The 2022 numbers for Juice Pharma Worldwide tell a rough story. But the company took action to protect its talent bench — and, in so doing, put itself in position to regroup and grow anew in 2023.
Biogen’s Aduhelm was once heralded as a first-to-market Alzheimer’s treatment poised to make history. But its unsuccessful soft launch meant that all agencies touching the account, whether on the PR, HCP, DTC or access side, took a hit.
Juice was one of them. “We got caught up in the Alzheimer’s story last year,” acknowledges North America CEO Forrest King, adding that Aduhelm “was a huge piece of business” for the company.
The exceedingly tight restrictions Medicare placed around access to Aduhelm added unexpected turbulence to Juice’s 2022 fortunes. Revenue tumbled 45% to $18 million, versus the prior year’s take of $33 million. Staff count fell to 60 from 107.
The agency made two C-level hires: chief business officer Katya Petrova (from Grey) and chief experience officer Chris Ozanian (from VMLY&R). Another new joiner, Dawn Whitelaw, was brought on as SVP, business solutions to drive Juice’s project management discipline.
And the three new accounts the agency added last year suggest that it remains a first-choice partner for companies looking to grow fledgling biotech and med-tech assets. Take Foresite 360 from Fore Genomics, a genetic testing product aimed at new parents. Juice serves as lead creative agency and strategic and business consultant, with the assignment encompassing everything from the establishment of a marketing framework to e-commerce.
Launching firsts — whether in class, category or MoA — has always been Juice’s sweet spot, according to global CEO Lynn Macrone. “We can prep the market for something really different that’s coming, so by the time of launch audiences can adopt it quickly.”
The two other clients Juice welcomed to its roster were Adma Biologics (Bivigam and Asceniv, for immunodeficient patients) and Eye Pharma (eye health brands Norflo and Ialutec). That said, most of its 2022 additions came from existing clients. The agency is currently knee-deep in an assignment for long-term client Alkermes on schizophrenia/bipolar disorder drug Lybalvi.
In some cases, Juice is helping these brands move from a multichannel approach to an omnichannel capability. Ozanian says this usually starts with prepping their technology infrastructure, then defining business rules and a typical patient journey.
Juice has evolved its offerings, too. In 2022 it launched Juice Amp, a proprietary method for analyzing multiple data streams to identify clinical and influence patterns, as well as a health e-commerce enablement platform.
Going forward, management understands the need to return to revenue-positive territory. Still, Juice will continue what King describes as its “choiceful” approach to new business.
“We like to mine those creative and strategic challenges that we can sink our teeth into,” he says.
As for Biogen, the agency still counts Aduhelm as part of its account roster.
“There are patients taking Aduhelm,” Ozanian points out. “We are optimistic about that in-market exposure and the real-world data we will see from these patient experiences.”
This story has been updated.
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Our marketing role model…
Bob Iger. He reinvigorated Disney and built out its world through a series of acquisitions, which he seamlessly integrated into the overall concept of “the Disney experience.” He demonstrated a true understanding and feel for the Disney legend, while using every opportunity to contemporize it and keep in sync with the times and the desires of his audience. He is also leading the way in casting and reinventing the way society includes minorities and “others” from every corner of the world. Iger deserves credit for championing, expanding and codifying the world-renowned Disney customer experience. — King