SAN DIEGO: Porter Novelli reorganized its life sciences practice, following the departure of the practice's president, Carin Canale-Theakston, to start her own firm.
The firm will now focus more on established companies in life sciences, including medical diagnostic and biopharmaceutical companies, while Canale Communications plans to work with emerging life sciences companies.
"Some of my work within Porter Novelli was taking me away," said Canale-Theakston. "I started working on bigger accounts and I didn't have the opportunity to work hands on with as many clients."
Virginia Amann, SVP, is leading Porter Novelli's life sciences practice from Chicago, while Betsy Merryman, EVP of Los Angeles healthcare, and Stig Albinus, partner and director of integrated client solutions, are other senior leaders.
The firm does not have plans at this time to name a leader for the San Diego office, which has about 12 employees, said Anthony Viceroy, CFO of Porter Novelli.
Canale-Theakston, who announced the launch of Canale Communications May 3, hired seven Porter Novelli staffers, including Pam Lord and Jason Spark as SVPs. Clients at Canale Communications include Life Technologies, Optimer Pharmaceuticals, Ocera Therapeutics, Phenomix, and OncoGeneX, all former Porter Novelli clients.
The new firm is currently based in Porter Novelli's San Diego office. Canale remains a consultant for some pieces of Porter Novelli's healthcare business.
Porter Novelli merged FischerHealth into Porter Novelli Life Sciences in August 2008, creating a staff of 50 life sciences professionals in San Diego, Los Angeles, New York, and Boston. At that time, the practice focused on clients ranging from emerging pharmas and biopharmas, diagnostics, and IR.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story incorrectly cited Stig Albinus' title. His title is partner and director of integrated client solutions. We regret the error.