In March 2022, Lumanity debuted on the healthcare marketing stage as the umbrella organization for six firms acquired by Arsenal Capital Group — notably including Guidemark Health, whose CEO Michael Parisi became Lumanity’s global practice lead, medical strategy and communications.

As its acquisition spree continued, the group’s revenues soared. It entered the nine-figure club in 2022, with its $106.9 million take representing a 72% increase on 2021’s $62.3 million.

Head count similarly spiked, from 374 employees at the start of the year to 515 at its end. The growth was fueled in part by a wellspring of new work from Apellis Pharmaceuticals (as its speaker bureau AOR), Shionogi (on the company’s rare disease pipeline), Calliditas Therapeutics (for IgA nephropathy drug Tarpeyo), Stemline Therapeutics (as its patient advocacy AOR), 23andMe and Daiichi Sankyo.

Lumanity’s other 2022 acquisitions included U.K.-based Innovative Edge, a provider of pharma launch services;
Endpoint Outcomes, a firm specializing in patient-centric outcome assessments; Zipher Medical Affairs, a strategic consultancy; and Clarion, which focuses on commercialization and product life cycle challenges. 

Taken together, the acquisitions allow Lumanity to play on a bigger field than Guidemark ever did, Parisi reports.

“If we were just Guidemark Health, there’s a certain level of client we wouldn’t have been able to reach without hitting a perceived capacity issue from a skill-set standpoint. Now we can take on bigger — tremendous —challenges in the market,” he says.

By way of example, Parisi points toward the agency’s work on the fentanyl crisis. 

“The work speaks to how this particular healthcare topic reaches everyday folks in ways that are very different from just HCP or patient marketing. It’s an incredible challenge,” he says.

In addition to new practice areas built around Lumanity’s acquisitions, in September the agency launched a global practice composed of U.S.- and Europe-based experts in real-world evidence. The group is dedicated to helping clients identify the right real-world data and methodologies to guide stakeholder decision-making.

Meanwhile, Parisi remains one of the rare industry leaders willing to call out his colleagues on their overreliance on lingo — in this case, the use (and misuse) of “omnichannel.”

“I can’t tell you the countless presentations I sit through around ‘omnichannel,’ even though every one of us strives to provide the right information to the right person at the right time,” he explains. “What they’re talking about is really just good multichannel engagement. COVID accelerated the virtual engagement platforms, but the interest now is in understanding the motivation behind audiences. It’s the perfect time for behavioral science and technology to come together.”

Looking toward the last six months of 2023 and beyond, Parisi is keenly aware that Lumanity has captured the industry’s attention — and perhaps its imagination as well.

“We’re still new as an organization, but I always say you can only be new for so long — and then you have to be interesting,” he cracks. “Now is our time to show the market what we’re building and the incredible resources and expertise that we have.” 

This story has been updated.

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