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The Pulse of the Pharmaceutical Industry
Pace, an FCBHealth Company
1 Gatehall Drive
Parsippany, NJ 07054
Account wins 2
Active business clients 6
Brands by 2014 sales
Brand-product accounts held 14
Full Service Professional Promotion – Multichannel 60%
Full Service Patient – Promotional Multichannel 15%
Full Service Professional – Medical/Disease Education 25%
American Heart Association
Fidia Pharma USA
Executives say Pace began 2014 with an intention to re-engineer the agency’s approach to doing business at every level of the organization. “We embarked on this evolutionary process a little over a year ago. That led us to fully integrate our engagement team to deliver our clients multichannel solutions, as well as to ramp up our strategic offerings,” says Pace Managing Director Gregg Geider. “That initiative yielded two more clients and five more products on our agency roster, along with an infusion of talent at all levels of the organization. This year, that evolution is going to accelerate to a revolution as we transform into an FCB Health company.”
“We’ve all worked in big New York agencies before – that energy is part of the DNA that we brought to Pace,” says Deb Goldberg, senior VP, group account director. “So we are beyond excited about being able to bring our current and prospective clients every cool technology, every insight-generating workshop, every strategic advantage, plus access to the creative powerhouse that comes with being part of FCB Health.”
The year’s accomplishments
Pace is now in its fifth year as the global agency of record for one of the most important orphan drugs of the decade – Kalydeco, the breakthrough product for cystic fibrosis (CF) from Vertex Pharmaceuticals. In 2014, PACE launched two new indications for the company’s CFTR potentiator, expanding the number of eligible patients with CF that can benefit from the medication. These label expansions are mutation-specific – truly precision medicine – and were much anticipated by the CF community, executives say.
Mid-year, Vertex awarded Pace the U.S. agency-of-record assignment for the combination CFTR corrector-potentiator, which will bring mutation-specific therapy to patients with the most common genotype, homozygous F508del. “With this assignment, Pace becomes a center of knowledge in the agency world for a transformational therapeutic category,” Geider says.
Paradigm-shifting treatments require disease education to bring the basic science front and center to busy clinicians. Last year, the agency revised and upgraded Vertex’s CFTRScience.com platform, designed to educate global CF center teams about the role of CFTR protein defects in the symptoms and progression of CF.
Pace gained further momentum in the final quarter, when the agency added the promotional medical education assignment for a trio of drugs from CSL Behring: Hizentra for primary immunodeficiency, as well as orphan drugs Berinert for hereditary angioedema and Kcentra for urgent warfarin reversal.
Also in the fourth quarter, the agency added Hyalgan from Fidia Pharma USA – viscosupplementation injections for pain relief caused by osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee. “OA of the knee is pervasive in older patients, and even in patients as young as 40,” Geider says. “This win gives us the opportunity to work with an entrepreneurial client who’s facing not only a crowded category, but also reimbursement challenges.”
Pace also continued its client relationship with Piramal Life Sciences, supporting the continued roll-out of Neuraceq, a radiopharmaceutical for amyloid plaque detection to improve the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease in living patients.
To support these expanded opportunities, the agency added several key team members, including the integration of the engagement team who specialize in multichannel engagement strategy, user experience, SEO, media, and analytics. Karen Bottge, senior VP, director of professional education, and Mimi Baldwin, senior director, meetings management, both joined Pace as leaders of the CSL Behring account, bringing with them a fully dedicated team.
Structure and services
As an FCB Health company, executives say Pace will accelerate its own transformation, continuing to provide both professional promotion and promotional medical education, but with strategic, engagement, creative, and digital support from the ‘Most Creative’ Category 1 agency. “We want to anticipate where our clients should be headed with their message, their creative, and the technologies and channels they’re using, and help guide them there proactively all year round, not just during their annual strategic planning cycles,” Geider says.
“Without ever going outside the agency, we now have exponentially more impressive capabilities than we’ve ever had before – which is great not only for our clients, but also transformative for our people, who now have the chance to participate in cutting-edge, multichannel creative projects, spearheaded by leading thinkers of the healthcare agency world,” says Dainius Jaras, senior VP, creative director.
“We may be relatively small as this article goes to press, but we just became better-resourced than any agency in the Jersey pharma corridor,” says Kathryn Lieberthal, senior VP, creative director. “All that, and you can still come to work in your jeans in a collegial, empowering environment where everyone gets the opportunity to work on the big stuff and every voice gets heard.”
According to agency leaders, the future plan for Pace is in two words – revolutionary growth – enhanced by the pitch-winning capabilities and culture of FCB Health. “We have an incredible record of client service and creative success with our brands,” Geider says. “Now we have the opportunity to take that success and attract the clients and brands that need not just our ethic of partnership, but also the most advanced technologies and approaches to building brand loyalty. We have everything we need to accelerate our trajectory.”
In keeping with the depth of its agency commitment to CF, Pace has made an annual commitment to the Great Strides initiative of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, both in local walks and contributions to the CFF of Massachusetts, as well as to the Boomer Esiason Foundation. During 2014, Pace also once again supported the North Jersey American Heart Association’s annual Heart Ball with creative for its media campaign. This year the Pace team has not only given their time for a good cause, they gave blood. And the holidays wouldn’t be complete without the annual food and coat drives and Annual Toys for Tots collections.
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