WorldOne snaps up Sermo

Sermo now counts Pfizer among its clients
Sermo now counts Pfizer among its clients
WorldOne has acquired Sermo, adding the physician social network's 130,000-strong physician community to its own global network of 1.7 million healthcare professionals.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. WorldOne, a New York-based healthcare data firm, boasts that its panel offering draws from more than a million verified physicians across 80 countries. The firm merged its US health marketing research panel with that of Physicians Interactive as part of a strategic alliance back in January, giving it a panel of 300,000 AMA-verified doctors, nurses and allied health professionals. The addition of Sermo, said the firm, will boost reach, client list match rates and research opportunities.

“Sermo fits in perfectly with our strategy to extend our digital footprint across healthcare market research and enhance our growing portfolio of innovative engagement solutions,” said WorldOne CEO Peter Kirk in a statement. “Sermo has proven that sustaining an active, engaged community can result in higher interest in and response to market research as well as new promotional opportunities. Combining Sermo's technology and social media expertise with WorldOne's global scale enables us to rapidly accelerate our growth while offering the most enriching, collaborative online environment for physicians anywhere in the world.”

Cambridge, MA-based Sermo launched six years ago and has since assembled a substantial US physician community and inked deals with a few big drug companies, but the company has struggled to shift out of startup mode and realize a profit, and that's allowed would-be competitors like Doximity room to grow. The company's founder, Dr. Daniel Palestrant, MD, left along with the site's chief medical officer in November. In May, Sermo named former Revolution Health president Tim Davenport CEO.

A Sermo spokesperson said “key members of executive management involved in the day-to-day operations of the Sermo community are joining WorldOne.” Davenport will stay on for a time to work on the transition, said the firm.

“As Sermo grew the most vibrant online physician community in the US and, more recently, provided clients more robust research and promotion opportunities, clients asked for global reach and more key specialists,” said Davenport in a statement. “WorldOne adds both of these overnight, while Sermo greatly augments WorldOne's online and interactive business.”