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Burson appoints West Coast health leader

PR firm Burson-Marsteller has appointed Melissa Grigorieff Koomey as MD and head of the agency's West Coast Healthcare Practice

The public relations and communications firm Burson-Marsteller has appointed pharma veteran Melissa Grigorieff Koomey to serve as managing director and head of the agency's West Coast Healthcare Practice.

Koomey is rejoining the agency from the client side, having most recently served as vice president of marketing, investor relations and corporate communications for the biotechnology company FibroGen. Earlier in her career, she was a senior associate in Burson's Healthcare Practice, focused on crisis communications, product launches and disease awareness programmes for clients including Bristol-Myers Squibb and Genentech.  

Melissa Grigorieff Koomey
Melissa Grigorieff Koomey

At San Francisco-based FibroGen, which is developing treatments for anaemia and chronic kidney disease, Koomey led commercial activity for all drug development programs, including target product profile development, publication planning, payor and policy strategy. She was also responsible for overseeing internal and external corporate communications, including development of media strategy, messaging, investor relations and internal employee communication plans. 

Before joining FibroGen, Koomey worked for Pfizer as senior director and team leader for diabetes and obesity worldwide marketing, with responsibility for leading commercial strategy for diabetes and obesity products. Her CV also includes a stint at Novartis, where she served as a product director for the blood pressure medication Lotrel. 

During her 20-year career in marketing and communications, Koomey has developed particular expertise in cardiometabolic and renal therapeutic areas as well as specialty care and orphan diseases such as cystic fibrosis and haemophilia, according to Burson.

In her new role with the agency, Koomey will be based in the firm's San Francisco office and will report directly to Helene Ellison, chair of the Global Healthcare Practice, who joined the firm last year from HealthStar Public Relations. Koomey will also serve on Burson's Healthcare Executive Leadership Team, which is charged with supporting business development and best practices for all US and global healthcare clients.

12th January 2011

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