Industry Briefs March 2016

Calcium USA Changes Ownership—Sparks New Growth


After an impactful year for Calcium USA, CEO Steven Michaelson (former founder of Wishbone) and the company’s Chief Strategy Officer Judy Capano (former Wishbone partner) announced the finalization of the purchase of the agency and its assets in December 2015.

After the vigorous team—which includes managing partners, Steven Hamburg, former Wishbone partner who is now Calcium’s Chief Creative Officer; and General Manager, Garth McCallum-Keeler—took their new positions in August of 2015, the agency reported rapid business growth.

Among other ventures, Calcium USA is now the AOR for United Therapeutics and Kamedis and has rebranded rare disease manufacturer Cortendo to Strongbridge Biopharma. Michaelson anticipates further growth through a number of new initiatives for existing clients as well. He states, “At Calcium, we have all the capabilities in place to develop industry leading, fully integrated strategic, creative, and digital solutions for our clients.”

GA Communications is Now Sandbox

Sandbox isn’t just a name change for GA Communication Group, an agency that has served for more than 30 years in pharmaceutical and healthcare advertising. Instead, the new agency is entirely built on the foundation of four firms: GA Communication Group, McCormick Company, Underline Communications and One Advertising.

Operating as an integrated and independent marketing agency, Sandbox employs 350 employees at seven offices in the U.S. and Canada.

Joe Kuchta, former CEO of GA Communication Group and principal of Sandbox says of the new agency, “There’s a culture of collaboration at Sandbox that, along with our expanded resources and diverse backgrounds, gives our clients access to top-level thinking, creativity and business expertise while creating exciting new career opportunities for our people. That’s the kind of agency people want to be part of and that clients need now more than ever.”

The HBA Names Jennifer Cook 2016 Woman of the Year


The Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA) will honor Jennifer Cook, head of pharma, region Europe for Roche as the 2016 Woman of the Year at the HBA’s 27th annual Woman of the Year (WOTY) event on Thursday, May 12, at the Hilton New York Midtown. Cook will be honored for her responsibility and success in providing access to Roche medications for Europeans—and the company’s subsequent commercial success in that market—among other major accomplishments.

Cook built a stellar reputation for leadership and people development, inspiring and empowering other leaders within Roche’s pharma region in Europe, and is a trusted mentor to employees. “I am truly honored to receive this recognition,” she says. “In this period of rapid evolution for our industry, I believe we have an unprecedented opportunity to improve health outcomes for patients and societies worldwide.”

IBM Buys Medical Analysis Company

In a move to enhance its Watson Health business, IBM recently purchased Truven Health Analytics for $2.6 million, according to the New York Times, making it IBM’s fourth acquisition since founding Watson Health in April of 2015. This purchase now provides Watson Health, a leader in artificial intelligence technology, with health-related data on more than 300 million people. In a statement, IBM Senior Vice President Mike Kelly says, “We’re serious and spending serious money to move fast into a whole new industry—healthcare—for IBM.”


You May Also Like

Can a Moonshot Cure Cancer…and Pharma’s Reputation?

Vice President Biden’s “moonshot” to cure cancer has been getting headlines since he first ...

Do You Have The Right Stuff?

What are the qualities that make up an extraordinary leader? Think hard before you ...

Humanizing the Brand Experience

The one-size-fits-all wonder drug and the physician-voice-driven model, as we know it, is rapidly ...