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Integrating Data and Analyses of Pharmaceutical and Biotech Deals Information: The New Approach of PharmaDeals

PharmaDeals Review article by Anne Allen

Published: 2009-05-20

Integrating Data and Analyses of Pharmaceutical and Biotech Deals Information: The New Approach of PharmaDeals

Business analysts in pharmaceutical and biotech companies around the world have been reading PharmaDeals Review since May 2002 (1). The Journal was started by PharmaVentures to meet the need for information around the latest industry deals – articles that efficiently communicated expert business analyses in articles, graphs and illustrations. The publication also acts as forum for thought leadership in the field of deals and alliances, and in particular for those offered by Fintan Walton, PhD, PharmaVentures’ Chief Executive, through monthly business commentaries that are available also as shows on PharmaTelevision (2).

Subscribers to PharmaDeals Review will have noticed considerable changes in the last 12 months. So why has PharmaDeals Review decided to drop its monthly paper edition and go ‘all-electronic’? What’s exciting about the new re-launch of the publication’s website?

When you speak to information managers in pharmaceutical companies, they will say, ‘If it’s not electronic, it doesn’t exist – you can’t search through a stack of publications collecting dust on a shelf – and mostly, you can’t even find them’. Information managers ask us about the more technical features of the new PharmaDeals Review such as, ‘Does it have a Digital Object Identifier (DOI)?’ For those interested in the more esoteric functioning of e-publications, the answer is ‘yes’. PharmaVentures, the Publisher of PharmaDeals Review is a member of CrossRef - the registration agency for scholarly and professional publications - and you can indeed use an external DOI resolver to access the articles should you feel so inclined. Furthermore, all articles are collectively treated as a database in their own right, and since we have adopted industry-standard meta-data formats, other agencies can effectively ‘harvest’ the Journal data that allows interested readers to find our information quickly from multiple sources on the web. So going all electronic is not just a question of presenting information on-screen, but we have thereby taken a big step to preserve this valuable archive of analysis of pharmaceutical and biotech deals history for posterity as well.

Visitors to the new PharmaDeals Review website can now browse through articles organized in over 100 monthly issues going back to 2002, as well as browse the Journal by section – including articles covering mergers and acquisitions, licensing, collaborative and distribution and marketing deals. A new RSS feed is available, and, for those who like to read paper versions, we also offer access to whole monthly editions that can be printed out for convenience. Subscribers can now also sign up for a weekly alert of newly published articles, including the Editors’ special selection of top deals. And, for information specialists, the Publisher now offers IP domain authenticated options to enable easy username- and password-free access for their patrons should that be required. So the new PharmaDeals Review really does tick the technical boxes of today’s top e-journals.

But as always, ‘content is king’, and the editorial team, led by Taskin Ahmed, PharmaDeals Review’s Editor, has reviewed all editorial aspects in bringing the journal online. Research has shown that our readers place most value on insightful, concise deal analyses articles. Only occasionally is there time to sit and read in-depth, multi-page analysis articles, and while these are undoubtedly very useful, they are not ‘user-friendly’ to busy professionals. Creating the right balance, the right mix of article types, that serve our readership in their day-to-day routines, has been high on the editorial agenda.

With the enhanced website, subscribers can now access over 1,000 articles and items, including the popular ‘deal tracker’ and deal analyses articles, graphics, company profiles, as well as the deals-relevant business cartoons penned by Clive Goddard. As before, the full text of Fintan Walton’s commentaries are ‘open access’ to all visitors of the website. Our research has also shown that for a sector of our readership, especially those involved in competitive intelligence, timeliness is everything. The Editorial Team publish deal analysis continuously, with articles currently available within days of a deal being announced in the media. Subscribers will also appreciate the extra articles being published this year: The Team aims to double the number of deals covered by PharmaDeals Review during 2009, and, in addition, reduce the publication time of deal analyses. But one of the fundamental reasons for changing PharmaDeals Review, apart from offering a better web presence and more timely and considered content, is to create a forum that is both a stand-alone e-journal, and well as an integral part of the newly re-launched and highly successful PharmaDeals v2 Agreements database (3).

When this database was being rebuilt last year, entirely from scratch, we had opportunity to look at PharmaDeals Review in a new light. Having seen details of a deal record, the users’ next question is invariably, ‘What is the significance of this deal?’ Through integrating PharmaDeals Review within the v2 database, the answer to that question can now be found just a single click away, in the analysis article covering that particular deal. Further, combining the v2 records, analysis articles with SEC contracts and the original press release, the user can access a veritable ‘intelligence layer’. If the analysis could be available the same time as the data record, that would really set the benchmark. And that is the aim.

PharmaDeals Review has gone through an editorial and technical transformation. What hasn’t changed is the meticulous attention to the quality of the analyses presented in each article. Having reached this milestone along the development of PharmaDeals, the Editorial Team are now looking to go one step further; intelligently indexing valuable video content. And discussions with deal-making professionals in the field on how that is best achieved are already advanced. (For more details or to join the PharmaDeals User Group, talk to a member of PharmaDeals Team at

References 1. PharmaDeals Review. (ISSN 1756-7874) 2. PharmaTelevision. 3. PharmaDeals v2 Agreements database. (ISSN 1756-8390)

Author Biography Anne Vindenes Allen is Chief Operating Office and responsible for PharmaVentures’ publishing division, PharmaDeals. A specialist electronic publishing professional, Anne has worked in a number of senior publishing roles, as Publisher for academic journals and books at Elsevier Science, Editorial Director with Infotrieve Inc., and as Managing Director for the innovative biomedical and environmental sciences publisher, TheScientificWorld.