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Health Care, Life Sciences and Medical Devices
With decades of experience, the Birnbach Communications health care team helps clients ranging from cutting-edge startups to global leaders, both private and public, as well as innovative nonprofits by creating and executing thought leadership programs geared to raise awareness among key audiences, promote key milestones such as clinical trials and funding, support lead generation and drive traffic to their websites. We do this by writing and placing bylined articles and blog posts, securing strong media relations placements and developing engaging social media content to raise visibility.

Our experience includes working with:

  • Pharma.
  • Biotechs.
  • Life sciences.
  • Drug discovery.
  • Vaccines and clinical trials.
  • Medical devices.
  • Health technology informatics.
  • Research institutions.
  • Lab operators.
  • Medical associations.
  • Medical practices.
  • Senior care.

We have experience with major health care topics, including diabetes, Covid, heart disease, vaccines, veins, gene therapy, infectious diseases, and women's health. And we work with national, local and trade media to establish relationships with key reporters and editors.

We've announced Covid-related news on behalf of Akston Biosciences, Seqens CDMO North America and NowAware and secured coverage in broadcast and print media across the U.S. and in The Netherlands, where Akston's clinical trials were held.

For PCI Synthesis (now Seqens CDMO North America), a custom chemical manufacturer of new chemical entities (NCEs), generic APIs, and other specialty chemical products, our work raising the company's visibility and awareness has been credited with helping the company win multiple industry awards voted on by biotech industry peers.

Our thought leadership program – comprised of bylined articles, speaking opportunities and social media for which we develop the strategy and content – has been cited by current and prospective clients for showcasing the expertise and leadership that encouraged them to work with the company. The content we developed for its corporate blog drove a year-over-year increase of total sessions and total users on the website by more than 36% and 34%.

We have written more than 80 bylined articles that have appeared in national and international trade publications including: Pharmaceutical Compliance Monitor ("Three Questions to Ask Your CMO about Standard Operating Procedures"); Manufacturing Chemist ("Time to address price hikes in US generic drugs"); Pharmaceutical Outsourcing ("Trends Affecting CROs & CMOs in 2016 Look Positive"); Boston Business Journal ("Mass. needs to invest in a new era for life sciences") and others.

We also drive the company's social media initiatives, including writing nearly more than 50 blog articles annually on a wide variety of topics of interest to PCI Synthesis' customer base. Using Hubspot, we also post content on the company's social media platforms including Twitter, LinkedIn and LinkedIn Group, and Facebook. (Some of that outreach is important not just for reaching new clients but also reaching prospective employees.) Several of our blog articles have been referenced as source material including Nature Biotechnology Journal.

We also continue to support the parent company, Seqens CDMO part of Seeqens Group in France, on strategic communication opportunities in the U.S..

With an increase in acquisitions among the biotech sector, we advise clients on the PR- and social media-implications around acquisitions, including Averica Discovery Services in its acquisition by Neopharm Labs and Blue Stream Labs in its acquisition by Charles River Labs. There are a lot of communications issues that come up during an acquisition, and we have counseled clients (in conjunction with their bankers and attorneys) with regards to the media and social media strategy regarding timing and positioning of the deal itself, the role of the management team of the target company within the parent company, and how the target's expertise will be integrated into the parent company.

We also helped clients continue to focus on their business even during acquisitions – something that can be overlooked in the excitement of closing the deal. For Averica, for example, we also helped them develop and produce a webinar in the weeks before the acquisition was announced.

For Averica, we also helped the company raise awareness of its capabilities and insights through bylined articles, webinars, and momentum releases. We launched new service offerings as well as a new marketing initiative that involved sponsorship of Back Bay Cycling Club’s elite level women’s cyclocross team, named “Team Averica.”

We have also supported the New England CRO/CMO Council, a non-profit organization that represents a community of CROs and CMOs, with the goal to raise awareness and represent these cumulative services to the Biopharma community as well as to influencers in the region.

For Home Instead Senior Care of Massachusetts, a provider of non-medical in-home care, our goal was to raise awareness that seniors can age and be cared for in their own homes, an alternative to assisted living facilities. As part of our multiyear campaign, we developed and secured coverage of tip sheets on safety and wellness issues, placed op-ed articles that generated in dozens of pickups on important issues such as senior driving safety and CORI reform regarding caregivers, supported events like a senior driving safety roundtable, and more. We also supported the organization through a thought leadership campaign focused on op-ed articles and editorial roundtable discussions. Here's a link to a broadcast placement we secured for Home Instead: Helping Seniors as Another Storm Approaches.

We worked with Joslin Diabetes Center to raise national and international awareness for research and clinical institute, which is dedicated to finding a cure for diabetes and improving the lives of people with diabetes through its cutting edge basic and clinical research, patient care programs for children and adults, and through programs and publications that improve the care of diabetes worldwide.

  • We helped announce the Joslin Diabetes Center Affiliate Bahrain, Joslin's first international affiliate and the region's first medical center devoted entirely to the treatment of diabetes and related complications.
  • We developed the strategy and executed the center's first-ever New York media tour with major media, including The Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Time Magazine, Newsweek, and Parade. The tour was quickly followed up with another tour, meeting with The New York Times, CBS Evening News and The Wall Street Journal.

    The media tours were successful for not only introducing Joslin to the media but also in securing articles and scheduling on-site visits of the institution – two key goals of the project. Within three weeks of the media tours, the first print results appeared, a front-page article in The Wall Street Journal, a quote in a Time cover story and a quote in a Business Week commentary ("Let Them Eat Cake – If They Want To. The U.S. take on obesity: 'Personal responsibility,'" Feb. 23, 2004). In fact, since the initial tour, the Wall Street Journal, along with its sister organization, Dow Jones News Service, has written about or quoted Joslin experts more than a half dozen times – resulting in more coverage this year alone than at any time during the previous 10 years.

  • We have supported a number of new studies published in peer-reviewed journals as well as Joslin's new dietary recommendations. We wrote an article for Dr. James Rosenzweig and Dr. Osama Hamdy that appeared on the Op-Ed page of the Boston Globe ("The Obesity and Diabetes Epidemic") that communicated information about Joslin's recommendations while discussing public policy issues regarding government programs towards obesity and diabetes. The response to the article has been positive both externally and internally – an important, if often overlooked reason to conduct PR. One Joslin doctor (who is unaffiliated with the communications function) wrote, "I would like to add my congratulations for presenting such an important subject in such a coherent way. The obesity epidemic is having an impact on the rate of diabetes and once again, Joslin is where people look for help and answers."

  • We have raised awareness of programs aimed at minorities at risk for developing diabetes, includes Asian Americans (through multiple media tours and other special events), Latinos, African-Americans and Arab Americans.

We helped launch Veraxa Health, the first for-profit spin-out of the Joslin Diabetes Center that markets the Joslin Vision Network (JVN), a proven technology and clinical service designed to prevent blindness and vision loss for people with diabetes. We developed the messaging, the press kit and launched the company in three weeks, generating coverage in the Dow Jones' VentureWire and other VC media. A story in Mass High Tech was picked up by more than 40 other publications including the Boston Business Journal, Los Angeles Business Journal, and San Francisco Business Times.

For Diomed, a medical device manufacture that markets EVLT (Endovenous Laser Treatment), an innovative non-surgical procedure that uses laser technology to seal varicose veins safely and effectively, we developed the company's messaging and positioning, wrote its press kit, and worked with the company's medical practice customers and patients to secure media coverage that increased traffic to the website.

For medical practices, we have developed key messages and have written patient materials (including patient letters, information on procedures, etc.), and evaluated and drafted website content and brochures. We have turned c.v.'s into compelling bios for use by the media. And we have identified media opportunities that have increased local awareness of the practices. We have also written and placed articles in local media to drive web traffic and interest among new patients.

Our health care team's experience includes providing strategic counsel to Abiomed's communications policy – setting out the ground rules and expectations – which pre-introduced Abiomed's AbioCor total replacement heart, resulting in positive coverage prior to the first implant. The first operation, which took place July 2, 2001, was featured on the front pages and editorial pages of newspapers around the world, including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, International Herald Tribune, Associated Press and was the lead story on NBC Nightly News, ABC Evening News, CBS Evening News, and ran on CNBC and countless others. The team also coordinated Abiomed's efforts when Robert Tools, the first recipient of the AbioCor, went public in a press conference carried live on CNN and MSNBC on August 21, 2001, which resulted in front-page, above-the-fold photographs in just about every paper nationwide. The AbioCor was the subject of a Newsweek cover story in June, 2001, was cited as one of the best innovations of the year by Business Week in December, 2001, and was named "Invention of the Year" by Time Magazine in November, 2001.

For pharmaceutical clients, our team has launched new drugs and vaccines, including the first canine cardiology drug (based on the angiotensin-converting enzyme [ACE] inhibitor); and a diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis (DtaP) vaccine. For a global vitamin producer, we helped promote new research on folic acid and antioxidants to support its vitamins sold to major manufacturers. Ultimately, this work laid the groundwork for every subsequent new formulation of a major branded vitamin as well as providing the rationale for an entirely new product that contains various antioxidants only.

We have planned and executed issue-oriented programs for industry medical and dental associations. And we have raised awareness of medical conditions and issues, including diabetes; asthma, its causes and treatment, for inner-city populations; and Radon gas, an odorless cancer-causing gas.

We also have written and placed op-eds, bylined articles and letters to the editors about health care issues, including in the Boston Globe, Advance for Managers of Respiratory Care, Advance for Health Information Professionals, Contract Pharma, Manufacturing Chemist, Pharmaceutical Compliance Monitor, and others.

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