Recently merged medical marketing and communications behemoths Hunstworth and Ashfield have formally come together as Inizio, the new organization announced today.

At a combined $1.5 billion in revenue, the firm is possibly the largest integrated marcomms business of its kind, connecting media, market access, PR and advertising in the U.S. and Europe. Its 10,500 employees work across 35 countries and five specialist business units.

“Inizio is deliberately created to help clients, particularly those with very high-science, complex drugs, take those products to market,” said CEO Paul Taaffe. “This is probably the largest drug launch company on the planet.” 

Inizio MarComms is headlined by Evoke, which joined its agency offerings together with those of Ashfield Health earlier this month under the Evoke banner. Those two organizations alone brought in $304.4 million in revenue last year, growing 15% year-on-year, according to MM+M’s June Agency 100 report.

Inizio Medical houses legacy Ashfield Health and Huntsworth agency brands ApotheCom, Ashfield MedComms, Nucleus Global and MediStrava. Inizio Engage brings together a number of shops focused on strategic engagement and commercialization services. 

Inizio Advisory is a healthcare specialist service spanning market access research, health economics and sales force audits, along with management and strategy consultants Putnam, STEM and Vynamic. The fifth unit, Inizio Biotech, focuses exclusively on biopharmas that lack the infrastructure to commercialize their drugs.

“Biotech represents roughly 40% of all new drugs coming to market, and they do not have the level of infrastructure to commercialize those drugs,” Taaffe noted. “Increasingly, biotech is owned by private equity, and they’re looking for a partner to help them do that.”

Particularly considering the number of cell and gene therapies in development, he added, “It’s a massively underserved part of the marketplace.”

Among other low-hanging fruit, Taaffe said, clients want more than just a strategy. “They want to understand pricing, global reimbursement and health economics, so they can talk to various governments or insurers. They want to understand their return on investment. We see that being a combination of a number of resources within our business.” 

The agencies within each of the units will retain their names.

“The reason we did this is because clients still want best-in-class,” said Taaffe. “And in most of these categories, we represent the number one, two or three competitor. They also want to be able to integrate these when they want.”

The company is backed by private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice. In May 2020, CD&R bought Huntsworth. A year later, it acquired Ashfield Health parent UDG Healthcare.

Other agencies that joined the fold this year were healthcare data and analytics business Meltmedia, which now operates as Evoke Melt; data shop Propensity4, which sits in the Engage unit; and Research Partnership, now among the offerings in the Advisory group.

As for the name Inizio, it was developed by Evoke and stems from the idea of “new day, fresh start,” explained Taaffe. “We thought that we could potentially reimagine health. That’s our promise.”