Monday, November 6, 2006
Waltham, Mass.-based Phase Forward reported a 26% increase in third quarter 2006 revenues compared with the same period in 2005. The company reported third quarter revenues of $28 million, up from $22.2 million last year. For the fourth quarter of 2006, the company reported it expects revenues to be between $29.2 and $30.0 million. Income from operations was $4 million, showing a margin of 14.2% and an increase of 66% from the prior year period. The company reported expected revenues for the entire 2006 fiscal year to be between $105.6 and $106.4 million. On non-GAAP basis, the company expects EPS between $0.37 and $0.38.
Big Pharma continues to expand into the vaccine market as Pfizer purchased privately owned PowderMed this week, hoping for an ouch-free entry into this segment. The vaccine market is suddenly looking golden to Big Pharma when just a few years ago it seemed that most drugmakers wouldn’t go near vaccines.
Pharma companies know they have to reach out to new and inexperienced investigators to maintain capacity for growth in emerging regions. Investigator capacity is a major issue in these markets because they have experienced such significant growth in recent years. In the U.S., though, companies have taken more of a sink-or-swim approach when introducing physicians to clinical research, and they could be making a big mistake.
The issue of clinical trial result transparency continues to evolve at a rapid pace. During the past few years, almost every stakeholder has taken action in some form. This should be a positive development because there is a lot attention being focused on a very important issue. But at the end of the day, have we made a difference? Has the noise that this caused just confused the issue more for patients and physicians, or made finding trial information easier and more useful?
A proposal in Congress to boost funding for the FDA makes a lot of sense. But don’t stop there, Congress – a super-sized FDA would help solve many of the issues around drug safety. Make sure it’s truly independent, though, and free from pressures from the pharmaceutical industry, brought upon it by a lack of resources. Drug research reformists often suggest creating an independent clinical trials agency to perform trials for the industry, but that’s a far-fetched and unworkable solution.
Posted by: Dr. Chandrashekhar Potkar
This year’s Drug Information Association (DIA) 42nd annual industry conference, held in Philadelphia, Penn attracted nearly 10,000 attendees from across every sector in the drug development industry. Presenting at the show were over 400 U.S. and close to 200 international companies, from both developed markets and emerging regions around the globe. Nearly 1,000 delegates from 50 countries were scheduled to attend.