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Suffolk Group Client Rail to Boston Coalition to Host Press Event on Re establishing South Coast Rail
Legislature Approves MSPCA backed Animal Cruelty Legislation
Gov Signs Associated Subcontractors of MA Bill Regulating Retainage on Private Construction Projects
Suffolk Group Client March of Dimes Hails Folic Acid Legislation
Suffolk Group Representing South Coast Rail Business Coalition
Suffolk Group Client EMD Serono President Highlighted in Boston Globe
NAIFA Massachusetts Holds Day on the Hill
Rep Khan and Midwifery Supporters Host Legislative Briefing
Senate Passes Mass Land Title Association Priority Bill to Overhaul Foreclosures
WBUR Opinion Post License Professional Midwives for More Childbirth Options
Suffolk Group Client EMD Serono Creates Spinoff to Develop a Pill for Infertility
Consumer Groups Urge Support of MA Licensure for Certified Professional Midwives
Suffolk Group Client March of Dimes Presents FDR Humanitarian Award to Rep Pat Haddad
Suffolk Client Oracle Called in to Fix State s Obamacare Website
State Bill Would Regulate Debt Settlement Firms
March of Dimes Member of the Tobacco Free Mass Coalition Applauds State s Efforts to Increase Tobacco Taxes
Oracle and Intel Participate at State House Forum to Urge Computer Science Classes in MA Public Schools
Suffolk Group Client EMD Serono to Add Jobs in Mass
Suffolk Group Associate Krina Patel Elected to Women s Bar Association Board of Directors
Centene Corp Partners With Suffolk Group Client MHM Services To Serve MA State Correctional System
MSPCA Looking to Clarify Animal Cruelty Law
March of Dimes Files Folic Acid Awareness Bill
Association of Developmental Disability Providers Host Legislative Luncheon at State House
Gov Signs Bill Regulating Life Settlements and STOLI
Lt Gov Visits Harris Corp and Juniper Networks
ASM Selects Suffolk Group for Massachusetts Representation
March of Dimes and Rep Haddad host New Legislator Briefing on Infant Health
BBJ Profiles Gary Blumenthal President and CEO of Association of Developmental Disabilities Providers ADDP
Gov Patrick Signs Comprehensive Long Term Care Standards Bill
Long Term Care Insurance Bill Nears Govs Desk
Senator Clark Editorial on Passage of Premature Infant Legislation
Gov Patrick Proclaims September Life Insurance Awareness Month
MSPCA Joins Gov Patrick for Signing of Landmark Animal Welfare Legislation
Gov Announces Neuroscience Consortium Including Suffolk Group Client EMD Serono
Suffolk Group Partner Bill Cass to Speak at Boston Bar Association Event on Healthcare Payment Reform Legislation
Gov Patrick Signs Bill to Increase Access to HIV Screening
SJC Decision Deepens Foreclosure Morass
Gov Patrick Signs Casino Bill Into Law
Gov Signs Proclamation Designating Sep as Life Insurance Awareness Month
Increase in Home Births Shows Need for New Rules on Midwives
Mass March of Dimes Director Takes Mission Personally
Insurance Agents Gain Support on Beacon Hill
Globe EMD Serono Marks Opening of Billerica Facility
Globe Gov Signs MSPCA Bill Allowing Pet Trusts in Mass
SH News March of Dimes Rep Haddad Host New Legislator Reception at Statehouse
Herald Gov Signs Antifreeze Bill at Suffolk Group Client MSPCA s facility
National Flea Market Association NFMA Announcement that The Suffolk Group Rasky Baerlein to Lead NFMA Federal Public Affairs
Gov PR Gov Signs Safe Driving Legislation
Gov Signs Assault Battery on Correction Officers Bill SB Into Law
Nuvera Fuel Cells Receives Two DOE Tech Research Awards
Lowell Wireless Company Harris Corp Looks to be a Market Changer
U S Sen Scott Brown Visits Suffolk Group client Zoll Medical Corp

Suffolk Group Client EMD Serono President Highlighted in Boston Globe

4/30/2014 ROCKLAND — Setting his sights on drugs that can be sold to smaller populations of patients, EMD Serono’s new president says he will work to expand its “specialized therapies” franchise. German-owned EMD Serono, which has 800 employees at its US headquarters here and a research center in Billerica, markets drugs to treat tumors, multiple sclerosis, and infertility. It is testing new experimental treatments for cancers such as soft tissue sarcomas and neurodegenerative diseases, while looking to pair them with devices and services. All of these drugs are geared to patients with less common diseases and high unmet medical needs — and they typically cost a lot of money. “Strategically, we’re in the right place,” Paris Panayiotopoulos, named EMD Serono’s president and managing director last November, said in an interview. “Focus is important. We have been for over 40 years in specialty care and intend to continue on that path.” Specialty drugs, which cost more than primary care medicines sold to a broader patient base, account for nearly half of all prescription sales, up from 30 percent in 2010. Analysts expect that share to rise to 60 percent by 2018, as drug makers capitalize on breakthroughs in understanding rare diseases and the genetic makeup of patients. “Over the past decade, the trend has been away from primary care markets to specialists markets, not only for mid-sized players like Serono but for the larger players, too,” said Chris Leo, senior vice president at Back Bay Life Science Advisors, a Boston consulting firm. As examples, he pointed to research programs in cancer, neurology, autoimmune disorders, and rare diseases. Leo said low-cost generic drugs have been draining market share from branded drugs in the primary care market, while many specialized drugs are too new — and too biologically complex — to yet face generic competition. “It’s exceedingly difficult to get premier pricing in a market filled with generics,” he said. “And the specialist market needs a smaller, more focused sales and marketing effort.” EMD Serono, the North American arm of Germany’s giant Merck KGaA, is one of the top five companies worldwide focusing exclusively on specialty treatments. The German company grabbed a foothold locally when it paid $13.2 billion in 2006 to buy Switzerland’s Serono SA. Merck’s pharmaceutical division, now called Merck Serono, also owns life sciences research tool supplier EMD Millipore in Billerica. Together, they have about 4,700 employees in the United States, including 2,200 in Massachusetts. That makes it one of the state’s largest life sciences employers. On a visit to Cambridge last year, Merck Serono chief executive Stefan Oschmann made it clear his company is keen on investing in Massachusetts biotech startups and striking alliances with researchers at institutions such as Massachusetts General Hospital and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. As part of that effort, Merck Serono set up an in-house firm called MS Ventures to scout for potential partners in the Boston area. Panayiotopoulos, for his part, said EMD Serono expects part of its planned expansion to come from “inorganic growth.” Translation: He is open to buying smaller biotechs with specialized drugs in development, though he said there are currently no deals he can discuss. Born in Greece and raised mostly in London, Panayiotopoulos, 40, has climbed rapidly through the executive ranks in the biopharmaceutical industry. He joined Merck Serono in 2004 and most recently headed its business in Japan. He was promoted to lead the North American operation, which accounts for roughly 20 percent of the company’s global revenues, after his predecessor, James Hoyes, resigned unexpectedly last September. Merck Serono’s flagship multiple sclerosis drug Rebif, a leader in an injectable class of MS treatments known as interferons, has been facing tougher competition — and sluggish sales — as oral MS treatments, such as Tecfidera sold by Cambridge-based Biogen Idec Inc. and Gilenya, marketed by Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis AG, have gained traction. In response, EMD Serono last year rolled out a device called Rebiject that keeps the needle hidden before and after injections, making it easier for many MS patients to inject themselves. More broadly, Panayiotopoulos said, EMD Serono is moving toward bundling its therapies with devices and services such as tests to determine which patients might benefit from its drugs. Such a move could make its products more profitable. Robert Weisman can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @GlobeRobW