The agency has been handed a public affairs and corporate comms brief aimed at raising the profile of the company and strengthening the UK’s image as favourable for life-science investment.
The UK life science industry has more than 4,000 companies employing a total of about 160,000 staff. The sector’s annual turnover is more than £50bn.
Hanover’s head of healthcare Andrew Harrison said: ‘The UK has always been a good place for research and development. But over the past ten to 20 years, other countries have been working hard to catch up, and this appointment is about ensuring the UK retains its status.’
He added: ‘UCB is one of the top five life science research and development investors in the UK and has a huge amount to offer patients, the NHS and this country’s economic growth agenda.’
The six-figure, two-year retained account will be led by Harrison. Hanover will report to UCB’s director of government affairs Gordon Lundie and head of comms Scott Fleming.
Lundie said: ‘Throughout the pitch process the team showed a real passion and enthusiasm for our work and their health expertise in both London and Brussels gave them a competitive advantage.’
The Belgian company spent more than £230m on R&D in 2010. It focuses on central nervous system disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy, and immunology diseases. Last year, UCB retained Fleishman-Hillard to provide global PR support for rheumatoid arthritis treatment Cimzia. The agency was reappointed following a four-way pitch.