March 2023 Networking

The March FOCM | GLSA Networking event started out with welcoming everyone and reminding attendees of the meetings guidelines:

  • Think of this as an open house event – drop in when you can and leave when you need to; 
  • When we have a presenter we have them start when we have assembled a strong amount of respondents – usually 10-15 minutes after the start. 
  • Presenters’ topics are not sales pitches – the focus is on an aspect of clinical trials; where in the process their services are used and aspects of that step. 
  • The link to get the GLSA newsletter and notifications about future live and virtual events:
  • We ask everyone to put their LinkedIn link into the chat to facilitate connecting and future follow up. 

In GLSA news: it was announced that co-founder, Denise McNerney had moved from Virginia to Florida. She is enjoying pointing out the weather to those north of where she now lives. I gotta say, she’s enjoying it a bit too much.

Cass Hui – founder of Heal Mary was then introduced to the attendees. She shared her story of how she came from the tech industry into the clinical research industry. Her mom first and then two sisters all had breast cancer. Cass encountered frustrations in finding clinical trials for them to consider and decided to apply her experience and skills to making this easier for others. Rather than becoming a patient recruitment company, she provides her service in the software as a service (Saas) model. Multiple patient advocacy and disease foundations are using her platform to inform people about clinical trials.

Cass utilized the platform to poll/question the attendees about clinical trial recruitment information. This was a fun way to get people thinking about the topic and led to a lively question and answer session. 

After the Q&A, we broke into separate breakout rooms for people to introduce themselves, their companies and their needs to the others in the room.   

The April event will feature Joseph Cheng with PiVOT CRO  on the demographics, clinical research experience and capabilities of the Philippines.

Cassandra Hui; Heal Mary and evening presenter
Stacey Richardson; Parexel
Mike O’Gorman; Life Science Marketplace
Dave Gibboni, Beigene
Amy Lee; Kaiser Permanente
Loretta Cipkus Dupray; Global Clinical Connections
Peter Payne; Consultant
Matthew Plaud, Consultant
Nancy Zeleniak; Advocate Health
Joseph Cheng; PiVOT
Jean-Pascal Rugiero; SVM Pharma
Rodan Zadeh; Consultant
Kim New, ClinChoice
Duncan Shaw; DTS Language Services
Maria Frane; Corlexia
Gabrielle DeBoer; Consultant
Arti Bhosale, Sieve Health

GLSA Attendees:
Holly Cliffe
Sally Haller
Hannah Lloyd
Jordan Brown
Joe Buser
Timmina Williams
Megan Hoffman
Charity Dube
Chris Matheus
Denise McNerney
Ori Geshury
Liz Mirra
Alex Hoppe
Shiquita Hinton
Whitney Davis

A couple snapshots from the event are below:

Screen shot #1
Screen shot #2
Screen shot #3
Screen shot #4


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, ( 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.

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

Excesses in Patient Recruitment?

Recall the excesses in pharmaceutical sales and marketing activities of the 1990’s – paying to send doctors to major sporting events (Super Bowl, Masters, World Series, etc), handing out pre-ordered take home dinners on street corners, sales representatives were catering lunches daily, providing examining table covers with product advertising, pricey dinners and entertainment, etc.

Recently a few industry veterans met over coffee and the topic of some activities being seen in patient recruitment came up.  There has been a surge in companies that provide supportive logistics for clinical trials.  The logistical support includes: transportation to and from doctor appointments, temporary housing at hotels or apartments while in the clinical trial or for pre and post study visit.  Lyft and Uber are being contracted to provide some of the transportation as well as “black car” limo companies.

Getting and keeping patients in a clinical trial, increases the speed at which the trial can be conducted, speeding up discovery of which drugs work and thereby reducing pain, disease and suffering.  While we acknowledge how important recruiting and retaining a patient in the trial is, there’s a sense that the pendulum may be swinging too far.  Typically, when that happens for too long, the government steps in and well-intentioned but burdensome regulations are added.  That was done to  pharmaceutical sales and marketing activities, now, pharmaceutical companies are not even allowed to give out pens and notepads.  It would be better to improve our own oversight than to have something forced upon us.

Others may feel we’re over-reacting.  Let us share some of the things we’ve seen and we invite you to respond with your thoughts.

  • Automobile transportation: Uber Black including a uniformed driver.
  • Patients being put up at Five Star hotels, after they complain about lower priced ones.
  • Accommodations for extended family members are being included (for moral support).
  • The current regulations allow for reimbursement of “necessary and practical” items.  To accomplish this, debit/credit cards are given out and when the money runs out, more is requested and more is put back on the card.  It’s been reported that a patient in one trial bought a car with their card, asked for more money and more was put on.
  • Patients and families are being brought to the US from all over the globe for extended periods of time.  When the study is over, do we think these families are going to want to leave?
  • For their time in clinical trials, the patient and/or patient family’s financial lifestyle is being augmented and made potentially made better.

Is this excessive or necessary?