BOOMING: Charles and Cathy Lineberry left positions at Glaxo Wellcome to form their own CRO.
Pharmacologist/pathologist John S. Noble, president of Innapharma Inc., a small CRO in Suffern, N.Y., worked initially as a bench scientist, and eventually became director of worldwide medical products development for American Cyanamid Co. in Princeton, N.J. (which was acquired by American Home Products). He left the company for consulting work and eventually began to contract service, which, he says, "gradually grew into a full-scale CRO company." Noble never imagined the twist his career has taken: "That was not my plan."
But he finds the frustrations of working in a "very large, heavily structured organization" now are gone for him. He thinks this is the major reason many experienced corporate executives have chosen to leave industry and form their own small consultant CROs.
Because they wanted to form a company with "the kind of atmosphere that we would want to work in," pharmaceutical marketing and public-relations specialist Cathy Frieden Lineberry and her husband, clinical pharmacologist Charles Lineberry, took Glaxo Wellcome PLC's severance option and early retirement option, respectively. The next day, they began a small pharmaceutical research and consulting company and CRO, Lineberry Research Associates. Along with two other former researchers from the Raleigh, N.C., pharmaceutical firm, they set up shop in their home on July 1 of this year, offering particular expertise in the central nervous system, anesthesia, and analgesia, and with a focus on marketing.
The fledgling CRO's clients, according to Cathy Lineberry, range from the large pharmaceutical firms to biotechnology companies and consulting firms. Business has gone so well that in early November, the CRO moved into offices in Research Triangle Park. Cathy Lineberry says that without the severance packages, the couple would have happily stayed at Glaxo Wellcome, but now they would not consider going back. They see their mixture of skills creating a unique niche format for their fledgling company. Plus, Cathy Lineberry adds, "It's been a lot of fun."
Walter Flamenbaum is an internist, nephrologist, and clinical pharmacologist. He left a research position at New York City's Mount Sinai School of Medicine to establish Health and Sciences Research in Englewood, N.J., a niche CRO in the field of hypertension. He sold the successful company three years ago and now has begun Therics Inc., a biomedical firm in New York City.
Biochemist Firoz Nilam, director of international negotiation and CRO management with Hoffmann La Roche Inc. in Nutley, N.J., has spent 23 years in the pharmaceutical industry. He learned the pharmaceuticals business when he left the research bench and went into pharmaceutical sales and management. He worked as a clinical research associate, medical information executive, clinical project coordinator, sales representative, and as director of international clinical quality assurance, before taking his current position.
"There are exciting opportunities coming up," he advises, reflecting on the moves he has made. He believes that working closely with CROs "allows us to understand their operations better. And who knows? The contractor of today may be your employer of tomorrow."