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The Pulse of the Pharmaceutical Industry
|Active business clients||8|
|Brands by 2013 sales|
|Brand-product accounts held||22|
|$25 million or less||5|
|$25 million – $50 million||1|
|$50 million – $100 million||2|
|$100 million – $500 million||4|
|$500 million to $1 billion||1|
|$1 billion or more||2|
|Promotional medical education||25%|
Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals/
Moving into new headquarters on Broadway was just the beginning of expansion plans for Centron. Says Michael Metelenis, president of Centron, “Our new space is very visible evidence of our growth and success. More importantly, we have expanded virtually everything about Centron – from our client base to our vision for the future – and we intend to continue to look beyond today so that we are best positioned to meet evolving client needs.”
Executives say Centron was founded on the belief that senior-level expertise delivers the greatest strategic leadership and most strategic creative to clients. “We have never wavered in our commitment to senior expert level participation in day-to-day engagement with all our clients,” says Madeleine Gold, managing director.
To progress to the next level of success, Centron executives understand the need to forecast changing industry directions and to anticipate emerging client needs. “We have been focused on expanding our organizational foundation to accommodate trending needs in pharmaceutical marketing,” Metelenis says. “Notably, we have extended our management team to include managing directors who elevate our offerings in managed markets and medical education.”
In the past year, Centron continued to guide major industry launches of first-in-class treatments. Early in 2013, Centron launched Shionogi’s Osphena, the only non-estrogen oral treatment for moderate-to-severe dyspareunia. “The Osphena launch was the culmination of years of engagement with the brand team and reflects our philosophy of initiating brand development at the earliest stages of the product’s life-cycle,” says Christopher Mangione, managing director.
Executives say the agency was an integral part of the strategic launch team and was involved from the beginning, developing the core scientific communication platform and helping to establish strong KOL support. Multilevel involvement informed creative development of the launch campaign and helped ensure that it was aligned with the Osphena brand essence and resonated with healthcare professionals.
Centron ended 2013 with the launch of a new indication for Nexavar. Continuing its history of being a first-in-class treatment for all its indications, Nexavar was approved for the treatment of differentiated thyroid cancer. “Centron was proud to participate in the launch of this important treatment for patients with differentiated thyroid cancer,” Metelenis says. “Nexavar represents a paradigm shift for this tumor type, and it was critical that we present the clinical trial information in the most comprehensive and meaningful way.”
Organic and new business wins were an important part of Centron’s success in 2013. Centron expanded its engagement with Forest by adding Tudorza and Saphris to its roster. “We are excited to grow our involvement with Forest,” Gold says. “Adding Tudorza to our work for the respiratory franchise allows us to drive synergy between Tudorza and Daliresp, differentiating the brands and identifying appropriate patients for each. Our involvement with Saphris, in addition to cariprazine, offers the same opportunity to optimize the CNS portfolio.”
Centron also added to its roster of Eisai products, with the agency of record assignment for the next-generation Aloxi antiemetic. “From relaunchingAloxi with our 5-Day Strong campaign, to preparing for the launch of its successor, Centron has been immersed in the Eisai antiemetic portfolio, providing strategic leadership in positioning, message development, and creative exploration,” Metelenis says.
In addition to organic growth, Centron added Gilead to its roster, working with the sofosbuvir team to equip and launch a Treatment Educator force.
Key management changes designed to propel future growth were important milestones for Centron in 2013. Most notably, Metelenis ascended to the presidency of the agency. Metelenis cofounded Centron in 2005 and has been instrumental in guiding the exponential growth of the agency.
In addition, Centron hired Shannyn Smith as a managing director to lead its medical education initiatives. “Shannyn significantly strengthens our scientific expertise and allows us to expand our innovation in medical education programs,” Metelenis says.
Recognizing the increasing impact of managed market considerations, Centron formed a partnership with Healthstar Market Access under the auspices of Scott Baxter. “More and more, our clients are faced with access issues that require the specialized experience base that Scott delivers,” Metelenis says.
According to agency executives, strategic leadership emanates from Centron’s proven and recognized Path to Commercialization process that evaluates strategic issues at the corporate, market, and brand levels. This kind of full-spectrum view allows clients to synergize efforts to achieve visible leadership status in given therapeutic markets – Centron’s work with Shionogi is reflective of this philosophy.
“As part of the Osphena launch, we worked with Shionogi to establish a presence in women’s healthcare by showcasing Osphena as a first-in-class treatment option and by teaming with key societies to create and elevate support opportunities,” Mangione says. “Additionally, we helped Shionogi extend support to Fatigues to Fabulous, a group that helps women transition from military to civilian life.”
At the market and brand level, Centron uses its proprietary process, BrandPrint, to map out brand success across the full life-cycle spectrum. The process is driven by deep immersion, in the market and in the science. Executives say this is how Centron creates a brand that resonates with treaters, patients, and families. “In 2013/2014, we implemented BrandPrint to launch or relaunch over virtually all our brands, including Osphena, Aloxi, and Nexavar Thyroid, among many others,” says LettyAlbarran, creative director.
Centron has expanded its foundation of expertise to consistently deliver insight that differentiates a brand and drives success and growth across markets, molecule/brand milestones, and stakeholders. The blending of different disciplines, perspectives, and skills sets Centron apart and allows the agency to be smarter in guiding client business every day, executives say.
Expansion at every level continues to be Centron’s goal, executives say. As the agency moves forward, management will look to extend their vision for clients and for the agency itself. “We will continue to fortify our foundation of strategic acumen so that we can increase our reach here and across the world,” Albarran says. “We remain committed to our clients and our brands and search for innovations that make a difference to the brands and to the patients they treat. We grow when our clients grow.”
Centron partners with the Humans Right Campaign, the largest civil rights group working to gain equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans. In the past year, Centron has provided branding support for HRC’s annual gala. “The annual gala is a platform to showcase HRC’s goals and celebrate successes,” Metelenis says. “We were honored to contribute creative resources to augment promotional efforts for this year’s event.”
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