The Top 75: Health4Brands Chelsea

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The former Euro RSCG Life Chelsea was spun off last month to form the North American nucleus of a new Havas healthcare network. With offices in the UK and Europe, Health4Brands has been in operation for about a year and a half. Chelsea's offices in New York and San Francisco will serve as Health4Brands' beachhead in the Americas. The move gives Havas a US conflict shop opposite the Euro RSCG Life dynamo. “It gives our clients more opportunities to work with the people they want to work with,” says co-managing director Steve Nothel.

Chelsea is having a very robust year after a static 2009. Last year, the shop's revenues rose less than a percentage point, to $29 million, but for 2010, growth of at least 20%, to $35 million, is forecast.

Most of that growth has been on existing business, says co-managing director Mike Peto, notably with the shop's Wyeth business (now Pfizer), on Pristiq and Prevnar 13 Adult, for which Chelsea handles US and global assignments, as well as global professional on Enbrel. The agency has also seen growth on its Bristol-Myers Squibb HIV/virology franchise business, and is hopeful that it will see an expansion of its EMD Serono assignment for Egrifta, pending approval.

The agency, whose five-person West Coast office will account for around half of its growth this year, also picked up accounts with Genentech and landed business with Daiichi-Sankyo on an as-yet undisclosed product.

On the downside, two big Wyeth blockbusters—Effexor and Protonix—wound down as they neared the end of their lifecycles. A promising assignment—for Pfizer and Medivation's Dimebon—went off the rails as disappointing Phase III clinical trials data left the Alzheimer's candidate in limbo. Another assignment, for Savient's experimental gout drug Krystexxa, was sidelined as FDA declined to approve the treatment. In addition, the agency lost its assignment for Proteolix's multiple myeloma drug candidate carfilzomib when the company was acquired by Onyx.

Recent creative highlights include launching Endo's first-ever DTC communications, for Voltaren Gel, that launched in April, as well as work for BMS's virology franchise. But Peto and Nothel are particularly proud of the agency's work on the Enbrel eCongress, a global “virtual congress and exhibit booth” allowing physicians to see fresh data, download patient materials and view videos about the mechanism of action. “It's living that value of Euro and Havas of having ‘Digital at the core,'” says Nothel.

Along with its new name, Health4Brands Chelsea is retooling its capabilities. “We basically transitioned ourselves from being a traditional professional agency to becoming a full-service global communications agency,” says Peto. “We've evolved to where we can now help a brand three years out from launch, in launch mode, a year after launch or toward the end of its lifecycle.”

Ultimately, Health4Brands hopes to cover 90% of the world market. For now, says Peto: “We have a very robust portfolio here, but by no means are we maxed out.”

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