March Networking Event Digest

On March 16, the GLSA and FOCM held their monthly online networking event.  We start the meeting with a featured presenter spending 10 – 15 minutes presenting information about themselves and a clinical research topic of relevance to them.

This event featured Wessam Sonbol, founder of Delve Health. Wessam has been in the clinical research industry for 23 years. Many of these years have been in leadership and founding roles in the technology and product development sectors to facilitate trials. He founded Delve Health in 2018.  Delve Health provides innovative decentralized clinical trial solutions to improve clinical trial conduct for patients, caregivers, doctors and pharma/device. Offerings include ePRO/eCOA, eConsent, study tasks, wearables and biosensor integration, EMR data collection and Real-world evidence capabilities.

After the presentation, there were questions, answers and discussions.  We then allowed newer participants the opportunity to tell us about their history in the industry and the group can be of help.

Attendees (bolded names indicate first time attendees):
Wessam Sonbol, Delve Health
Andrew Mulchinski, Symbio Research
Ravipal Luthra, University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine
Heather Hollick, Rizers LLC; Author of “Helpful, A guide to life, careers and the art of networking”
Michael Young, biomedwoRx: Life Sciences Consulting
Mike O’Gorman, Life Science Marketplace
Edwin Gershom, Noble Life Sciences
Taylor Biche, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Holly Cliffe, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Todd Neilson, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Hannah Lloyd, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Denise McNerney, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Joe Buser, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Zulma Varela, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Sally Haller, Global Life Sciences Alliance

https://globallifesciencesalliance.com/

Please join us on April 20 where the featured presenter will be Amy Baxter, MD; CEO and Founder of Pain Care Labs. PCL’s NIH-funded pain relief device is an ingenious intervention to reduce needle pain and fear – improving patient participation in clinical trials.

Selected screen shots appear below:

Screenshot #1
Screenshot #2
Screenshot #3
Screenshot with GLSA Mascot Teddy in lower left corner

DelveHealth Presentation

February Networking Event

On February 16, 2022, the Global Life Sciences Alliance along with FOCM Networking held its monthly online drug and medical device development industry networking event. This was the second event of 2022 and like the January event, we again had 3 first-time attendees. Thank you to super-connector and FOCM member, Nadia Bracken for sharing our event with others.

We spent the first 15 minutes with introductions and general discussion about the weather in various attendees’ cities.  

This event featured a presentation by Kalyan Ghosh, Founder and CEO of Inference, Inc (https://inferenceinc.com/).  Inference, a GLSA client, was formed in 2017 by Kalyan.  He has over 25 years experience in clinical biostatistics, having worked at both big pharma (Merck and BMS) and CROs (Vislation, INC Research and West Coast Clinical Trials). Kalyan is an accomplished presenter and presented an overview of biostatistics and the role that data management and biostatistics have in drug development. 

Please join us next month on March 16 at 7:00 p.m.  Wessam Sonbol, CEO of Delve Health, an e-clinical technology platform service provider and client of GLSA will spend 10 – 15 minutes talking about their approach to patient-centered hybrid and decentralized studies in drug development.

ATTENDEES (bolded names were first time attendees):

Kalyan Ghosh, Inference Inc,
Andy Mulchinski, Symbio
Justin Gundelach, Mayo Clinic
Pauline Luong, Creative Clinical R & D
Chris Bergey, NaviDx
Brian Langin, Matrix Medical
Ravipal Luthra, University of Miami College of Medicine
Jon Matheus,  A.T. Pancrazi Real Estate Services, Inc.
Chris Matheus, Global Life Sciences Alliance & FOCM
Denise McNerney, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Joe Buser, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Zulma Varela, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Holly Cliffe, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Sally Haller, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Hannah Lloyd, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Todd Nielson, Global Life Sciences Alliance

Screenshots of the attendees can be seen here:

https://globallifesciencesalliance.com/february-networking-meeting-summary/

Networking Meeting Summary

On January 19, 2022, the Global Life Sciences Alliance along with FOCM Networking held its monthly online drug and medical device development industry networking event. This was the first event of the new year and we had 3 first-time attendees.  

We kept everyone in one main room and went around the room having each person introduce themselves.  There was an open dialog and discussion on a variety of topics: expectations for COVID cases and treatments, the impact on travel and conventions/conferences and hopes for it to lessen and burn out and become similar to seasonal flu. The concern for another variant that could put us into strict measures is real yet the thought of having to deal with that makes us tired.

Heal Mary, (https://healmaryapp.com/) a GLSA client is an oncology patient recruitment platform founded by Cassandra Hui. Cass is from the tech industry and she started Heal Mary driven by her personal story: “My mom was told to go home and get her affairs in order, that there were no other options… I’ve made it my mission to ensure that patients know ALL of their options.” We showed a video of Cass explaining the motivation for starting Heal Mary using her tech and Artificial Intelligence skills to make sure patients know of treatment options available via clinical trials. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLB_CmGY3-trX3rKePF0FWw

Please join us next month on February 16.  Kalyan Ghosh of Inference, a data management  and biostatistics service provider and client of GLSA will spend 10 minutes talking about the role of data management and biostatistics in drug development.

ATTENDEES (bolded names were first time attendees):

Heather Hollick, Rizers, LLC; Author of “Helpful, A guide to life, careers and the art of networking”
Mike Burrows, Burrows Life Science Associates
Kate Findlen, Life Molecular Imaging
Kimberly Lupo, Portrett Pharmaceuticals
Mike O’Gorman, Life Science Marketplace
Andy Mulchinski, Symbio
Brian Langin, Matrix Medical
Charlie Speno, Matrix Medical
Michael W. Young, biomedwoRx: Life Sciences Consulting
Chris Matheus, Global Life Sciences Alliance & FOCM
Denise McNerney, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Joe Buser, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Zulma Varela, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Holly  Cliffe, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Hannah Lloyd, Global Life Sciences Alliance

Screenshots of the event follow:

Networking Screen Shot
Jan 19 2022 Virtual event

Networking Event Summary

On December 15, the Global Life Sciences Alliance along with FOCM Networking held its monthly online drug and medical device development industry networking event. This was our year-end event and we didn’t have a speaker or theme.

We kept everyone in one room and went around the room asking people to answer a variety of questions. We asked for each person to share what positive or memorable thing happened in 2021 and what they were looking forward to happening in 2022.

  • A representative answer was that while some had caught COVID and it was a bad illness, no one had anyone in their families get severely ill or pass away from it. The outlook for 2022 was felt to be somewhat tentative with the global rise of infections due to the Omicron variant. It was noted that the annual January JP Morgan conference will be virtual again due to the rise in cases. (Occurring today, December 22, Pfizer’s oral dose anti-viral pill to treat COVID was approved.)
  • Michael Young shared that 2021 found him becoming a grandfather with the birth of grandson Oliver Kiesing Miller (pictures below attendee listing). Michael’s hopes for 2022 include completing the first draft of a book he’s writing on “Branding”. He also echoed the feelings of many of us – having the opportunity to see clients, customers and friends in person and a return to in-person conferences. (I think this is the equivalent of a blood transfusion for extroverts).
  • Ires Alliston shared that she is hosting a Female Expert Coaches Summit May 9 – 11 in Daytona Beach, FL. More information is available here: (https://femceosummit.com/).

Movies/TV shows people are watching/recommending:

  • You
  • The Unforgiveable
  • Get Back
  • Curb Your Enthusiasm
  • Giri/Haji
  • Yellowstone

Fountain pens

It turns out that Nadia Bracken has found the hobby of collecting fountain pens. Someone else on the call mentioned a former boss who also did so.  There was a discussion about the psychological draw toward collecting such pens.  I subsequently found this discussion group (https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/topic/136590-pen-personality/) .The hobby appears to be more associated with introversion based on the non-controlled survey in the discussion group. Another article on the topic is: https://www.inkedhappiness.com/fountain-pen-collecting-the-psychology-behind-my-madness/

Toward the end of the event, two things occurred after some had dropped off:

  • Dan Weddle sang and played his guitar
  • Michael Young arrived and showed pictures of his adorable 1st grandson

Please join us next month on January 19.

ATTENDEES (bolded names were first time attendees):

Kevin Boos, Rho
Brian Horan, SupplyRx
Wessam Sonbol, Delve Health
Michael W. Young, biomedwoRx: Life Sciences Consulting
Ires Alliston, Business Coach, Consulting & Marketing
Chris Bergey, Humphries Insurance Agency
Nadia Bracken, Medidata
Dan Weddle, AltaSciences
Mike O’Gorman, Life Science Marketplace
Patrick Champoux, SkillPad
Maria Frane, Simibec-Orion
Sara Tylosky, Farmacon
Brennan Munley, Rho
Chris Matheus, Global Life Sciences Alliance & FOCM
Denise McNerney, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Joe Buser, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Zulma Varela, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Sally Haller, Global Life Sciences Alliance

Photo Collection

Revered Industry Professionals
Illustrious Clinical Research Industry Professionals

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Denise, Zulma and Michael concluding the meeting
Esteemed industry professionals
Dan Weddle performing an original song
Michael Young’s grandson Oliver Kiesing Miller

 

 

Michael Young’s grandson Oliver Kiesing Miller

November Networking Event Summary

One of the things I thoroughly enjoy about networking is meeting such interesting, fascinating people with different perspectives. This helps us understand and appreciate those differences and helps us re-consider our approach to certain things.

On November 17, the Global Life Sciences Alliance along with FOCM Networking held its monthly online drug and medical device development industry networking event.

Whereas last month we had a featured speaker – Heather Hollick on LinkedIn best practices; this time we just had general discussion and greeting of one another. While there were still a manageable number, I introduced each person and how I know them. There was also discussion and general agreement that when Merck and Pfizer get their oral dose antiviral medicines approved (whether emergency authorization or full approval); the COVID-19 pandemic will become very manageable and the world can return to our new normal; forever impacted but less restricted. (added since the 11/17 meeting – the identification of the Omicron variant may put a slow down on the return; however, early information indicates that while it’s easily transmissible, the symptoms are different and mild, such that as of Nov 30 in South Africa hospital where the doctor found the Omicron variant, no hospitalizations are attributed to it. And now just today, an FDA Advisory panel recommended approval for Merck’s anti-viral pill to treat COVID-19 and reducing hospitalizations.)

We then moved to the evening’s agenda. We had three rooms for people to go to depending on their interests.  The three discussion topics were:

  • Clinical Trial Recruitment and Retention
  • Innovation and Technology
  • Networking

Heather Hollick chaired the Networking room. One discussion centered around how sales/business development people use it and consultant/subject matter experts use it to best fill their connection needs. Interestingly, several participants shared that they control their LinkedIn outreach and purposefully limit their contacts to a more easily managed subset (~1000) to maximize the depth of relationships. Several other participants use a more liberal approach and have grown their networks to over 10,000 contacts who then serve as “private wikis” allowing rapid access to large groups of professionals with multivarious experiences.

Please join us next month on December 15 and if you have a Christmas sweater – wear it!

ATTENDEES (bolded names were first time attendees, I think):

Heather Hollick, Rizers, LLC; Author of “Helpful, A guide to life, careers and the art of networking”
Mike Burrows, Burrows Life Science Associates, LLC
Lacey Clements, IMA Clinical Research
Kevin Boos, Rho
Valerie Roussin-Paradis, SkillPad
Edwin Gershom, Noble Life Sciences
Wessam Sonbol, Delve Health
Michael W. Young, biomedwoRx: Life Sciences Consulting
Nicole Yoon, Mediaiplus
Ires Alliston, Business Coach, Consulting & Marketing
Lindsey Summers, Green Key Resources
Chris Matheus, Global Life Sciences Alliance & FOCM
Denise McNerney, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Joe Buser, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Brandon Huffman, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Holly Cliffe, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Zulma Varela, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Sally Haller, Global Life Sciences Alliance

November 17, 2021 Networking Screenshot
Networking Event Flyer

https://globallifesciencesalliance.com/news/

CNS Summit Conference 2021

The CNS Summit, a year-round community with an annual in-person Summit was held at the Encore Resort Boston Harbor. It was very well-attended with over nine hundred registered. There was a feeling of pent-up need for networking and reconnecting. It is quite apparent that participants at this meeting are enthusiastic to be attending in person. The joy and happiness of seeing friends, colleagues (past and current) and being able to freely move about and make new connections was palpable. There is such a willingness to hear about what each other is up to, has learned and is doing different since the last time we gathered in person.

Rapid antigen testing was conducted rapidly for Covid-19, and  a negative test result (within about 15 minutes) indicated by a wristband provided, allowing access to the Summit.  The testing was provided by CNS Summit in partnership with Care Access. The process went off flawlessly, a great testament to the Care Access and CNS Summit staff involved.

There were many exhibitors, patrons and sponsors. To see which companies participated, I recommend you go to the website: https://cnssummit.org/

Digital Biomarkers, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Big Data, Patient Diversity, Real World Data were among many Spotlight topics. As an example, Sharecare and UCB presented real-world data on patients with Myasthenia Gravis. The insights learned, the new endpoints discovered and the capabilities of the smartphone in such trials was impressive.

Below is the expanding list of companies that define themselves as DCT clinical trial service providers.  Go to https://www.dtra.org/  Decentralized Trials & Research Alliance to fully appreciate the expansion of companies and organizations in and/or getting into the decentralized research segment of our industry.

Curebase Circuit Clinical
Medable Science 37
TrialBee Thread
CaptureProof Care Access
Clinical Ink DataCubed Health
Medocity Medidata
ShareCare (SmartOmix) Science 37
SiteRx

If you are interested in the CNS Summit community and the opportunity for interacting within it year round, you can apply at the organization website, which is listed above in  paragraph 3.

And on a sad note, Medidata co-founder, Glenn DeVries who attended and presented at the conference passed away November 11 in a private plane crash in New Jersey.

 

Technology changes so quickly

Maybe the title of this should be “the pace of change”.  Recently while starting a company with people much younger than me, I felt like I had missed several years of involvement in the world.

With the accelerating pace of technological change, many of us find ourselves behind in keeping up with new software, programs, and technological processes implemented in the workplace.

A critical part of adapting to the digital advancements is learning and training. Implementing various types of training systems, such as written instructions and live video training to accommodate different work styles and preferences may be helpful.
In order to be effective, we need to identify the technological changes that will enable us to attain the goals of our future projects and avoid those that could jeopardize their completion.

How can we adapt to the rapid, sometimes unpredictable digital advancements? How do we prepare ourselves for the new technology processes? How do you know if you indirectly resist the changes and how can you solve that?

The Uncertainty about future or current technologies might have nothing to do with the technology itself, but instead with how we respond to the changes.

I don’t know if kids still read Washington Irving’s story of Rip Van Winkle.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rip_Van_Winkle  It’s about a man who fell asleep and woke up 20 years later and it was hard to accept all that had changed.  Well, lately, I feel like I’ve been asleep for 10 years and have completely missed some of the digital advances and even the more mundane.

Let’s address the mundane one first, so tonight I stop in at Staples because I’m all out of “business” envelopes – you know  the type, the long envelope that if you wanted to mail an 8.5 x 11 inch letter to someone, you’d fold it in thirds-ish and put it in this envelope. So I confidently stride to the aisle labeled Envelopes and begin looking for business envelopes.  No such thing to be found.  They had boxes of an envelope with the wording Number 10.  So I look at the dimensions and it seems that they would work.  At check out, to confirm I was buying what I needed, I ask the two 20-30 year olds – one was a manager –  at check out, “are these envelopes the same as what I know as “business envelopes”? They, of course, had never heard that term.  So I explained that I was looking for what I know as business envelopes, they said, well, yeah it looks like that would fit as this is 9 and a half inches wide.

Now  to the digital world – so a client of ours texts us to say he’ll be texting us an image that we’re to take a picture of and save for later use in demo’ing his product at a conference. Those simple 6 words: “take a picture of and save”. So that I know what I’m to do I reply with: “just to confirm – by take a picture of and save – do you mean that I’m to use my iPhone and when I see the image I’m to do that iphone thing where I push a button on the side of the phone and at the same time push the round home button such that it takes a screen shot and then once that’s done I click on the screen shot and select “save to pictures”?  He replied, “yes”.  So you see what’s happening here? 59 words of explanation are needed for me to understand, interpret and act on his 6 words.

You should pray for my colleagues, this type of thing happens nearly weekly. You should pray for my colleagues, this type of thing happens nearly weekly.    Quite simple really isn’t it: “take a picture and save it.” *%$”(#*%4”@$(*$*(#@$*(@#)

Drug Development Industry Networking Event

One of the things I thoroughly enjoy about networking is meeting such interesting people with different perspectives. This helps us understand and appreciate those differences and helps us re-consider our approach to certain things.

On October 20, the Global Life Sciences Alliance along with FOCM Networking held its monthly pharmaceutical/biotech/clinical research/medical device/drug development industry online networking event (that’s a sentence-full). I know I wrote that in last month’s minutes too, so I promise to acronymize/shorten/bitly it next month, maybe to Pharma/Bio/CRO/Med & DrugDev or PBCMD? Is there a broader term one of you readers can suggest?

While people were arriving into the Zoom room, the first arrivers greeted each other and got their headsets, earphones, etc ready and connected. We started with the acknowledgement that October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The advances in cancer therapies over the past dozen years or so is truly remarkable. With genotyping advances, new drugs are designed/created that work very well.  This allows testing to be done prior to drug administration and know ahead of time that certain patients will respond well.  So instead of having to enroll 300 cancer patients in a study to get enough with the defect in order to show statistical significance, the study can be done with fewer patients and to show significance and speed up the time to FDA approval.

We then moved to our featured speaker, Heather Hollick, a friend of mine for several years and the author of “Helpful, A Guide to Life, Careers and the Art of Networking”. Heather focused the discussion on best practices for using LinkedIn. It is an invaluable tool for networking. There are 8 ways that LinkedIn is beneficial.

  1. LinkedIn is how you present yourself to the industry. At a minimum it is your online resume.
  2. Enhances introductions – you know so much more about who you’re being introduced to.
  3. Refreshes your memory on who a person is, where you know them from and how long you’ve been connected.
  4. It helps you prepare for meetings – review who will be in the meeting and find items of commonality.
  5. Find companies that are hiring
  6. Provides links to other websites aiding in your research
  7. Keep track of who is in your network.
  8. Engage in groups and discussions with others that you share interest with.

I like to include how I met people, as a demonstration of the power and benefits of networking. I was connected to Heather via Tanyss Mason. I admit I’m having a difficult time remembering how Tanyss and I first became connections. Heather was in the midst of writing the book when we first met over the phone. When the book was released and Heather was in the RTP, NC area at a book premier and signing event we got to meet in person. Heather co-presented at the 2021 DIA Annual meeting (virtual) with me on a Networking workshop. We’ll collaborate again on this session for the DIA 2022 meeting being held in Chicago.

We typically go into several breakout sessions of 3-4 attendees for about 12 minutes each but this time, there was so much good discussion about LinkedIn and maintaining, nurturing and freshening one’s network that we showed our flexibility and kept rolling with the topic of interest.

Please join us next month on November 17.

Screen shot of Zoom networking

ATTENDEES (bolded names were first time attendees, I think):

Heather Hollick, Rizers, LLC; Author of “Helpful, A guide to life, careers and the art of networking”
Mike Burrows, Burrows Life Science Associates, LLC
Lacey Clements, IMA Clinical Research
Nadia Bracken, Medidata
Christine Narro, Medical Device Co.
Lewis Kelly, Gunvatta
Chris Bergey, Humphries Insurance Agency
Michael O’Gorman, Life Science Marketplace
Patrick McCarthy, ValidCare
Joe Dustin, Transcelerate Biopharma
Janie St. Pierre, Accellacare
Ellen Bedenko, IQVia
Patrick Champoux, SkillPad
Andrew Mulchinski, Symbio Research
Chris Matheus, Global Life Sciences Alliance & FOCM
Denise McNerney, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Joe Buser, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Daryl Oberg, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Brandon Huffman, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Holly Cliffe, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Zulma Varela, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Sally Haller, Global Life Sciences Alliance

Supporting a MatheusBD Connection

I am excited to announce that, Alicia Kelley Schifano, a connection of mine for over 10 years is hitting the big time!!  Alicia will be a contestant on a new TV show airing Thursday, October 14th on the USA Network.  The show is America’s Big Deal.  It was created by Joy Mangano (from the movie Joy) and it will be hosted by Scott Evans from Access Hollywood!  It will be a bit like Shark Tank but live and “shoppable” so people can buy the products in real time while watching the show.  Alicia will be on the first episode, competing for a retail deal for the Mr. Big Curling Irons!  Here is a link to the video promo: https://youtu.be/t3xJYFU8ugc

Here’s a link to the contestant page:

Please tune in at 9pm, October 14th and watch Alicia shine! And check out the product being offered at a $20 discount at the above link. For any of the FOCM members with long hair, this curling iron is a must in your beauty supplies inventory.  https://www.mrbigcurlingirons.com/

I have known Alicia for more than 10 years, having been introduced to her via TommiLynn Baker.  At our first meeting we talked for hours.  Alicia is energizing to be around; so much energy, passion and enthusiasm.

Networking Stories

When I do presentations and/or workshops on networking it’s been pointed out to me that some of the best “aha” moments or learnings that people take away come from the stories that I share.  So, I plan to to write up these stories in the hopes that they’re helpful or illustrative.

I use fictitious names when I have not asked for or not been given permission to use real names, yet the stories are real.

During the financial crisis of 2008, an acquaintance of mine (I’ll refer to him as John) worked in IT and became laid off.  I do not know for certain (no personality test was given) that John’s personality leans toward introversion, but I’d bet $100 that he is. He’d been unemployed for close to 10 months and was complaining about having applied to hundreds of openings, getting rejection letters, hearing nothing or getting some interviews but no job offers.  After many interviews and never getting the job, he explained that he was being interviewed by people 10-20 years younger than him that had no where near his experience and talents. Over time he was becoming embittered.

I asked for his resume and said I had connections in several of the local companies in my industry and would be happy to send his resume in to them.  His response was something like this: oh the networking approach, well I think that’s cheating.  In an idealized world, I see the point, and it would be nice if everyone were unbiasedly judged/evaluated on their resume.  But we’ve all seen good and bad resumes, which is one way in which recruiters judge/evaluate candidates. Recruiters and hiring managers use a variety of criteria to evaluate candidates: resume content and layout, experience, personality, references, etc.

Networking is most definitely not cheating; it’s a requirement.  I explained to John that networking isn’t cheating – I do not get him the job because I sent his resume to someone I know.  Me, sending his resume to someone I know just gets his resume lifted out of the pile and gets it a second or maybe third look.  Now the resume carries a reference an additional factor giving it more credence.  Chris Matheus or whoever sent the resume to their friend acts like a background check. Getting the resume lifted out of the pile does not get John the job – it gives him a better shot at getting an interview.  He still has to “get” the job, still has to interview (without the embittered chip on his shoulder) and interview well.

Building a network of contacts is a key element in managing your career. It needs to be nurtured, maintained and expanded.  Remember networking is a reciprocal endeavor, you must be helpful to those in your network if you are going to ask for their help.