May 17, 2020

Omnicom Health Group acquires Elsevier's Pharma Communications business in Japan

pharmaceutical
Catherine Sturman
2 min
pharmaceutical (Getty Images)
Encompassing over 3,200 dedicated healthcare communications specialists, Omnicom Health Group (OHG) is organised around four customer groups—healthcar...

Encompassing over 3,200 dedicated healthcare communications specialists, Omnicom Health Group (OHG) is organised around four customer groups—healthcare professionals, patients, payers, and medical, evidence and regulatory stakeholders.

Its decision to acquire the Pharma Communications business in Japan under Elsevier, part of RELX Group, follows on from its success within the healthcare communications business for over 30 years.

The acquired business and employees will become part of a newly-named healthcare marketing communications agency, EMC K.K, which will be a 100% owned subsidiary of Omnicom Group. The acquired unit's management team also joins EMC, with Takao Ozawa promoted to Managing Director. He will report to David Stark, CEO of Omnicom Health Group Asia Pacific (OHG AP).

EMC further strengthens OHG's roster of leading healthcare agencies in Japan, which also includes Targis, Rx Healthcare, Polaris Consumer Health, CDM Tokyo, and the digital marketing and healthcare market research company MCI.

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"Our clients' resolve to extend global initiatives to Japan and their desire to partner with us is due to the excellent reputation of our companies, which has created a huge opportunity for us to grow our business," said Ed Wise, CEO, Omnicom Health Group.

"The addition of EMC's talented healthcare specialists, and their long term good standing in the market enables us to meet growing client demand and maintain the best service offering in Japan."

"The brand name EMC commemorates a proud 38-year history delivering excellence in medical communications as the pharma communications business unit of Elsevier Japan," explains David Stark, CEO of OHG AP.

"EMC's outstanding talent adds significant medical communications capacity to Omnicom Health Group in Japan. With EMC, we now have unmatched scale, depth and breadth of dedicated healthcare communications services, making us the best partner for clients and helping us deliver on our mission: Communications for a Healthy Life."

 

 

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Jul 28, 2021

5 mins with... Johannes Bhakdi, Quantgene

COVID19
Genomics
AI
biotechnology
3 min
5 mins with... Johannes Bhakdi, Quantgene
Johannes Bhakdi, CEO of Quantgene, tells us about their approach to identifying new COVID-19 variants

Quantgene is a US biotech company that uses AI and the cloud to do genomic testing. It was founded in 2015 to focus on cancer - integrating advanced genomics and molecular diagnostics systems with the cloud and AI systems. 

CEO Johannes Bhakdi tells us Quantgene is the first COVID-19 testing company to fully integrate variant identification - we find out more. 

Given the new Delta and Lambda variants, is the coronavirus mutating at a faster rate than most viruses?
 
The reason SARS-COV2 is mutating on a perceived higher rate is not that the individual viruses mutate at a higher rate, but that the base population infected with the virus is vastly higher. The absolute rate of global mutations is a direct function of how many people have the virus at any given point in time. Since this is a global pandemic, and tens of millions have been infected, we see more mutations. 

That makes it more unpredictable, because any single mutation that has an evolutionary advantage - like the Delta variant - can then take over and spread even faster.  

What is the usual process for testing and analysing viral mutations? 

The most effective tool for analysing mutations is Whole Viral Genome sequencing. It allows you to read out the entire genome of the virus. Once the wet-lab sequencing is complete, we use this information to map it against what is called a "reference genome", meaning the classic SARS-COV2 genome. This allows us to then see any differences between the investigated sample and the baseline genome of SARS COV2. 

We then use these differences to map them against a database of known mutations, like the Delta variant. That way we can see if we are dealing with any known variant, and if we have a new variant at our hands, as well as determine what this new variant does to the spike protein and how likely it is to be a problem with antigens and vaccines, based on the changed protein structure. This last step is not easy and not clear-cut, and there is some speculation into the determination of how problematic the mutated proteins are. 

 What does Quantgene do differently?  

At Quantgene, we are focusing on solving problems for our clients - may it be employers, movie productions or governments. That means we ensure that our client gets the COVID protection they need in the fastest possible time frame and at the highest precision possible - mostly at or below market prices. 

We are bringing together technologies like RT-PCR testing and mutation profiling/sequencing, as well as advanced bioinformatics and computational resources to ensure high-quality results are being delivered seamlessly. 

We are also adding important components such as real-time cloud software and medical services to it. Simply put, we turn the COVID problem into a one-click seamless solution that works better than others, so companies and government clients don't have to deal with laboratories, medical or software providers who point fingers at each other and fail to deliver in time and with high precision. COVID is too dangerous and important to risk falling short.     

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