Real Chemistry grows in med comms with Avant buy

Real Chemistry

Life sciences communications agency Real Chemistry has more than doubled its medical team through the acquisition of Avant Healthcare.

The takeover – which was completed earlier this month for an undisclosed sum – will bolster Real Chemistry’s medical education, medical affairs, and healthcare provider (HCP) communications capabilities, said the company in a statement.

“The life sciences industry is investing heavily in R&D and addressing increasingly complex diseases with robust new drug pipelines. These new therapies require significant HCP education and engagement to reach and benefit the patients who need them,” said Shankar Narayanan, Real Chemistry’s chief executive.

“At the same time, demographic changes happening with HCPs are having a profound effect on how companies need to effectively engage with them,” he added. “Expanding our capabilities with Avant brings us even greater scientific expertise, strength, and creativity to partner with our clients to fully leverage the next generation of product breakthroughs in the next few years.”

Carmel, Indiana-based Avant Healthcare was formed in 1994 and provides a wide range of services to life sciences companies, including medical affairs, promotional medical education, scientific strategy and consulting, and speaker development and management.

Its focus on digital and data-driven messaging dovetails with Real Chemistry’s approach of providing artificial intelligence-driven insights and marketing for the healthcare industry, according to the companies.

Avant’s workforce will be folded into Real Chemistry’s medical group, which has seen its headcount swell to more than 450 workers. Avant’s current leadership team are staying on, with Avant's chief customer officer and president, Trina Stonner, running the team alongside current leader Suzanne Jacobs.

“We were looking for a unicorn partner and found one in Real Chemistry, which is the perfect fit for Avant’s clients and employees,” said Deborah Wood, founder and chairwoman of Avant.

“Our clients will benefit from the expanded data and AI capabilities Real Chemistry brings, the global reach, and the richer service offering across the full marketing and communications spectrum.”

Real Chemistry – which rebranded from W20 in 2021 – was founded more than 20 years ago and has been growing fast in recent years through a dozen acquisitions signed since 2019.

Last year, it bought HCP engagement specialist TI Health, which provides predictive analytics, data marketing, and personalised messaging and was integrated with Real Chemistry’s Swoop brand, which targets both HCPs and patients and was acquired in 2021 along with, set up to find undiagnosed and misdiagnosed patients for specialty and rare disease clients.

Another recent addition was conversational AI developer conversationHEALTH in 2021, adding a platform that applies advanced natural language processing, medically-trained natural language understanding, and contextual AI to interactions with patients.