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The Pulse of the Pharmaceutical Industry
|Active business clients||6|
|Brands by 2013 sales|
|Brand-product accounts held||20|
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|$50 million – $100 million||2|
|$100 million – $500 million||4|
|$500 million to $1 billion||3|
|$1 billion or more||2|
For Biolumina, 2013 marked the fifth anniversary since the agency opened its doors. Biolumina is a specialty-focused agency with expertise in oncology, endocrinology, hematology, and other high science and rare disease categories. Executives say the agency has firmly established itself as an expert in these areas and is poised to expand its sights to more therapeutic categories such as neuroscience and diabetes.
Highlights of the past year included launch planning for a significant therapeutic advance in melanoma, the relocation of Biolumina’s European office, and continuing global launches of brands in rare disease states. According Biolumina’s leaders, the success of the agency is driven by its mission to illuminate and cultivate the full potential of specialty brands through insight-driven marketing communications programs. The passion of the agency stems from the belief that doing great work for clients and brands can help make a real impact in the lives of patients.
Through a competitive pitch, Biolumina was awarded the Novo Nordisk global hemophilia business in late 2012. Over the course of last year, efforts were focused on preparing for the global launch of NovoEight. In addition, Biolumina developed the new professional creative campaign for NovoSeven, which debuted at the 2013 meeting of the International Society of Thrombosis and Haemostasis.
In late 2013, Biolumina pitched and won the acromegaly indication for Sandostatin LAR from Novartis. This assignment complements the impending U.S. and global launches of Signifor LAR for acromegaly, a rare disease caused by a benign tumor on the pituitary gland that secretes excess growth hormone. And, as 2014 started, Biolumina added another significant brand from Novartis Oncology with the win of the global breast cancer assignment for Afinitor. Agency President Ane Jones says, “Afinitor is an amazing brand and one that we are proud to represent. We all know women affected by breast cancer and it is a privilege to work on a brand that truly makes a difference.”
The agency further focused its attentions on the newly formed Strategic Planning Department headed by Jennifer Strassburger. The department, composed of medical, brand, and experience strategists, helps internal and external teams create meaningful interactions between healthcare professionals and brands to drive loyalty. “The Biolumina Strategic Planning Department is grounded in understanding not only the science but the human impact of a brand from the lab to the patient,” Strassburger says. “Every decision our customers make is shaped by their attitudes and habits. We’re interested in breaking that down, illuminating the insight, and creating motivating and relevant creative and brand experiences.”
Biolumina has invested heavily in its digital capabilities and training, sending key employees to an intensive digital boot camp. To further support this investment, Biolumina brought on Haifa Barbari as director of experience and digital strategy to bridge the digital offering and analytics. Barbari recently served in the same role at W2O Group. “It’s key to understand the digital and social behaviors of today’s connected HCP, patient, and caregiver and add value to their daily lives,” says Barbari. “Our mantra: keep experiences simple, accessible, and relevant; whoever they may be, wherever they may be.”
Also, in late 2013, Biolumina hired Mark Friedman as executive VP, executive creative director. Friedman served as creative director at CDM New York for more than 20 years. “Biolumina already had so many components for success: incredible knowledge and experience around oncology and specialty brands; energetic, smart, and passionate people; and first-class production values,” Friedman says. “My task is to bring my brand of creative vision and leadership from launching and developing dozens of world class brands in the general medicine space to the Biolumina offering.” Friedman was attracted to Biolumina because “oncology and specialty medicine are the areas that industry is focusing their development, attention, and dollars on.”
Biolumina moved its European hub from Paris to London this year. Under the stewardship of JadDaccurso, VP, group account supervisor, the office was established to optimize service to its growing roster of existing global clients. This will enable the team to have direct and constant interaction with their European based clients.
Established in 2008, Biolumina comprises a team of healthcare marketing professionals with extensive experience in launching and growing specialty brands in the United States and throughout the world. The agency is one of two communications companies in the Medical Specialists Communications Group, an Omnicom company. The business group also includes Harrison and Star.
Besides Jones as president and Friedman as executive creative director, the leadership team includes Danielle Cranwell, director of brand excellence; Jennifer Strassburger, director of strategic planning; and Judy Kides, director of finance.
Biolumina provides a complete array of services to clients who market specialty brands, from Phase I to launch and beyond. Services include strategic planning and positioning, professional advertising and promotion, direct-to-patient programs, corporate and brand identity, pipeline branding, promotion, digital, and interactive services, non-CME medical education, CRM, and market research.
Leaders say culture and agency values continue to be integral to the Biolumina DNA. Agency executives say they lead by example and it is these values that help define the culture and provide a common voice. To that end, Biolumina created a fresh internal campaign to involve and illuminate its three core values: Empower, Energize, and Explore. These values help fuel the continual need to understand not only the voice of the customer, but the exploration and development of ideas by top minds in the industry, through collaboration and the energetic pursuit of strategic and creative brilliance. The result is a strong and empowering workplace environment. “Together, there is nothing we can’t accomplish,” Jones says.
In addition, Biolumina has a comprehensive training program taught by its senior staff, offering a variety of courses that help all employees improve their skills and knowledge. Clients are always assured that the people at Biolumina are leaders in every aspect of pharmaceutical advertising and communications.
Leaders say Biolumina will continue to bring its unique expertise to oncology and other specialty categories while expanding into new areas of focus that will include immunology, nephrology, and neurology. Through the London office, Biolumina will continue to extend its global reach with a direct line to Europe, enabling the agency to stay on the pulse of cultural and practicing nuances, and to help service its many global clients.
Through its Caring Hands initiative, Biolumina gave back to the community in numerous ways in 2013. Toys were donated to New York Presbyterian Children’s Hospital Holiday Celebration as well as to Memorial Sloane Kettering; boxes of food were collected to help City Harvest feed the hungry in New York, and AIDS Walk New York. Biolumina has also supported CancerCare, a nonprofit organization that offers free services to help people cope with the emotional and practical concerns of a cancer diagnosis, and for Gilda’s Club New York City, which creates a welcoming community of encouragement and support for those living with cancer.
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