO since August 2006. Blissenbach will continue as chairman of the board of directors. Prior to joining Connetics, Higgins was EVP, corporate development of BioCryst Pharmaceuticals
and was a member of the healthcare investment banking team at Dillon, Read & Company.
The Navicor Group, an inVentiv Health ad agency focused exclusively on oncology and immunology, named Erin Brown senior copywriter. Most recently, Brown served as freelance writer for inVentiv companies GSW Worldwide and Stonefly Communications Group, as well as for OnCommunications, an oncology communications company. She also worked for the Web site Oncology Business Review as a contributor to the print publication, e-newsletter, and Web site. As a freelancer she worked on several oncology accounts such as Tarceva, Avastin, Eloxatin, Erbitux, Herceptin and Gemzar. Brown was also a copywriter at GSW Worldwide for four years, developing marketing pieces for several accounts including Nutropin and Pulmozyme for Genentech, Gemzar for Eli Lilly, and Uloric for TAP Pharmaceuticals.
Pacific Communications has promoted Adelle Walker to account supervisor. Walker will oversee the account management for the agency’s Tazorac, Allergan Dermatology, and ASP accounts. Prior to her promotion, Walker was the senior account executive for the ASP and Medtronic Diabetes accounts. She has been with the agency for two years. Pacific has also Denise Hanson as senior account executive on the agency’s Medtronic Diabetes account. Before joining Pacific Communications, Hanson was a product development specialist for I-Flow and an account manager at DevicePharm, where she worked on the Advanced Medical optics IOL account.
Group DCA’s former VP of consumer marketing Ron Scalici, has been promoted to principal of the new CUE Card Division. Scalici is joined as principal by new hire, Ed Barret. Both will head the new venture, which is primarily focused on patient adherence and education.
Liberty Communications Network, producers of Medical Crossfire and CaseMED CME activities has expanded its professional education and clinical services departments. Venee Nazaire has joined Liberty as a CME activity manager and will provide CME activity support in the development, execution, and management of grant execution plans to meet grantor and accreditation expectations. Beverly Stanley has been named copy editor to the Clinical Services Department and will provide copy review services for national conference events, studio and Web-based activities, and enduring medical education materials. Justin Stark has been named activity coordinator and will provide CME activity and clinical services support for Liberty CME programs.