Ashfield Healthcare subsidiary Cambridge BioMarketing has named Ben Beckley as president. 

Beckley joined Cambridge last month to lead the rare disease firm’s operations and executive team. Longtime CEO Maureen Franco departed the agency and joined LifeSci Public Relations in May as partner and president. The firm replaced Franco with a five-person leadership team at the time. 

Beckley has identified three areas of focus at Cambridge, alongside the agency’s expertise in rare disease: data, omnichannel marketing and the patient voice. He’s also examining how these areas can work together to help rare-disease patients, as well as how data and insights from omnichannel campaigns can inform the patient experience and elevate the patient’s voice. 

“Every agency should be able to find [healthcare providers] and find patients. Where I see the needle moving is, can we predict who these patients are?,” Beckley said. “There’s data allowing us to do that now. We can see patients in their diagnostic journeys and lay that over existing patient populations and existing patient data to say, this patient is about to hopefully get diagnosed with this disease sooner than the five years it can take to diagnose a rare disease. That’s where agencies like Cambridge BioMarketing are heading, and we’re just at the cusp of being able to solve that.”

He added that the agency’s longtime focus on rare-disease patients gives it an advantage in dealing with other underserved patient populations, whether they have rare conditions or not. That could mean expanding beyond rare or orphan diseases into larger disease populations that are underserved by the pharma industry, like ALS, he said.

“As I become more integrated into the culture, there seems to be a thread about serving the underserved,” Beckley explained. “That allows us to expand where this agency could go, not necessarily just about rare disease, but there are so many other patients who are underserved. We can apply our mentality and our experience to those larger patient populations.”

However, he said the agency will keep its focus on rare disease, as it has since its founding in 2001. 

Beckley has joined Cambridge from its parent company. Previously, he was the first global commercial director at Ashfield Healthcare. Before joining Ashfield last year, Beckley was MD and rare disease business lead at Havas Health & You. He also spent six years at Precisioneffect and worked in marketing at medical device company Conformis. 

In 2018, Cambridge earned an estimated $24 million in revenue. The firm’s head of medical strategy Sam Falsetti left the firm last year to join Huntsworth Health’s Apothecom, and head of client service Ann Cave departed this year for InTouch Solutions.