February FDA NDA/BLA Approvals

2/01 Cosopt PF, Merck Sharp Dohme; 2/03 Giazo, Salix Pharmaceuticals ; 2/07 Mitosol, Mobius Therapeutics;
2/07 Sklice, Sanofi-Topaz; 2/10 Zioptan, Merck Sharp Dohme



Top 15 Potential Blockbusters in Development
There is a feeling in the industry that the day of the multi-billion dollar drug is over. That the market is transitioning to more specialized and targeted therapies. However, according to John Carroll, Editor-in-Chief at Fierce-Biotech, “Despite rumors to the contrary, the blockbuster is far from dead. Here are 15 hopefuls that are alive and kicking.”

  1. The drug: T-DM1
    The disease: Breast cancer
    The developers: Roche/Genentech, ImmunoGen
    Peak sales potential: $5 billion-plus
  2. The drug: BG-12
    The disease: Multiple sclerosis
    The developer: Biogen Idec
    Peak sales potential: $3 billion or so
  3. The drug: Darapladib
    The disease: Atherosclerosis
    The developer: GlaxoSmithKline
    Peak sales potential: Multibillion-dollar market
  4. The drug: Gantenerumab
    The disease: Alzheimer's
    The developers: Roche, MorphoSys AG Peak sales potential: The sky's the limit.
  5. The drug: GS-7977
    The disease: Hepatitis C
    The developer: Gilead
    Peak sales potential: Barclays analyst Tony Butler says $3.8 billion
  6. The drug: REGN727
    The disease: Cardiovascular disease
    The developers: Sanofi/Regeneron
    Peak sales potential: Some estimates start at $2.5 billion, though Deutsche Bank analyst Robyn Karnauskas leads the cheering section with $3 billion to $6 billion in potential.
  7. The drug: Odanacatib
    The disease: Osteoporosis
    The developer: Merck
    Peak sales potential: $2.5 billion (Barclays)
  8. The drug: Anacetrapib
    The disease: Cardiovascular
    The developer: Merck
    Peak sales potential: Estimates range anywhere from $3 billion to $10 billion, but skepticism about its ultimate success seems to be growing.
  9. The drug: Eliquis (apixaban)
    The disease: Atrial fibrillation
    The developer: Bristol-Myers Squibb, Pfizer
    Peak sales potential: Estimates start around $3.8 billion and rise to $5 billion or more.
  10. The drug: Tofacitinib
    The disease: Rheumatoid arthritis
    The developer: Pfizer
    Peak sales potential: $2 billion to $3 billion
  11. The drug: Bardoxolone
    The disease: Chronic kidney disease
    The developers: Reata, Abbott (AbbVie)
    Peak sales potential: Reata believes this drug will earn billions.
  12. The drug: Lu AA21004
    The disease: Major depression
    The developers: Lundbeck, Takeda
    Peak sales potential: Lundbeck estimates $2 billion, and they need it.
  13. The drug: QVA149
    The disease: COPD
    The developers: Novartis, Vectura
    Peak sales potential: Analysts at Credit Suisse have assigned a 50% probability of success with $750 million peak sales for QVA149 ex-U.S. and a 40% shot at $750 million in the U.S.
  14. The drug: Macitentan
    The disease: Pulmonary arterial hypertension
    The developer: Actelion
    Peak sales potential: $1.4 billion to $3 billion
  15. The drug: Alpharadin
    The disease: Cancer
    The developers: Bayer, Algeta
    Peak sales potential: $1 billion-plus Full Story at: FierceBiotech


We have compiled a few links to some sites that we’ve found valuable for our business that we’d like to share:


“My goal is to match qualified and dedicated candidates with stimulating client companies, which will result in a better lifestyle and work environment for all. I look to partner with individuals who have a passion for what they do professionally and personally. Most importantly, I am myself and I expect the same honesty and integrity I provide.”

Before starting in the business of recruiting, I graduated from University of California, San Diego. After which, I worked in cancer research for three years. This knowledge base in science has given me a unique understanding and appreciation for life sciences. I have been with MR Vancouver since 2000 working in the life science industry. I am a Certified Senior Account Manager through MRINetwork, allowing me to continue to sharpen my skills in the recruitment industry and was the Regional CSAM of the Year for 2010.

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First Friday

Searching for Perfect Candidate
May Miss the Perfect Match

When hiring managers begin to write the list of qualifications, they build lists of everything they think they want in a candidate. It's a process not unlike building a dating profile; pulling characteristics out of the air to describe the perfect match. In dating, people tend to understand that finding someone who matches that description is unlikely. When they find someone they like, it is almost a coincidence when they match even the broadest elements of the original profile.

By contrast, hiring managers frequently use far less latitude in their candidate searches. The descriptions involve far more precise requirements and they are less likely to waiver on them should someone outside of the criteria apply.

"Using vetting of candidates based on stringent requirements can keep out the candidates who have no place in an organization, but there isn’t an automated filter that is going to increase your ability to identify, much less attract impact players to your organization," says Rob Romaine, president of MRINetwork. "There isn't an accredited Master of Innovative Thinking degree or Doctorate of Self Starting, and a resume that claims someone has such qualities only means they know those skills are important."
The 8.2 percent national unemployment rate, and even the 3.9 percent bachelor's degree and higher unemployment rate, seem to still give employers a false sense of plentiful candidate supply. It's like the man stranded on a tropical island, surrounded by salt water — yet dying of thirst.
"In the early days of the recession, we saw amazing candidate availability. Top candidates truly were victims of circumstance — doing great work but losing their positions regardless — and became available on the active candidate market," notes Romaine. "But a type of reverse osmosis has had time to set in. The most desirable candidates found new positions. Today's unemployed population — especially the professional space — largely consists of people whose skills and education doesn’t match with the needs of the marketplace.
More than 22 percent of the U.S. workforce is in a professional or related occupation, but less than 11 percent of the 12.2 million people unemployed in May have professional experience. That translates to just 1.3 million lawyers, engineers, economists, computer programmers and more who are unemployed today and actively looking for a job. If you widen the net to include managers and financial professionals, the statistic grows to 38 percent of the U.S. workforce but still less than 19 percent of the unemployed population.
"When talking casually to hiring managers they know how tight the market is, they understand that of the 1.3 million professionals who are unemployed, they are unlikely to find that one person with fifteen years of wind propulsion experience who is willing to relocate to them," says Romaine. "But as soon hiring a candidate leaves the abstract and interviews are being conducted, managers start looking at the 8.2 percent unemployment rate or the 17.9 underemployment rate and hold out for a candidate who matches the detailed profile they’ve written. By holding the line so tightly, though, they will often overlook someone who could actually be their perfect match."

July 2012 | Issue 7 | Vol. VI

Management Recruiters of Vancouver, LLC
700 Washington St, Suite 508
Vancouver, WA 98660

The trends in the employment data aren't surprising to Jack Downing, a managing partner with the job placement firm MRINetwork WorldBridge Partners.
In the past six months or so, Downing said he's started to see such high demand for college graduates, particularly in fields such as engineering and information technology, that some candidates are fielding multiple job offers.
Jack Downing, WorldBridge Partners - Chicago
As quoted on, June 4, 2012

French unemployment reached 10 percent in April, its highest point since late 1999. Socialist President Francois Hollande replaced Nicolas Sarkozy on May 15, and has been tasked with righting Europe's second largest economy. Via Reuters.
In China, college graduates are expected to be entering one of the toughest labor markets in recent memory just as graduation rates in the country begin to explode. Between 2008 and 2011, the number of newly minted college graduates grew from 5.6 to 7.7 million. State media points out, however, that college enrollment ratios are still far lower than in many western countries. Via China Daily.

BLS Employment Situation Report: May 2012
Total employment in the U.S. grew by 69,000 positions in May and unemployment grew for the first time in more than a year from 8.1 to 8.2 percent as nearly half a million high school and college graduates entered the workforce.
Japanese culture plays major role in hiring process
Expert: Hiring process must be thorough
Obama administration seeks to increase hiring

As Job Market Improves, Candidates Notice

In the depths of the recession, as unemployment rates were rising and everyone knew someone who was being affected, “It’s better than no job at all” became a common refrain across the factory floors and offices of America. While it was a poor retention strategy, it was a worse recruiting strategy and now, with the economy on the mend, candidates are no longer falling for it. “Candidates now know—as much, if not more than hiring managers—that the market is improving,” says Rob Romaine, president of MRINetwork. “Top candidates are getting multiple offers, and those who don’t like what they hear from one employer are more frequently willing to wait for another suitor.” Employment growth was below expectations in March, with just 120,000 positions added compared to more than 200,000 in some projections. Though, that had followed four months in which more than a million positions were added collectively. The rate of growth is expected to remain decidedly slower for the remainder of the year. However, short of the U.S. economy slipping back into to a major recession—something almost no economist is projecting—the labor market is going to remain competitive. “It’s dangerous to underestimate the competitiveness of the labor market. Companies are pursuing plans, bidding on business, and making projections, only to later realize that it is taking many months for their internal HR departments to fill the roles and often at higher starting salaries than expected,” notes Romaine. The job openings rate has risen from 1.8 percent in the worst of the recession to 2.5 percent in February. Over the same time, the hires rate has risen from 2.8 to 3.3 percent, while the separations rate has fallen from 3.5 to 3.1 percent. While the positions available and being filled span almost all sectors of the economy, the bulk of employees being hired share one thing in common: four-year college degrees. Since March of 2011, total employment by those with a Bachelor’s degree or higher has risen by more than 1 million positions. Total employment by those with less than a Bachelor’s degree, though, has actually shrunk by 218,000 positions. The unemployment rate for those in management, professional, and related occupations has fallen to 4.2 percent, and when you look at more technical fields, the rate begins to approach full employment. “Candidates have realized how rare a commodity they are, but when an employer isn’t making them feel courted, someone else will,” says Romaine. “It’s not that top performers are demanding the red carpet treatment during the hiring process, but when they have multiple offers, the style of the process can be as important as the substance of the opportunity.”

Analysis of the BLS Employment Situation Report

MRINetwork Analysis of the BLS Employment Situation Report
April 2012 Employment

The full report can be seen here:

According to the Labor Department, total employment grew in the United States by 115,000 positions in April, the 19th straight month of job growth. The unemployment rate dropped from 8.2 to 8.1 percent and from 10 percent two years earlier. Revisions to March's numbers showed 153,000 jobs added, up from the 120,000 jobs previously reported. The professional, managerial, and related occupations unemployment rate, which reached as high as 5.5 percent in 2009, fell to 3.7 percent in April.

Retail trade added 29,000 positions, countering a loss of 32,000 positions reported last month. However, there has been no significant trend in that sector, which has only added 19,000 jobs in total since December. Professional and business services added 62,000 jobs in April, a third of which came from temporary staffing firms. Architectural and engineering services and computer design services both added a little more than 7,400 positions. The only significant decline in the report was a loss of 16,600 positions in transportation and warehousing, 11,000 of which were from transit and ground passenger transportation.

The unemployment rate for those with a bachelor's degree and higher fell from 4.2 to 4 percent in April, bringing that sector to less than half the average unemployment rate of all other levels of education, 9.1 percent. April, though, saw improving numbers for those with lower levels of academic achievement. The unemployment rate for those with a high school diploma, but no college, has fallen from 9.7 to 7.9 percent from a year earlier, almost equal to the 7.6 percent rate of unemployment among those with either some college or an associate's degree.

April's employment report failed to meet the expectations of economists, who were expecting more than 160,000 jobs to be added. Yet, the report is more positive than some predicted following the ADP report released in advance of the Labor Department's numbers, which showed a strong deceleration from March's employment growth.


MRINetwork Analysis of the BLS Employment Situation Report

MRINetwork Analysis of the BLS Employment Situation Report

Feburary 2012 Employment

The full report can be seen here:

According to the Labor Department, the U.S. economy added 227,000 jobs in February, the third month in a row of job gains in excess of 200,000 positions. Unemployment remained at 8.3 percent, its lowest point since early 2009. Revisions to previous months showed that January added 41,000 more jobs than previously reported and December added 20,000 more.

Growth was concentrated in the services sector, however, there was meaningful growth in important segments of manufacturing—including machinery, fabricated metals, and transportation equipment—all three harbingers of a manufacturing economy spinning up. In the services sector, the only significant loss was of 35,000 positions from general merchandise stores, though it was likely a continuation of the ramp down from holiday hiring, rather than a sign of changing tides for retail.

Professional and business services were responsible for more than a third of all job growth in February, with growth in accounting and bookkeeping services (7,300), architectural and engineering services (4,300), computer system design services (10,200), and managing and consulting services (7,400). Healthcare services accounted for more than a quarter (61,100) of jobs produced during the month. Lastly, food services and drinking places added more than 40,000 positions as workers with a bit more disposable income and more confidence in the stability of that income have begun to go out to eat and drink a bit more.

On an education level-basis, new positions created were exclusively being filled by those with 4-year degrees and up. The total number of employees holding a 4-year degree or higher rose by more than 380,000 during the month. The professional and managerial unemployment rate fell from 4.9 to 4.2 percent year-over-year.

Unfortunately for trend spotters, February, March, and April of 2011 also saw 200,000+ job growth before decelerating during the summer months. The reasons blamed for job growth falling—such as rising gas prices, a European debt crisis, and Middle East instabilities—all remain on the horizon. Yet, this round of job reports adding in excess of 200,000 at a time started two months earlier than last time around, and is being met more strongly with rising consumer confidence.

While the trend may seem similar to the one that fizzled a year earlier, it may also be just positive enough to have reached an “escape velocity”, as Patrick O’Keefe, the director of economic research at consulting firm J. H. Cohn, characterized it to The New York Times. Enough jobs are being created to add enough consumers to the market to necessitate more employees be hired.

The Hemline Index(and what it says about the economy)

When Fall Fashion Week rolled out in New York in February, many designers were reversing course on their hem lengths—and not always in the same direction. While there were not many mini-skirts, there also were fewer of the full-length gowns than were seen last season. Some designers—most notably Alexander Wang—chose to go with several seemingly low hemlines, but then introduced soaring slits and gaps causing them to almost defy hemline definition.
The hemline index as calculated by Business Inside—yes it is a real index—rose to 44.38 from 35.04 last season. In a time when economic indicators are as plentiful as they are mixed, it may be one of the most apt indicators of the time. Lore says when the economy is good, hemlines rise and when soured, the hemlines fall. While hemlines seem to be going in many directions at once this season, the average is rising—much like the U.S. economy.
While the economy gains speed, workforce managers are feeling the pinch of a tightening talent market. A recent Corporate Executive Board study showed the average number of applications received per position fell to 118 from 187 one year earlier. Of those applications, respondents to the study said just one-third met the basic requirements for the position they were applying for.
Late last year, a survey of C-Level executives around the world by Lloyd’s of London ranked talent and skills shortages as the second-largest risk to their business. In 2009, talent worries were ranked as just the 22nd largest concern.
“The scales of the labor market have clearly shifted over the last six-to-twelve months, and now we are seeing that accelerating in the professional ranks,” says Rob Romaine, president of MRINetwork. “Top talent is no longer looking at a stable job and saying, ‘I’m happy to at least have that.’ Rather, they are opening up when recruiters call and are starting to explore what will really make them happy—financially or otherwise.”
Since early in 2010, the number of people who voluntarily left a position each month has been steadily rising to nearly 2 million, up more than 30 percent from its lows. “Having employees more interested in pursuing new opportunities is a double-edged sword for organizations,” says Romaine. “It’s going to be hard not to lose some top performers, as they will likely have the most opportunities presented to them. But while the field of top performers who are actively applying for positions is still very low, the numbers who are open to recruiting calls now is above average.”
During the years of tough economic times, the fear of the unknown was enough to keep many top performers in place. Although recent positive employment and economic news has not removed the possibility of another slowdown, it has given the workforce enough confidence to accept the risk associated with changing jobs.
“The economy will continue to be in a fragile place for much of the near future, with profit margins closely guarded and customers highly cost-conscious. Losing key staff or having continuity-of-services issues in this stage of a recovery will be damaging,” notes Romaine. “On the other hand, the worst possible outcome of bringing in top talent right now is that they will take pressure off existing staff, decrease turnover, and put a company in a powerful position to capture market share.”