Posts Tagged by harris communications

Harris Communications Group is PR sponsor for Biotech Tuesday Startup Competition

[media-credit standalone=0 id=1 align="alignright" width="300"]Judges from Lab Central, Novartis and EMD Serono at Biotech Tuesday Awards [/media-credit]

Judges from Lab Central, Novartis and EMD Serno at Biotech Tuesday Awards

We were pleased to serve as PR sponsor for Biotech Tuesday’s first-ever life science innovation competition and event–held Tueday, Nov. 19, at the District Hall in Boston’s Seaport area

At the event,  Boston area  startups Cocoon Biotech, Riparian Pharmaceuticals, Cellanyx Diagnostics, and DavosPharma  were awarded $22K in funds and in-kind services to three Boston area life science companies.

The winners were chosen by Executives from EMD Serono, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research and LabCentral  from among pitches delivered by  five finalists.  The five were selected from an initial field of thirteen online entries based, in part, on online feedback from BiotechTuesday members. The three winners were all therapeutics and diagnostics startups proposing solutions to challenging medical problems.

Cocoon Biotech, Inc., led by CEO and founder Ailis Tweed-Kent, a doctor at Massachusetts General Hospital won the $5000 EMD Serono Innovation Award.  Cocoon Biotech is developing a silk-based gel for injection into the joint to provide long lasting joint support and lubrication in patients with osteoarthritis.  EMD Serono is the biopharmaceutical subsidiary of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a global pharmaceutical and chemical group.

Riparian Pharmaceuticals, led by Will Adam, Chief Scientific Officer and President, won both the $10,000 in-kind Novartis Innovation Award and the $3000 in-kind Pharmatek Innovation Award. Riparian Pharmaceuticals is focused on therapeutics that induce an anti-inflammatory response in cells to address diseases such as atherosclerosis.  Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, Inc. discovers and develops new and innovative medicines. Pharmatek Laboratories, Inc. is a premier pharmaceutical chemistry development and manufacturing organization supporting the pharmaceutical & biotechnology industries.

2013-11-19_19-09-56_272 Foreground Carlos Martinez-Vela, Executive Director, Venture Cafe Foundation
Background: Seth Taylor, cofounder, Biotech Tuesday

Anharris | Harris Communications GroupAnharris | Harris Communications GroupCellanyx Diagnostics, led by Co-Founder and CEO Ashok Chander, won the $4000 in-kind LabCentral Innovation Award.  Cellanyx is developing a prostate cancer diagnostic based on culturing tumor biopsy cells that promises to be much more accurate than current diagnostics.  LabCentral provides fully functional lab space, permits, waste handling, plus all reasonably common lab equipment for bioresearch.

In addition to awarding startups, the event also acknowledged the contribution of life science products and services in enabling cutting edge research for new therapeutics.  DavosPharma won the Most Innovative Product or Service Award in recognition of its Anthem-GenTox product. This product offers scientists a high throughput genotoxicity assay based on human cells with greatly improved accuracy over conventional methods.

Full disclosure: Biotech Tuesday co-founder Seth Taylor serves on our advisory board.

–Anita Harris
Anita Harris is president of the Harris Communications Group, an award-winning PR firm specializing in strategy, content, media relations for clients in health, science, technology and energy. 


Boston’s District Hall Celebrates Grand Opening

DHALL_w_logo_and_tag_linePleased  to have attended the celebration for the opening of  District Hall–the beautiful new event center  for innovators located in Boston’s snazzy Seaport District–just across from the Institute for Contemporary Art.  Managed by the Venture Cafe Foundation–a sister organization  of the Cambridge Innovation Center (C)C)  where I work– District Hall has a large event space, conference and class rooms, a restaurant and a view of the Harbor. What I like best is its scale–it’s not a skyscraper,  is not overwhelming like the nearby convention center or the CIC in Kendall Square. It’s just a simple, welcoming  space with white board, galore.

As described on  its Web site as:

“It’s the first building of its kind in the world….

” …A dedicated civic space where the innovation community can gather and exchange ideas. Inside you’ll find open workspace, classrooms, assembly space, flexible use ‘pods’, and writable surfaces everywhere!  Also stop by for coffee and food at Brew and Gather.”

“…The result of a collaborative public-private partnership. When Mayor Thomas M. Menino announced his vision for the Innovation District, he called for a gathering space for innovators to get together and share ideas. The building was then privately funded and built by Boston Global Investors, as the first project in their twenty-three acre masterplan for Seaport Square. Operations and programming are run by the Venture Café Foundation, a not-for-profit sister organization to the Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC). ”

Its  hospitality partners are Gather and Brew, both operated by The Briar Group. The building and the restaurant were designed by Hacin + Associates.

Without the generous support of John HancockIdeaPaint and Philips Color Kinetics, District Hall would not be the unique space it is today.”

District Hall
75 Northern AvenueBoston, MA.  02210


—Anita M.Harris, Managing Director
Harris Communications Group

The Harris Communications Group is an award-winning PR and market development firm.  Based in Kendall Square, Cambridge, MA, we provide a media relations, marketing communications, writing, crisis communications, content, marketing and social media services for companies in health, science, technology and energy. 

Evado Launches UniFORM–Breakthru Cloud App to Streamline Business Computing

Effective for all sectors; first available for healthcare, clinical trials
Jennie and Ross Anderson, CEO & CtO of Evado, at DIA, Boston 6-23-13

[/media-credit] Jennie and Ross Anderson, CEO & CtO of Evado, at DIA, Boston 6-23-13

 We’re pleased to be working with Evado and Cambridge Healthtech Associates on the launch of this exciting new cloud app!
–Anita Harris, Harris Communications Group 
Boston, June 25, 2013Evado Pty LTD (Evado  E-Clinical)  today launched  a breakthrough cloud application (app) promising to streamline clinical trials by allowing the management of  information and complex data from a single page user-interface – regardless of software, format or user device.Based in Melbourne, Australia, with offices in San Francisco and Singapore, Evado is an award-winning developer of software for clinical trial research around the globe.  Its new, “disruptive” approach to the design, development and delivery of health applications will change the way e-Health apps are deployed, worldwide.“Until now, in today’s rapidly changing business environment, business functions have been segmented into numerous apps that operate independently of one another,” said Jennie Anderson, Evado’s co-founder and CEO.  “As a result, users must open multiple applications to complete a single business process or function and companies must upgrade apps on a regular basis.“By standardizing user access across a wide variety of computer environments, UniFORM allows users to access the same information, in the same format, regardless of whether they are using a smart phone, iPad, android, desktop or laptop.

‘Thus, for example, medical staff will have the information they need to care for patients at their fingertips, in one application, no matter what device they are using.  And, they will be able to see patients’ health information securely from anywhere, at any time, in any language.”

UniFORM will be useful for companies and organizations in all sectors – but this groundbreaking new technology will first be available in the clinical trials and patient registry arena.

“Our specialty is elegant simplicity,” Anderson said. “By taking highly complex problems and refining them into simple, easy-to-use applications, we aim to revolutionize the delivery of healthcare.”


Started in 1986, the company was the first international mobile health developer in Australia, deploying a mobile solution to facilitate the coordination of home and community healthcare on Microsoft CE handheld technology.

Evado has gone on to develop a clinical trial software suite praised by clients as “flexible, GCP compliant and cost effective.”  Evado’s clinical trial suite helps customers run accurate and successful studies, clinical trials and patient registries.

Evado has won numerous awards for eHealth, mobile health development and innovation.  This, coupled with having been awarded several government grants to assist in mobile health development, sets Evado apart from other global technology companies.

UniFORM will be available in the Fall of 2013.


Evado is an Australia based IT company with operations in the US and Asia Pacific. Its customers include research institutes, universities, large and small drug developers and medical device manufacturers—all of whom use Evado for pre-clinical through late stage trials and post-market studies. Evado technologies, employed successfully in numerous GCP and FDA compliant clinical trials and studies, provide significant benefits in cost, setup time, flexibility and visibility to research and commercial clients.


Jennie Anderson

EVADO Pty. Ltd.

Level 27, 140 William Street
Melbourne, Victoria 3000
Tel +61 3 9600 3616
Fax +61 3 6242 4779

EVADO Pty. Ltd.
548 Market Street
San Francisco, CA 94104-5401

Tel +1 888 896 9622


Singapore Clinical Research Institute (SCRI)
31 Biopolis Way, Nanos #02-01
Singapore, 138669
Tel +65 6508 8300 (help desk)
Anita Harris worked on outreach for Evado in conjunction with tCambridge Healthtech Associates.





What, exactly, is a PR agency?


I recently responded to an article in Venture Beat in which a former-journalist-turned-PR guy-turned- entrepreneur   proclaimed that startups should not hire PR agencies.  The author held that agencies are  too expensive, give poor service,  can’t write, don’t understand the media and,  basically, “don’t get it.”   To me, that seemed a vast over-generalization. Perhaps the article was geared at promoting freelancers or sole practitioners…or the author’s new startup, which is fine, I suppose.    True, I’m asking myself why I’m linking  to his piece…but  thought you might like read that I wrote,  in my own bit of  shameless self-promotion:

What, exactly, is a PR agency? I work collaboratively with a group of high-level professionals (former University Communications VP’s, PRSA Silver-Anvil winners, etc). We have low overhead, the flexibility to work on project or retainer basis, bring in other experts as we need them and work directly with clients. We don’t consider ourselves freelancers–because we prefer to build long-term relationships with clients. To toot my own horn a bit (more) I’m a former national journalist with hundreds of personal editorial connections. I agree that $12K is too much for a start-up to pay…but, as long as we’re over-generalizing, most start-ups don’t have enough news to warrant a full-time PR person. A marketing expert with PR/media relations/social media skills is  different story. But the need also depends on the start-up, its stage, its industry, whom it needs to reach, how often, and for what purposes. 

Rather than pour it on too heavily, there, I did not mention  that our senior level practitioners bring  a range of skills–but, heck, this is my own blog. We’re great at crisis communications,  media , social media and clinical relations; writing, editing, digital marketing,  and event management—in health care, life sciences, education  technology.  We bring in others with expertise in design, investor relations, web development, investor relations, as needed.

So–are we an agency? Freelancers? Consultants? A collaborative? Perhaps the label doesn’t matter: it’s our skills and versatility that count.  And our ability to get the job done.

–Anita M. Harris
Anita Harris is the founding director of the Harris Communications Group–a public relations and digital marketing agency based in Cambridge, MA. 

Event: 10/15/2012 Marketing Your Personal and Professional Brands

American Marketing Association/Social Media Club Joint Event
7 pm October 15 at the CIC addition to seeking funding and developing their products, startups
need to raise awareness — and often turn to online social
communities. But when and how should you promote the
startup when and how should you promote yourself?
How do you maintain distinct online personalities when marketing the
professional brand vs the personal brand? Should you use the same voice?These are some of the issues that will be discussed at the start of
Boston Regional Entrepreneurship Week at 7 pm on October 15 at the CIC. The
Boston chapters of Social Media Club and the American Marketing
Association will join forces to feature three panelists who will discuss
these issues. (More details at below)—Anita Harris, President, Harris Communications Group and SMC Director

Marketing Your Professional and Personal Brands:
When is it right, wrong, and everything in between?

When you post information online, do your tweets and updates represent the voice of your company? Or do your updates represent yourself, an individual sharing the company?

If you are a marketer in charge of being the voice of your organization, yet have a significant online following as a result of your personal brand, it’s not an easy answer!

Trish Fontanilla,  Joselin Mane, and Kelly Rice are established marketers who effectively promote their professional and personal brands online every day. Hear their insights and strategies and learn how they juggle their own personalities and identities, while also representing the corporate voice of their respective companies in social media, in videos, at events, and other marketing channels.

Trish Fontanilla, @trishofthetrade, Community Manager, vSna
Joselin Mane, @joselinmane. Founder & CEO ,LITBel
Kelly Rice, @kellyrice88, Marketing Manager, Kinvey

There is an on-site parking garage. Limited street parking is also available.
The hashtags of the night are #smcboston, #amaboston, and #smcama.

Please note that attendees may be photographed, audiotaped, and/or videotaped at any time. By showing up, you agree to having your photo, voice, and/or video appear online.

Scientia Advisors Names Randy Goodman Manager of Pricing and Market Access Group

Pleased to post the press release we wrote for Scientia Advisors–
–Anita Harris

Health economics, policy & reimbursement expert to help healthcare, diagnostics, biotech, medical device, health IT and pharma companies bring products to market

Randy Goodman, PhD, a nationally recognized expert in pricing, reimbursement and managed care, has joined global strategy firm Scientia Advisors as manager of the firm’s Pricing and Market Access Group, Scientia Advisors announced, today.
Scientia Advisors is a global management consulting firm specializing in strategy, operations and pricing/reimbursement for major and emerging companies in healthcare, life sciences, pharma, biotechnology, and health IT. The firm’s Pricing and Market Access Group helps companies determine how best to introduce and develop pricing structures, and obtain reimbursement from third-party payers–within a context of highly competitive industries and rapidly changing health and regulatory systems, worldwide.
“Dr. Goodman comes to Scientia with a wealth of experience in the managed care, medical device, and biotech industries,” said Harry Glorikian, Scientia Advisors’ founder and managing partner. “He has directed pricing, reimbursement and managed markets strategies for a variety of US and global healthcare and device companies and has served as a consultant to the White House on health reform. We are delighted to welcome him to our firm.”
Immediately before joining Scientia, Dr. Goodman was Consultant/Director of health economics, reimbursement, managed markets and government relations for Welldoc, Inc., a leading provider of mobile health diabetes solutions in the US.
Previously, he served in a similar capacity for medical device/equipment companies ImpediMed, Inc., in San Diego; Access Mediquip, LLC, in Houston; and Hoveround,Corporation, in Sarasota. At–where, at various times, he has overseen he oversaw and managed strategic development, financial analysis, clinical reimbursement policy, regulation and financial analysis, business development, sales and marketing, among other duties.
Dr. Goodman served as a Health Care Reform Policy Consultant to the White House Office of Health Reform in 2009 and 2010 and counseled and collaborated with the White House and Congress on health reform proposals in 1992 and 1993.
He holds a PhD in Health Policy and Master of Health Administration from Harvard University and a BA from the University of Texas. He is a fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives, a Director of the National Association of Specialty Health Organization, among other affiliations.

Scientia Advisors, headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is a global management consulting firm specializing in growth, operations and pricing/reimbursement strategies for companies operating across the healthcare industry value chain. Strategies developed by Scientia Advisors are fueling growth of the leading firms in biotechnology, medical devices, diagnostics, pharmaceuticals, and health and nutrition.

Anita Harris is managing director of the Harris Communications Group, an award-winning PR, digital and content marketing firm based in Cambridge, MA.

Collaboration a key trend at 2012 BIO International Convention, Boston

Had a great time at the BIO International Convention in Boston, last week. Met teams from Norway, Australia, France, India, Israel…not to mention New York, North Carolina, Maryland, Oklahoma, etc.

Attendance, at 15,000, was down from its  25,000 high here five years ago but I found participants friendly and accessible.  HarrisCom advisor Christa Bleyleban said she counted more than 70 parties or networking gatherings (not a few of which I attended).

While the overall theme was” innovation,” it was a trend toward collaboration that I noticed most.


At a meeting sponsored by Polaris Ventures, industry execs and VCs discussed the shift of VC funds from biotech to the tech sector–which is occurring in part because tech investments can lead to quicker returns. One observer commented that pharma companies themselves are the new VCs–investing in early stage research rather than doing the research themselves.

In that regard, I  partnered with the Communications Strategy Group on a press conference and outreach in which the Swiss company AC Immune  announced a $400M licensing agreement with Genentech for development of an antibody to combat Alzheimer’s disease.

Also of interest was a keynote talk, sponsored by Scientific American, in which CNN’s Fareed Zakariah asked whether the US will continue to maintain its lead in technologic innovation.

For  more details,  please visit  my postings at New Cambridge Observer.

–Anita M. Harris

Anita Harris is President of the Harris Communications Group, an award-winning  PR, marketing and communications firm headquartered in Cambridge, MA.

UK Life Science Consulting Firm Alacrita to launch US HQ in Cambridge, MA

Met the other day with Rob Johnson, who will soon be launching UK-based Alacrita, a global life science consulting firm, to Cambridge, MA.

Johnson  co-founded the company two years ago with  Anthony Walker, who had previously served as Executive Director of Global External R&D Europe at Eli Lilly. Johnson had led business development at Onyvax, a biotech company that developed biopharmaceuticals to combat cancer.

Drawing on the capabilities of more than 50 consultants worldwide, Alacrita provides strategic, operational, technical advice or hands-on project management to organizations of all sizes in the pharma, biotechnology and life science industries, Johnson said.

The company name is based the Latin, “alacritas,” or “lively.”It is meant to convey “a cheerful readiness.”

Clients may be academic institutes, tech transfer experts, life science investors, startups or established companies in need of expertise in business development and marketing, intellectual property, product development, and regulatory affairs, according to Johnson.

Whitepapers available for free on Alacrita’s Web site  include:

  • Biotech in Israel: A Land of Promise » May 2012 – by Anthony Walker, PhD
  • FDA Approvals Provide Reason For Cheer » March 2012 – by Robert Johnson
  • Deal Watch Annual Review 2011 » January 2012
  • Viewpoint: Pharma Industry Myths » January 2012 – by Anthony Walker, PhD
  • Europe’s stellar decade of prostate cancer innovation » September 2011 – by Rob Johnson
  • Are we all biotech now? » June 2011 – by Anthony Walker and Rob Johnson
  • China: Opportunities for biotech firms » March 2011 – by Rob Johnson and Li Zeng
  • Re-Profiling: a Hidden Threat to Originators? » February 2011 – by Dr Jo Davies
  • Deal Watch Annual Review 2010 » January 2011 – by Roger Davies and Jill Ogden
  • Mitigating Out-sourcing Risk » December 2010 – by Robert Johnson and Anthony Walker
  • Deal Watch: a Review of Notable Deals » October 2010 – by Sharon Finch

Alacrita’s US offices will be located in the Cambridge Innovation Center in Kendall Square, Johnson said.


–Anita M. Harris

Anita Harris is president of the Harris Communications Group, a strategic PR & marketing communications firm located in Cambridge, MA.



Tree-huggers go corporate: minds meet at the bottom line

Last week at the British Consulate,  three sustainability experts advised companies that energy and environmental issues extend well  beyond the  “tree hugger”  movement–and that “green”  concerns increasingly  impact the bottom line.

Nick Masci of architect/engineering/construction firm Dacon Corporation,  described the  efforts of  a client, Perkins Supply, to improve  energy efficiency in its Taunton, MA warehouse .

The company spent $300,000 on  an energy management system after the CEO noticed that his employees often got up to get sweaters if they were too cold or water if they were too warm.  The new system both  made employees  more comfortable and enhanced their productivity by reducing the time they spent away from their desks.

According to Perkins’ Web site,  the company also converted 1200 light fixtures to high-efficiency fixtures with motion sensors–saving 383 KW hours per year–enough to power 383 homes  for a year and reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 3641544 pounds a year–equal to that produced annual by 316 passenger cars.

Perkins  also  installed a white roof on its warehouse, reducing by energy consumption by reflecting heat outward, and a VRTx water treatment system,  saving 540 gallons per year.

Rimi Chakraborty,  a self-described tree hugger who is vice president at T3, a tenant advisory firm, demonstrated a model her company uses to help its clients measure various factors involved in deciding where to locate–such as access to public transportation, shuttle services and carpooling and energy costs.   She also cited studies showing that many job applicants  now consider a company’s commitment to sustainability in deciding whether to accept a position.

Erin Rae Hoffer, an architect and industry strategist with Autodesk, inc., which develops 3D design software for manufacturing, building, and construction,  outlined various stages her own company went through in order to  add to and manage its own “sustainable” building.

Hoffer pointed out that nations and communities are increasingly instituting guidelines, incentives and regulations to encourage or ensure  attention to buildings’ environmental and energy impact.

China, the world’s biggest energy consumer, is developing a long-term strategy to maintain the security of overseas oil-and-gas supplies, rationalize pricing and taxation policies, boost nuclear and renewables and cut greenhouse gas emissions,  Reuters reports.

UK policy  focuses  reforming the electricity market, rolling out smart meters and improving the energy efficiency of the UK building stock through the Green Deal, according to Wikipedia.

In the US, national activity is limited, but many communities voluntarily adhere to international standards, Hoffer said.  Some cities and states  offer tax incentives for green building or energy enhancing home improvements;  others make public a building’s energy footprint–which could impact its price when an owner decides to sell.

The panel, held on April 19, 2012, was sponsored by the British American Business Council of New England.

–Anita M. Harris

Anita Harris is president of the Harris Communications Group, an award-winning PR  firm  specializing in media relations, content strategy and thought leadership for companies and organizations in health, science, technology and energy.


Is SEO Dead? Content strategy to drive traffic to your Web site

Hubspot’s  SEO Scientist Dan Zarrella  definitely caught my attention  when he asked in a recent Webinar if search is dead. He concluded that it is not–but that there’s no point in hiring SEO (search engine optimization) experts to game search engine algorithms to up your rankings on the Web.  His words, “What you really need are content production people “, were music to my content-strategist ears.

In “The Science of SEO” (Dec. 8, 2011), Zarrella outlined new research suggesting that while high search engine rankings can make your site seem more trustworthy, people under 30 are aware that many of the highest ranking sites are paid–and most people surveyed did not trust pay for click sites or admit to clicking on them.

This means that the key to optimal search engine placement is  “organic” search–in which “spiders” electronically find and rank sites based on the usefulness of their content, he said. That usefulness is determined mainly by the numbers of links connecting a site from other sites. |

How can you get more links? Zarrella advises:

-Post “piles and piles” of content: a blog or more  a day

-Keep titles to 40-80 characters–tweet length–so that your content can be readily picked up  by social media users

-Write on newsworthy, timely topics

-Post early in the week and early in the day–which is when bloggers are looking for news to cover/link to.

-Don’t use buzzwords or jargon

-Bear in mind photos and video on sites encourage links–and that, according to Zarrella’s research, videos are linked-to far more often than are photos.

Zarrella said he can’t explain why that should be but “it shows there are many different kinds of search engines and they are all looking for content.”

The Webinar is available for free at

Anita M. Harris

Anita Harris, a content strategist, is president of the Harris Communications Group, an award-winning public relations firm in Cambridge, MA. She also blogs at New Cambridge Observer.

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