The firm will announce its first retained agency for a market access, corporate and brand public affairs account during the coming weeks, following a competitive pitch process.
Nicola Redfern, director of market access UK and Ireland at Celgene, is handling the process. She was recruited last June from pharma giant Novartis, where she was director of comms and external affairs in the firm’s oncology business unit.
Celgene confirmed the process and said it did not previously have a retained agency, though it has worked with a number of shops on a project-by-project basis mainly for public affairs briefs. These are believed to include Helen Johnson Consulting, though PRWeek understands the relationship covered ad hoc work during 2012. The agency is not involved in the pitch.
Celgene focuses on the discovery and development of products for the treatment of cancer and other severe immune conditions. It claims there are more than 200 ongoing clinical trials at major medical centres worldwide using its compounds.
These are known as investigative compounds, which are being actively studied in clinical trials for patients with incurable haematological and solid tumour cancers including chronic lymphocytic leukaemia and ovarian cancer.
This year, the European Organisation for Rare Diseases gave Celgene an award for its excellence in the field of rare diseases.