Posts Tagged by Cambridge PR

International PR expert Dick Pirozzolo on deepening US-Vietnam ties

Harris Communications Group Dick Pirozzolo, 3rd from left on panel at CEO Summit in Vietnam, July 2015

Harris Communications Group Dick Pirozzolo, 2nd from right on panel at CEO Summit in Vietnam, July 2015

Harris Communications Group member  and PR expert Dick Pirozzolo,  recently served on a panel in Ho Chi Minh City at the Vietnam CEO Summit 2015 where more than 100 Vietnam’s top executives and business owners came to learn about American marketing principles and how to penetrate markets in the US. Speakers and panelists included Harvard professors, journalists and marketing experts. Prof. John Quelch of Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration led the all-day discussion, reviewing Harvard case studies covering The New York Times transition to the digital age and Amazon’s phenomenal success as an online marketer. The event was organized by Boston Global Forum, a Boston think tank, founded by former Governor Michael Dukakis and Tuan Anh Nguyen, and Richard Moore Associates, a Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City marketing firm. Pirozzolo told the group, “North Americans positively embrace Vietnam and Vietnam’s culture is more fully integrated into our society than that of any other Asian nation.” During the panel discussion, he urged the executives to rely on cultural events—including both Vietnamese and Western classical music performances—and celebrity to promote Vietnam. He noted that President Clinton’s recent visit to Hanoi was big news in the US and had enormous impact by placing Vietnam in the front of Americans’ minds. The bond between Americans and Vietnamese has grown tighter since the US opened up trade with Vietnam two decades ago.”

In a later interview Pirozzolo said, “You know Vietnam is integrated into our popular culture when you see Modern Family character Cam Tucker pulling off  a comical bit on how American’s can’t pronounce Pho, the traditional Vietnamese breakfast soup. Cam tries a couple of pronunciations on an Asian doctor who finally quips, ‘I wouldn’t know, I’m Japanese.’  Modern Family is the most popular show on American television, drawing an audience of 10 million—that means the writers expect a huge cross section of Americans to have enough awareness of Vietnam to get the joke. And, when you can comfortably bring in humor, that’s a big deal in terms of the relationship.”

Two young executives at the Vietnam CEO 2015 Summit. One big change. Ho Chi Minh City has become more fashionable over the past 20 years. Navy blue and charcoal Western suits are commonplace among men and, except for special occasions and among hotel, airline, and conference greeters, the demure Ao Dai is seldom seen in the city.

Two young executives at the Vietnam CEO 2015 Summit. One big change. Ho Chi Minh City has become more fashionable over the past 20 years. Navy blue and charcoal Western suits are commonplace among men and, except for special occasions and among hotel, airline, and conference greeters, the demure Ao Dai is seldom seen in the city.

Since Pirozzolo began promoting U.S. recognition of Vietnam, its most-favored-nation status, and US-Vietnam trade in the mid-1990s, this nation of 90 million has become an important business and trading partner, travel destination and major ally in maintaining the peace Southeast Asia. The July conference coincided with the 20th anniversary of US recognition of Vietnam and the granting of Most Favored Nation status. About 400,000 Americans and 100,000 Canadians are expected to visit Vietnam in 2015 according to Vietnamese government statistics. Vietnam is very welcoming, “I never felt any residual animosity during my involvement with Vietnam over the years. Notably over 60 percent of the populations was born after the American War ended in April of 1975—40 years ago. A prominent Vietnamese leader who was a child at the time said of those years, we just wanted the war to end.

Two young executives at the Vietnam CEO 2015 Summit. One big change. Ho Chi Minh City has become more fashionable over the past 20 years. Navy blue and charcoal Western suits are commonplace among men and, except for special occasions and among hotel, airline, and conference greeters, the demure Ao Dai is seldom seen in the city. “To put that 40-year time span into sharper focus, 1985 marked the 40th anniversary of the end of World War II and Americans were driving BMWs and Toyotas with nary a thought and the Japanese were listening to Phil Collins.” Panelists are from left  Moderator Nguyen Duc Son, brand manager, Richard Moore Associates, Michael Morris, journalists and author, Prof. Thomas Patterson, Harvard University, Tuan Anh Nguyen, chairman and co-founder of Boston Global Forum, Nguyen Van Tuong, president Tram Huong Khanh Hoa, a major agar wood supplier, Dick Pirozzolo, Pirozzolo Company Public Relations and editorial board of Boston Global Forum and Llewelyn King, host, White House Chronicles airing on PBS.   For additional details and photos of Vietnam during the 90s visit:

Dick Pirozzolo is an international PR expert based in the Boston area.  


Virtual Knowledge Assistant Work Exchanged for Donations to Philippine storm victims

Very pleased to spread the word that Leo von Wendorff, a colleague of ours at the Cambridge Innovation Center whose business is largely based in the Philippines.will, for one month,  donate all proceeds from his virtual knowledge worker business to victims of Super-Typhoon Haiya.



Leo Von Wendorff CEO, VKW Leo Von Wendorff, CEO, VKW


Leo writes:

Dear Friends of VKW-

Cities and Towns were destroyed.

Lives were lost.

Thousands may still be missing.

Together with you

We want to help

Recreate Communities

Let’s rebuild their Lives!


For one month, we are offering our Virtual Private Assistant services in exchange for your donation. 100% of the proceeds will go to the victims of Super Typhoon Haiyan via Philippine Red Cross. Let us take on your time-consuming and mundane tasks, knowing that your donation will help rebuild the lives of those affected by this terrible tragedy.


Please submit your project, work order or task request to or (617) 299-1176 by December 7, 2013.


Typical tasks that we can handle for you:

  • Data Entry, such as data entry of all your business cards

  • Appointment settings for your business or personal event

  • Execute your social media and telemarketing campaign

  • Lead mining

  • Internet research


All task and pledges are subject to our review and depending on resources available.

-Your VKW Team
–Anita Harris Leo Von Wendorff CEO, VKW
Anita M. Harris is managing director of the Harris Communications Group, an award-winning public relations and marketing firm based at the Cambridge Innovation Center, in Kendall Square, Cambridge, MA.  HarrisCom specializes in media relations and content services for clients in health, science, technology, energy and education, worldwide. 


TauRx launches Phase 3 Clinical Trials for Alzheimer’s Drug in 15 countries

 Second-generation Tau Aggregation Inhibitor (TAI) is aimed at halting the progression of Alzheimer

MONTE CARLO, 30 October 2012 – TauRx Therapeutics Ltd announced today the initiation of two global Phase 3 clinical trials in mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease. These landmark studies could provide the first definitive data on a Tau-based approach to disease-modifying and preventative treatment of Alzheimer’s for at least the next 5–7 years, said Professor Claude Wischik, Chairman of TauRx and Professor of Old Age Psychiatry at the University of Aberdeen, in a press conference at the 5th Clinical Trials Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease (CTAD) in Monte Carlo, Monaco today.The studies culminate three decades of research by Professor Wischik and colleagues, including the original discovery of the Tau protein as the main constituent of the Tangle pathology of Alzheimer’s disease [‘Tau tangles’], the development of the first Tau Aggregation Inhibitor (TAI), and results from an earlier Phase 2 clinical trial involving more than 300 patients that showed a 90% reduction in the rate of disease progression over two years.1“These Phase 3 studies are bringing us closer to finding an effective treatment that can actually arrest the progression of the disease,” said Professor Wischik. “We are building on over thirty years of research, and the encouraging results from our previous Phase 2 clinical trial in Alzheimer’s disease support an approach which targets the abnormal Tau aggregates in the brain.” 

The studies, which have already starting enrolling in the U.S., aim to confirm the disease-modifying effects seen in the Phase 2 studies in mild to moderate patients over an 18-month timeframe. The first study will involve 833 people with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease over 12 months.2 The second study will include 500 people with mild Alzheimer’s disease over 18 months.3


The study drug, LMTX™, is a second-generation TAI that targets the Tau tangles and their precursors, dissolving them in order to halt their harmful effects on memory.4-6 LMTX™ also works on the early stage Tau aggregates (called ‘oligomers’) which are precursors to fully-formed tangles and are thought to be particularly toxic.7


“Clinicians devoted to Alzheimer’s disease have been waiting for a promising agent with disease-modifying properties,” said Professor Serge Gauthier of the McGill Centre for Studies in Aging, Quebec, Canada. “The basic science data for this agent, particularly in the tauopathies, looks sound and the interest among investigators and among families is high.” Professor Gauthier is a clinical investigator and scientific advisor for TauRx.


The tangles in the brain were first reported by Dr. Alois Alzheimer in 1907,8 starting the century-long journey to understand the pathology leading to their formation, their role in dementia, and, ultimately, how to stop their spread through the brain.


Professor Lon Schneider, MD, of the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California, a scientific advisor for TauRx, said: “Successfully targeting Tau may be an important approach towards slowing and ideally halting the neuro-degeneration that is characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease or frontotemporal dementia. Clinicians need these Phase 3 studies to produce clear evidence that such an approach could lead to improved patient outcomes.”


Countries in which the Phase 3 clinical trials will be conducted include Australia, Belgium, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Spain, Netherlands, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, U.S., and U.K.  Patients and caregivers are invited to sign up for study updates at, as the clinical trials are initiated in the countries selected.




About Alzheimer’s Disease and Tau Tangles:


Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most important health challenges worldwide, and the most-common type of dementia. According to the Geneva-based World Health Organization, global dementia cases are expected to double within 20 years to an estimated 65.7 million people [more than the entire population of France currently at 63 million people].9 In very early, asymptomatic Alzheimer’s, pre-tangle Tau aggregates (oligomers) and Tau protein tangles are already present in the same regions of the brain where neuronal degeneration and loss of neuronal cells eventually occur.10,11 These changes first appear 20 – 30 years before the disease becomes clinically evident. With time, Tau tangles spread from the entorhinal cortex (responsible for learning, memory, thinking and planning) through the hippocampus to the neocortex (affecting the ability to communicate, recognize family and loved ones and to care for oneself), resulting in neuronal dysfunction and worsening of clinical symptoms.11 The spread is now thought to be due to a prion-like process whereby the oligomers act as ‘infectious particles’ which are able to propagate the abnormal aggregation of Tau protein from one neurone to the next.12 These oligomers recruit normal Tau to produce yet more infectious oligomers which spread neuronal destruction throughout the brain.


About TauRx Therapeutics:


TauRx Therapeutics Ltd was established in Singapore in 2002 with the aim of developing new treatments and diagnostics for a range of neurodegenerative diseases based on an entirely new approach which targets aggregates of abnormal fibres of Tau protein that form inside nerve cells in the brain, giving rise to Tangles. The TauRx team have since discovered that LMTX™ could also have beneficial effects in several other neurodegenerative diseases associated with Tau pathology, as well as other protein aggregation disorders including Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, Frontotemporal Dementia [FTD-Pick’s Disease], Progressive Supranuclear Palsy and Cortico-Basal Degeneration. While TauRx corporate headquarters are in Singapore, its primary research facilities are in Aberdeen, Scotland.


For press enquiries please contact:


U.S. media contacts:

Anita Harris +1 617-576-0906
Outside the U.S. media contacts:

Sylvie Berrebi +44 (0)7795 197271 /+44 (0)7973 950376

Elizabeth Puller +44 (0)208 834 1447


Email: after Oct. 29:






  1. Wischik CM, Bentham P, Wischik DJ, Seng KM. Tau aggregation inhibitor (TAI) therapy with remberTM arrests disease progression in mild and moderate Alzheimer’s disease over 50 weeks. Alzheimer’s and Dementia 2008;4:T167. Abstract available at: Accessed October 2012.
  2. Safety and efficacy study evaluating TRx0237 in subjects with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease. Available at: Accessed October 2012.
  3. Safety and efficacy study evaluating TRx0237 in subjects with mild Alzheimer’s disease. Available at: Accessed October 2012.
  4. Wischik CM, Edwards PC, Lai RYK, Roth M, Harrington CR. Selective inhibition of Alzheimer disease-like tau aggregation by phenothiazines. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 1996;93:11213-11218. Full article available at: Accessed October 2012.
  5. Wischik CM, Lai RYK, Harrington CR. Modelling prion-like processing of tau protein in Alzheimer’s disease for pharmaceutical development. In: Brain Microtubule Associated Proteins: Modifications in Disease, eds. Avila J, Brandt R, Kosik KS. (1997) pp. 185-241. Amsterdam: Harwood Academic Publishers.
  6. Wischik CM, Wischik DJ, Storey JMD, Harrington CR. Rationale for tau-aggregation inhibitor therapy in Alzheimer’s disease and other tauopathies. In: Emerging Drugs and Targets for Alzheimer’s Disease. Volume 1: Beta-Amyloid, Tau Protein and Glucose Metabolism, ed. Martinez A. (2010) pp. 210-232. Cambridge: RSC Publishing.
  7. Taniguchi S, Suzuki N, Masuda M, Hisanaga S, Iwatsubo T, Goedert M, et al. Inhibition of heparin-induced tau filament formation by phenothiazines, polyphenols, and porphyrins. J Biol Chem 2005;280:7614-7623. Full article available at: Accessed October 2012.
  8. Alzheimer A. On a peculiar disease of the cerebral cortex. Allgemeine Zeitschrift für Psychiatrie und Psychisch-Geritlich Medicin 1907;64:146-148.
  9. World Health Organization News Release. Dementia cases set to triple by 2050 but still largely ignored. Available at: Accessed October 2012.
  10. Mukaetova-Ladinska EB, Garcia-Sierra F, Hurt J, Gertz HJ, Xuereb JH, Hills R, et al. Staging of cytoskeletal and beta-amyloid changes in human isocortex reveals biphasic synaptic protein response during progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Am J Pathol 2000;157:623-636. Full article available at: Accessed October 2012.
  11. Braak H, Braak E. Neuropathological stageing of Alzheimer-related changes. Acta Neuropathol 1991;82:239-259. Abstract available at: Accessed October 2012.
  12. Soto C. Transmissible proteins: expanding the prion heresy. Cell 2012; 149:968-977. Full article available at: Accessed October 2012.




Downturn, VC industry, present funding challenges for startups

The economic downturn of 2008 has led to significant changes in the Massachusetts Venture Capital industry. Those changes have made it easier now than at any time in the last ten years for startups to get relatively small amounts of seed money–but more difficult  for them to obtain “A Round” or additional series funding.

That was the consensus of  three Boston area venture capitalists who spoke at the Cambridge Innovation Center on  Wednesday, May 2.

I published a full account of  the event –sponsored by McCarter-English law firm and  featuring Jo Tango of Kepha Partners, David Beisel of NextView Ventures, and CA Webb, of the the New England Venture Capital Association– at New Cambridge Observer.

–Anita M. Harris
Anita Harris is president of the Harris Communications Group, an award-winning public relations and marketing firm based in Cambridge, MA