Calcium announced late Tuesday that it has inked a partnership with PE firm NexPhase Capital. The deal, terms of which were not disclosed, gives Calcium the funding it needs to pursue further growth, both organically and via acquisition.

Calcium founder and chairman Steven Michaelson said that the agency will continue to operate independently. Its current leadership team will remain with the company, with chief operating officer Judy Capano succeeding Michaelson as CEO.

“Calcium will still be Calcium,” Michaelson stressed. “Honestly, it’s easier to say what this doesn’t mean for us, because nothing will really change.”

As with other recent agency PE infusions, Calcium gains access to the capital it needs to realize its growth ambitions. In the months ahead, the agency is likely to pursue acquisitions of firms possessing what Michaelson calls “complementary expertise,” possibly in patient advocacy and data and analytics.

“We can do what we’ve always done, which is invest in ourselves and our people, but on such a bigger level,” Michaelson said.

While Michaelson has shed the CEO title, his role is set to expand rather than contract. He’ll continue to work on Calcium’s “promotion and culture” alongside Capano and Calcium president Greg Lewis, and will add responsibility for the future M&A activity.

“Somebody asked me, ‘Are you winding down?’ Absolutely not. My responsibilities are going to double,” he stressed.

According to MM+M’s 2021 Agency 100, Calcium generated $35.9 million in revenue in 2020, up 71% from the year prior. It counts Bristol Myers Squibb, Genentech. Acceleron Pharma and Harmony Biosciences among its clients.

Healthcare marketing companies continue to draw keen interest from PE backers. Real Chemistry and Fingerpaint are among the organizations that have inked similar deals in recent years.

“There’s lots of PE money and lots of people looking to invest in healthcare,” Michaelson said. “It’s kind of relentless.”

As for the decision to partner with NexPhase, which counts WINFertility and Synergy HomeCare among its other health-adjacent investments, Michaelson said the PE firm showed a greater degree of interest and attentiveness to detail than Calcium’s other suitors.

“They came to talk to us knowing an awful lot about how we operate,” he noted, adding that the firm and its leadership came highly recommended. “Just like they did their due diligence on us, we asked around about them. Everyone I spoke to said they were like-minded and had a culture that would work with ours.”