These eight agencies have their sights set on becoming a Top 100 firm, and it won’t be long if they keep up their stellar work.

colon cancer screening study 83bar


Revenue: $5.8 million, up 107%*

Staff size: 30 employees

The Austin-based firm views patient activation as both art and science. And it reports exceptional results: 83bar claims its four-pronged patient-activation process, managed by nurses with experience in a given therapeutic category, generates an average return of $7.50 for every $1 invested. It now counts information on more than 700,000 patients in its database. In 2018, 83bar spread the gospel even further, adding clinical-trial recruitment to its slate of offerings.



Revenue: $5.6 million, up 33%*

Staff size: 45 employees

Lots of companies claim they’re able to devise catchy, easily pronounced and brand-simpatico names for new drugs, but Brandsymbol has been doing so successfully for almost a decade now. Indeed, the agency has proven adept at the name game, developing what it calls “verbal brand identities” for AbbVie (Orilissa and Mavyret), Sanofi (Admelog), Roche (Navify), Acorda Therapeutics (Plumiaz) and Sun Pharma (Cequa). Brandsymbol also does its share of work outside healthcare, with clients such as Capital One, HP and Wendy’s.

Inovio freshblood

FreshBlood Group

Revenue: $5.2 million, up 126%*

Staff size: eight employees

Founder and CEO Bob Finkel understands West Coast agency dynamics like few others. FreshBlood opened its doors as a consultancy shortly after Finkel’s previous firm, Kane & Finkel, shut up shop in early 2014. Since then, the agency has expanded its slate of offerings to include work in the digital and med-ed realms. Current clients include Revance Therapeutics, Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Rigel Pharmaceuticals and Santen Pharmaceutical. Finkel counts well-regarded chief creative officer Patricia Malone, previously of DDB Health and Stratagem Healthcare Communications, among his chief lieutenants.

liveworld pet effect


Revenue: $4.3 million, up 19%

Staff size: 76 employees

Even with hundreds of self-anointed social-media experts vying to push pharma deeper and deeper into digital, LiveWorld has managed to snare several of the most coveted assignments: It reports it manages a staggering 200 social-media properties in pharma and healthcare. Included in that sum are 19 Pfizer brands or franchises (Know Pneumonia/Prevnar 13, Meet Meningitis, Advil), four from Bristol-Myers Squibb (Discover I-O, Orencia), eight from AstraZeneca (Farxiga, Tagrisso) and 14 from Zoetis (The Pet Effect, Catisphere/Feline Revolution).


Red House Healthcare Marketing

Revenue: $3.2 million, up 14%

Staff size: 26 employees

The firm, based just outside Atlanta in Alpharetta, Georgia, is as adept at creating digital/mobile communications for professional audiences as it is handling marketing-tech and ad-tech assignments. There’s something to be said for succeeding as a generalist in a specialty world. Red House counts Bayer, the Mayo Clinic, McKesson, Elsevier, Cognizant and MedeAnalytics among its 13 clients.

feast sonic health

Sonic Health

Revenue: $3.1 million, up 24%

Staff size: 6 employees

You have to admire this agency’s branding (per its website, “Sonic is an indie marketing studio that brings decades of industry-leading experience to your production. We’re in search of a new sound in healthcare”), especially as firms fall over each other to self-anoint as “courageous” and “empathetic.” It doesn’t hurt that the digital-heavy account roster is strong: In 2018, Sonic added Pfizer, Zogenix, Jazz Pharmaceuticals, ResTORbio and Alexion Pharmaceuticals, among others. 

BIVIGAM_journal_ad rarity health

Rarity Health

Revenue: $2.2 million, up 22%

Staff size: 15 employees

The agency, née ENA Healthcare Communications, now has a name that better aligns with its core specialty. Despite the company’s size, clients in the rare and orphan realms praise its customizable Rarity Launchpad offering, designed to more precisely and effectively map out launches of novel therapies. It works with Pfizer (supporting BeneFix and the company’s customer marketing group), the National Ulcerative Colitis Alliance, Evena Medical, the Coalition for Hemophilia B and 60 Degrees Pharmaceuticals, among others.

becton dickinson matchstick group

The Matchstick Group

Revenue: $665,000, up 5%

Staff size: 3 employees

The company punches above its weight. Few agencies purport to be device specialists, but there’s heavy competition for business among the ones that do. Over the course of its eight years in business, The Charleston, South Carolina-based Matchstick Group has thrived in that competitive environment, especially when it comes to the development of sales materials. Clients include Becton Dickinson, Vancive Medical Technologies, AngioDynamics, Surgical Specialties Corp. and recent addition Teleflex Medical.

Asterisk indicates not all revenue is derived from health