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- Account wins: 7
- Active business clients: 10
Brands by 2022 sales
- Brand-product accounts held: 14
- $25 million or less: 1
- $50 million-$100 million: 1
- $100 million-$500 million: 3
- $1 billion or more: 5
- Products not yet approved/launched: 4
- Professional and patient advertising: 60%
- Digital: 40%
- Celldex Therapeutics
- Janssen and Legend
- Menarini Stemline
- Novartis Pharmaceuticals
- Sutro Biopharma
- Verastem Oncology
- Agency of the Year, Category II
While the world of oncology becomes increasingly complex, executives say Biolumina’s purpose remains clear: to be the anti-cancer agency that helps bring
urgently-needed change to every human impacted by the more than 200 different malignancies within this therapeutic category. Curiosity continues to be the engine that drives this singular purpose and another year of record-setting growth and success.
“The world of oncology is dynamic and continues to change ever faster; there are always new things to learn and new insights to glean,” says Kirsten A. Kantak, president and CEO of Biolumina. “A mindset of curiosity fuels our actions and drives us to seek out new experiences, knowledge, and feedback, and ultimately leads to greater success for us as individuals and an agency. More importantly, we’re proud of the work we do because it ultimately benefits the lives of people impacted by cancer who are living longer and better, due in large part to the rapid pace of therapeutic innovation.”
The agency expanded its client roster with key business wins from new and existing clients. Menarini Stemline selected Biolumina as its agency of record (AOR) for the global and U.S. launches of its breast cancer brand, spanning HCP and patient audiences.
The agency also received a first-of-its-kind disease education assignment from Verastem and early brand development work from Sutro Biopharma. AstraZeneca added another AOR assignment to the agency with an anticancer regimen in development for multiple tumor types. The agency’s relationship with Novartis grew with an AOR assignment in the rare neuroendocrine malignancy space as well as patient work for a high-profile breast cancer brand.
According to its leadership, the agency’s rallying cry for Creative with Purpose continues to inspire and motivate Bioluminaries to develop work that lives up to the life-changing potential of the brands it supports.
“To ultimately deliver on ‘Creative with Purpose,’ we need ideas that are as big and bold as the therapeutic advances we represent,” says Diane Iler-Smith, chief creative officer. “And with all of the advances in creative execution and delivery, including AI, now more than ever, ‘the idea’ is critically important to our success.”
A great example of Creative with Purpose, executives say, is the agency’s disease education campaign, See Breast, Think Brain, in the HER2+ metastatic breast cancer space, which won gold at the APEX awards.
Leadership talent increased with the additions of Kevin Nyarady, senior VP, management supervisor; Tiffany Lin, senior VP group account supervisor; Susan Goss, senior VP group strategy director; Kim Barke, executive VP, executive creative director; Jane Betz, senior VP creative director/art; Jerry Coamey, senior VP, creative director/copy; and Marlaina Lewis, senior VP, strategy. Mark Dean returned as senior VP, experience planner. Managers say Biolumina continued its strong history of nurturing talent from within — at all levels and across all departments —with more than 85 promotions.
Structure and services
Biolumina continues to build out its customer experience group and digital capabilities. “Our clients are increasingly adopting the Biolumina Customer Experience (CX) Roadmap as a simple but strategic communication planning tool that underpins their moves into omnichannel marketing,” says David Cherry, senior VP, director of customer experience. “The CX Roadmap identifies the best messaging strategies for customer groups based on current and desired beliefs and behaviors, past promotional responses, prescribing and testing history, and other HCP-level data inputs.”
From dynamic brand and disease education sites to engaging social campaigns and interactive visual aids, the agency delivered a wide range of corporate, HCP, and patient work in the digital arena. “Biolumina’s congress booths continue to differentiate our clients’ products with dynamic and vibrant presences on convention floors from ASCO to SABCS to ASH and ESMO,” executives say.
In an era of continuous change and nonstop noise, Biolumina is doubling down on its commitment to values and culture so that it remains a stable and structured space that can fully support those who work at and with the agency. In addition to updating and expanding its training programs to support “the culture of curiosity,” Biolumina is also implementing measures such as more flexible summer hours and providing post-launch time off known as “Changemakers Day,” to support work-life flow and allow for recharging and recovery time.
With an open mind, Biolumina’s leaders have also implemented “The Change Challenge,” which executives say is a mandatory idea or proposal from everyone in the agency with the intent of making the agency a better place to work. “We fully believe that great ideas come from everywhere, and the many insightful and innovative ideas – large and small – submitted to The Change Challenge prove that,” Kantak says. “I’m looking forward to putting many of these great ideas in motion.”
To further its commitment to culture, the agency hired Chris Lee as VP, agency engagement, which is a new position focused on the employee experience and innovation in organizational development. Leaders say Lee will be driving connections across the agency to share learnings and best practices, identifying and expanding opportunities for training and career development, and cultivating the agency’s vibrant culture as well as ensuring that it is woven through all projects and programs to support the continued success and growth of Biolumina.
Based on an employee proposal in response to an agency-wide call for cause-related work, Biolumina began the strategic groundwork to guide the development of a program to raise awareness of the suicide epidemic among HCPs and address the high rates of burnout and depression that result in devastating consequences among the healthcare community. “Healthcare professionals are struggling now – but they’re also silenced by stigma,” says Brenda Aske, executive VP, managing partner, strategy. “We feel that by shining a light on it, we can help make a clear path out of the pain.” The agency plans to bring this idea to life in 2023.
Biolumina continued to support In God’s Love We Deliver, an organization dedicated to alleviating hunger and malnutrition in people with serious illnesses; The Family Reach Foundation, whose mission is to remove financial barriers standing between cancer patients and their treatments; and The Equal Justice Initiative, an organization committed to ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, to challenging racial and economic injustice, and to protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society.
“Biolumina believes that what makes us different makes us better,” agency leaders say. Because of that, the agency is committed to creating a space where every individual can express their authentic self. That means embracing diversity of all kinds – from orientation and race to abilities, culture, upbringing, thought, and beyond.
Started in 2021, the agency’s internal DEI group, Belong, continued strengthening its focus on creating a diverse and inclusive environment that champions equity for all. The agency hosted an Open House with COOP, an organization focused on overcoming underemployment of low-income and first-generation college graduates from diverse backgrounds.
Biolumina recognizes and celebrates diversity through employee resource programs such as Omnicom’s OMNIwomen, OPEN Pride, OPEN Disability, Black Together, AcentO, Omnicom Asian Leaders Circle and OHG’s The Black Collective, Unidos, Arise API, and OHGQ+. These groups work to foster an inclusive and engaging work environment as well as increase networking and business opportunities.