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Keeping our resolution to report the news
January 2012
by Bruce Poorman, ddn Publisher  |  Email the author
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I t was seven years ago at LabAutomation in San Jose, Calif., when we introduced an innovative concept in our market: a monthly newspaper dedicated to the news of technology and business in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. Industry friends and competitors alike wished us luck, but we knew what they were really thinking: "Lots of luck!" It was a crowded market for publications covering drug discovery, but as time went on, many of those publications merged, folded or cut their services to readers—while ddn continued to invest in our readership.
 
From publishing our single newspaper in January 2005 to celebrating our eighth year in 2012, ddn continues to produce many vehicles that disseminate the news. Knowing that people get their information from more than one source, we offer many fully integrated "touch points" to deliver the news. This year, we will offer 15 sources of news to our readers and several marketing vehicles to our advertisers.
 
Of note, in October, we launched the ddn Cancer Research Portal, which houses all of our reporting on the latest oncology research news, trends and resources. We are also preparing to launch a second specialty news portal for what is quickly becoming the focus of much of our news coverage: stem cell research. Both news portals are a significant investment because these news websites are independent of ddn's homepage, www.drugdiscoverynews.com, and represent the tremendous spike we have experienced in news related to these research areas in the past two years.
 
In the coming months, you will also see original editorial in these news portals that you will not find in any of our other news vehicles. Our newly appointed Senior Editor Kelsey Kaustinen will direct the content of the ddn Cancer Research Portal, and very shortly, she will launch two initiatives that will shine a light on the top cancer research institutions in the United States, as well as recognize the nation's top postdoctoral students doing work in this area. We will be soliciting nominations from our readers, and a cross-disciplinary panel of judges will choose the winners, whom we'll recognize in issues later this year.
 
In August 2011, we launched another news division, ddn Market Research, in which we teamed up with Mizuho Securities to periodically survey ddn's readers on current trends in life science research. In August, we examined reader perceptions on the stem cell research market. In December, we shared the results of our joint survey on trends in the contract research market. This month, we discuss the results of a recent survey on reader opinions of tools and technology. We will continue to conduct surveys and share this meaningful market research with you once per quarter.  
 
In addition, starting with this issue, we have partnered with market research firm Frost & Sullivan to provide the content for our monthly Facts & Figures page. This month, in keeping with our focus on tools and technology and the annual SLAS conference, we are sharing the results of a Frost & Sullivan report on array technology adoption and utilization. We will spotlight a different industry-leading Frost & Sullivan report each month.  
 
There is other good news to report: Randy Willis is back! After taking a sabbatical "up north" for a few years, our former executive editor returns this month (and subsequently in odd-numbered months) with his wit and unique perspective on subjects ranging from alternative therapeutic medicine to the diagnostic revolution. Whatever the subject, Randy truly thinks outside of the box.  
 
As a journalism organization that follows the ebbs and flows of the news, we have also altered our scope of coverage in response to the vast changes occurring in the industries we cover. For example, this year, our "Instruments & Informatics" department is now "Tools & Technology" to reflect a growing focus on the equipment being used in drug discovery and how it is shaping the way pharmaceutical business is conducted.  
 
While early in our history, ddn focused on mergers and acquisitions—which continue to reshape this market—ddn's journalists also find themselves increasingly reporting on collaborations and licensing deals between companies of all sizes and specialties, technology providers and academic institutions, all of which are expected to have significant clinical implications in the next decade or so. While we continue to develop news products in response to these trends, our monthly print newspaper will remain the "mother ship" of our rapidly growing company. We'll celebrate our roots as we integrate our newspaper with our many other vehicles.  
 
We have been very fortunate to have the 20 people who contribute each month to our operation, and we're thankful for the loyal readership and advertisers who have fueled this growth in the past eight years. Here's to a new year and even more growth for all of us.  
 
Timeline of ddn's news vehicle launches
January 2005              First print issue 
April 2005                  www.drugdiscoverynews.com
July 2005                   ddn Online bimonthly e-newsletters
January 2008              E-New Product Showcase, White Papers and Application Notes
March 2009                New, interactive website
April 2009                  Digital international edition
January 2010              ddn Special Reports
August 2010               ddn Blog
November 2010          Monthly E-Table of Contents
January 2011              Monthly E-Top 5 Stories
February 2011            Monthly E-top 5 Cancer Research Stories
August 2011               ddn Market Research
September 2011          First webinar and ddn Cancer Research Portal
Summer 2012              ddn Stem Cell Research Portal
 

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