Corporate biotech pro departs to GCI

SAN FRANCISCO: Genentech, a biotech company that just conducted a highly successful IPO, has lost its top PR executive to the agency world.

SAN FRANCISCO: Genentech, a biotech company that just conducted a highly successful IPO, has lost its top PR executive to the agency world.

Corporate communications director Paul Laland jumped to the GCI Group last week to help launch a new global health technology practice out of its San Francisco office.

Laland's addition signifies GCI's recognition of biotech and medical devices as key targets for new business growth. The agency is one of just a handful of multinational agencies that are jumping on the biotech bandwagon in the Bay Area, despite fears of volatility.

'Biotech is a high-risk business - there's no doubt about that,' said Laland, who joins as a SVP and director. 'But the industry has matured a great deal. Our goal is to build a global practice, especially in Europe, where there is a very big need for this kind of PR.'

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