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Here comes the science: UDG Healthcare buys London based PR firms

By Gareth MacDonald+

08-Jul-2014

UDG Healthcare has acquired two scientific PR services firms in its latest pharmaceutical industry-focused communications expansion.

The Dublin, Ireland-based firm has acquired MFRHRC Holdings and its two scientific public relations brands - Galliard and Nyxeon – for £6.5m upfront in a deal designed to bolster its recently rejigged Ashfield Healthcare Communications business .

A UDG spokesman told Outsourcing-pharma.com the Galliard and Nyxeon brands specialise in providing scientific PR services for drugmakers that are interested in reaching healthcare professionals, caregivers, policy makers and consumers.

He added that: “These [Galliard and Nyxeon] are bolt-on acquisitions that are complimentary to UDG’s existing offering and in keeping with its strategic effort to expand its healthcare communications business.”

The services offered by the two London-based agencies differ from UDG’s previous healthcare communications acquisition – KnowledgePoint360 – in that they are more patient and payer focused.

In addition, Galliard and Nyxeon focus primarily on helping pharmaceutical firms communicate science within the UK. In contrast, KnowledgePoint360, which UDG bought in March , has offices in Macclesfield in the UK and New Jersey, US.

Comms acquisitions

UDG has been working to expand its healthcare communications offering since 2012 when it acquired British firm Water Medical Consultancy and German market services group Pharmexx.

In August, last year the Irish firm also purchased Spanish group Expansis for €12m ($15m) which, although mainly focused on pharmaceutical sales, does provide some communication services.

While no additional pharma communications-focused deals are planned UDG has an active pipeline of potential targets and is interested in additional bolt-on acquisitions according to its spokesman.

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