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Avenir acquires Cherry, EY wins new account and GK unites businesses

The latest in healthcare comms

Avenir acquires independent healthcare comms agency


L-R: Ralph Sutton, International managing partner, Avenir; Richard Cowhig, director, Cherry; Phil Stockdale, creative director, Cherry; John Goundry, managing director, Cherry; Rupert Whitehead, client services, director, Cherry.

Avenir has strengthened its network of PR and communications functions following the purchase of Cherry, an independent healthcare comms agency.

The move also sees the group strengthen its footprint within the UK, where it already has established a presence with London-based Axon, a public relations, medical communications and clinical trial support service company.

In recent years, Axon has expanded it services to New York, Copenhagen, and Brighton, and has a client roster spanning the pharma and med-tech industries.

Its sister communications consultancy Madano joined Avenir back in 2013 and also has offices in London.

“We are delighted to welcome Cherry to the AVENIR GLOBAL family. From brand strategy to social and interactive, our teams will be able to draw on Cherry’s award-winning creative and digital expertise to help brands engage with the right people, at the right time,” said Ralph Sutton, international managing partner of Avenir.

“With the transaction, Avenir’s combined operations in the UK place us among the country’s top 20 PR consultancies, and a global leader in healthcare communications. We are very excited about the opportunities we now have to provide new thinking and the highest quality innovative service to our clients across the group.”

Founded in 2005, Cherry has an annual revenue of £9.2m and 80 employees.

Its goal is to better connect brands with healthcare professionals and patients, and has a robust client listing including the likes of Baxter, Boehringer Ingelheim, Eisai, and Shire.

The agency’s leadership team, led by John Goundry, will remain in place following the transaction.

Goundry said: “Avenir is exactly who we were looking for in a partner. Both companies share common values and a complimentary expertise. Madano’s bespoke data science techniques and innovative qualitative insights, for example, will further help our clients obtain measurable communications impact.

“At the same time, we see exciting synergies with AXON to expand the services we offer clients. AVENIR GLOBAL has a proven record of helping businesses grow, with the organizational reach to propel our client offering and growth in the E.U., U.S. and Canada.”

EY wins new account


Sensyne Health, a clinical AI tech focused company, has appointed professional services firm EY to design and build specialist resources.

Sensyne is currently in the process of creating a framework for the ethical commercial use of patient medical data. It hopes healthcare providers along with life sciences companies will use its clinical AI technology to analyse anonymised data, which links multiple datasets.

The tech could potentially improve patient outcomes, reduce healthcare costs and accelerate medical research, and the new agreement with EY will allow Sensyne to further scale up its business, including responding to any government-led initatives involving patient medical datasets.

More specifically, EY will provide resources comprising strategy, analytics, cyber, valuation, risk and governance capabilities.

Pamela Spence, Partner and EY Global Health Sciences and Wellness Leader, said: “I am delighted to be working with Sensyne Health. Unlocking the power within healthcare data to fuel innovation in medical research and patient care is at the heart of today’s healthcare. EY is committed to building a better working world by asking the right questions that lead to better answers; best for patients, best for business and ultimately best for society. This is a great example of bringing our purpose to life in the Health Sciences and Wellness sector.”

Meanwhile, Lord (Paul) Drayson, Chief Executive Officer of Sensyne Health said: “EY is recognised for their knowledge in the fast developing field of big data analytics and the associated valuation models needed to underpin equitable deal structures involving large datasets. We are delighted to be working together to create an ethical framework for the analysis of patient medical data for patient benefit.”

GK merge businesses

Strategic communications and public affairs consultancy GK Strategy, has merged with its sister political due diligence adviser GK intelligence.

The business will now be fully integrated, with staff working across all service areas.

The move comes as the consultancy celebrates 10 years, and the business has undergone a full rebrand, which the company says represents its status as a dynamic, youthful disrupter.

CEO and co-founder, Robin Grainger, commented: “It’s a really exciting moment for our business. All client work should be underpinned by deeper insights, so it makes sense for us to bring our research and communications businesses together and unify under one brand.

“We invented political due diligence for the private equity market, created digital due diligence and are now busy expanding our ESG offer. This diversified expertise represents how we think and enables us to think laterally and to take a long term view about all of our work – from understanding and managing risk to delivering thought-provoking campaigns and engagement.

“As one team, GK Strategy’s offer is clearer to clients and will enable us to be an essential part of their sustainable, long-term growth.”

Article by
Gemma Jones

28th November 2018

From: Marketing



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