Sermo Has A Fever And The Only Prescription Is A Partnership With Pfizer

Posted Oct 14, 2007

“Sermoâ??s state of the art technology has the potential to greatly improve our ability to provide physicians with timely and accurate information they want about our medicines and clinical data.”
-Michael Berelowitz, MD, Senior VP of Global Medical and New York Site Head of Worldwide Development for Pfizer

One of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, Pfizer Inc. announced today that they are partnering with Sermo Inc., a social network that has membership comprised primarily of licensed physicians.  Physicians on Sermo will have easier access to Pfizer’s clinical information to find data that they need. 

Sermo is Latin for conversation and joining Sermo isn’t easy.  Sermo validates whether all of the physicians that join the site are actually licensed.  Non-physicians are currently not permitted to join.  But Sermo has plans of opening the community eventually.  Physicians can make money on Sermo by writing or by voting for postings.  If physicians give opinions on a posting, there isn’t any malpractice liability because provinding opinions and information does not constitute the definition of malpractice.

Sermo is based in Cambridge, Mass. and raised $27 million in Series C funding last month.  Allen & Co. LLC and Legg Mason Investment Trust Inc. were the investors.  To date, Sermo raised a total of $39.5 million.  Daniel Palestrant, CEO of Stermo stated that they would use the funding to hire more employees and website capacity increase.  The company plans on hiring 25-50 more employees over 2008.

Sermo has about 26,000 licensed physicians participating on the social network.  The U.S. Food and Drug Administration Center for Devices and Radiological Health also has access to the social network.

Other investors in Sermo includes SoftBank Capital Technology Fund and Longworth Venture Partners.  Both companies invested a total of $9.5 million in Series B in January 2007.  Longworth invested $3 million in Series A for Sermo.