PrecisionValue EVP and managing director Isabella Sergio says her team found a new appreciation for the word “agility” during an unusual back-and-forth between client Merck and the Food and Drug Administration.
Merck had already been in the process of securing approval for a dosing change for one of its oncology drugs. But when COVID-19 drastically changed the way cancer patients could access treatment and medication, the process was expedited. Watching that acceleration and how it helped patients receive treatment in a way that was still safe for them, Sergio recalls, was “fascinating. It’s always been important, but this proved how we need to be more flexible, creative and nimble in our approach.”
Sergio and fellow EVP and managing director Jackie DeAngelis say PrecisionValue experienced many additional “a-ha!” moments during 2020, even if they aren’t immediately evident in the agency’s financial performance. The payer-focused firm saw revenue dip to $61.5 million in 2020, from $63.1 million in 2019, even as staff size inched upward (from 227 to 228).
The agency nonetheless claimed 14 new assignments, including work from GlaxoSmithKline, Roche, Mylan, Amag Pharmaceuticals, Fennec Pharmaceuticals, Ferring Pharmaceuticals and Intarcia. They more than made up for losses from Actelion, Akili Interactive and Sarepta Therapeutics, all due to the completion of existing projects.
PrecisionValue has started off 2021 with a bang. “Fortunately for us, the FDA remained very active with new approvals, and our new-business efforts paid off,” DeAngelis reports. “We’re proud that when clients want us to find new ways to connect with their customers, we are already well positioned.”
The continued shift to digital work processes gave PrecisionValue ample opportunity to prove its, well, value. Early on, the agency dove into proprietary research to answer a big question: How are customer-engagement preferences changing in this new environment? It dug deep to find answers for organizations in the realms of oncology, population health, chronic disease and the social determinants of health.
That resulted in a pivot to virtual insight gathering, training, strategy and exercises. A shift to virtual formats meant PrecisionValue could continue to showcase its Access Experience Team expertise, which includes competitive simulation workshops and the Precision Access Institute, an on-demand training platform.
DeAngelis says PrecisionValue was able to have it both ways. “We’re proud of maintaining our growth mindset with our clients while ensuring our staff was doing okay,” she notes.
At the same time, the firm ramped up its Humanity in Action initiative, a company-wide diversity, inclusion and corporate social responsibility campaign. DeAngelis and Sergio believe the effort, promoting a culture that focuses on the unique perspectives and contributions of the entire workforce, will inspire better work.
Meanwhile, PrecisionValue received a big vote of confidence in November, when Blackstone made a major investment in parent Precision Medicine Group. That investment and recapitalization effort includes significant participation from Ethan Leder and Mark Clein, cofounders of Precision, and current shareholders Berkshire Partners, TPG Growth, Oak HC/FT and Vida Ventures.
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The idea I wish I had…
UncoverKIT.com supports an understanding of a rare disorder, systemic mastocytosis, which requires mutational testing to appropriately diagnose and identify a treatment course. The website provides compelling information about the high burden of the condition, the importance of the KIT D816V mutation in driving most cases, and where to find high sensitivity KIT D816V assays for testing. Armed with this information, providers and access decision-makers can optimize care by developing solutions that identify patients earlier in the disease course. — Jackie DeAngelis