Biro venture to aid Edelman services

Edelman has created a dedicated unit to boost its biotechnology and

pharmaceutical client list.

The venture, called Biro, will draw on as many as 35 staff from

Edelman's financial and healthcare divisions with the aim of offering

clients better global lines of communication between financial,

scientific and healthcare professionals.

Its key targets include established companies and also entrepreneurs and

investors looking to break into the sector.

The venture is headed by healthcare head Nigel Breakwell and director

Michael Henman.

According to Henman, the plan involves more than simply renaming

existing services under the banner of a 'one-stop shop'.

He said: 'We are positioning our services in a way that is more readily

accessible to the clients in meeting their needs.

'If you are an entrepreneur with a great idea in biotechnology or

pharmaceutical areas and you decide you want to build your business two

key elements you need are someone with financial intelligence and

contact with those in the industry such as distributors.'

Two companies have already been taken on. Under the Biro name, staff at

Edelman have started work for Oxford Bio Signals, which collects data

from brain scans and Tristem, which works in the haematology field.

The venture follows recent changes in the agency's financial division

earlier this year. In February, Henman quit rival city PR firm

Grandfield, where he was a founding director, to join Edelman (PRWeek, 9

February) .

He was joined by Grandfield's head of plc and corporate Stephen

Benzikie, who now leads the division, as part of a double swoop designed

to revitalise the 20-strong team. Previously Edelman London MD John

Mahony had acted as head of its financial practice.

Biro was officially launched at an event held in Cambridge last week.

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