Earlier this year, Navicor Group president Dave Querry arrived at a client’s office to pitch a global account and instantly had a good feeling. “I noticed all the furniture and walls in the lobby were the color palettes of what we were going to present for the brand,” he recalls with a laugh. “We won the account — and we stayed with the color palette from the lobby.”

The story is a telling one, if only because Navicor is so closely associated with its specialty — oncology, oncology, and more oncology — that it’s easy to downplay the creativity and service skills that come with it.

To that point, one of the agency’s best-received 2017 engagements was work for Celgene on an exhibit displayed at the annual American Society of Hematology event. To depict chemotherapy as an outdated way to treat some lymphomas, Navicor constructed a dinosaur, which it dubbed “Chemosaurus,” and spelled out the word “chemotherapy” in the extinct animal’s body.

The agency added 14 accounts in 2017 and lost four. Querry attributes the losses to a handful of factors: “One had a change in its business model and the amount of commercial spending dropped significantly. Another had a change in management.”

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While Querry declines to discuss specific brands and assignments, Navicor’s client roster contains many oncology heavy-hitters, including Celgene, Regeneron, Incyte, and Loxo Oncology. It also works with a number of oncology-adjacent organizations, such as the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation.

Staff size remained at 107. Revenue declined slightly, from an MM&M-estimated $22.5 million in 2016 to an MM&M-estimated $22 million in 2017.

On the plus side, Navicor grew its number of AOR assignments from 10 to 16. Querry reports the agency was elevated to AOR status by two clients, one evolving its global CAR-T strategy and another developing a novel pain asset. New business included “work for an AML asset in pre-launch, both disease awareness and brand launch; a cold-chain logistics provider in the biologics space; disease awareness and brand launch work for PD-1 in a rare form of skin cancer; and work for a portfolio of oncology assets — sarcoma, AML, and breast cancer — from an established pharma client entering the space,” he says.

Querry enters the second half of 2018 feeling quite bullish about Navicor’s business, especially in the wake of parent inVentiv Health’s August 2017 merger with Inc Research (the companies were officially rebranded as Syneos Health in January). “It gives us greater global scale,” he explains.