Open Health buys 80-person UK agency

Healthcare comms consultancy Open Health has acquired Spirit, the medical communications agency with a staff of 80 and offices in Manchester and Cheshire.

Open Health CEO Rob Barker: 'Acquisition will enhance our global medical affairs resources'
Open Health CEO Rob Barker: 'Acquisition will enhance our global medical affairs resources'

The acquisition of Spirit Medical Communications Group takes the Open Health workforce to 850 people in the US, UK, Netherlands, Germany, India and China.

Open Health has bought the business outright. The acquisition sees the departure of Asif Zaman, who founded Spirit in 2006.

Spirit will continue to be led by MD Iona Fleming and the senior leadership team. Open Health said in the next few months, Spirit will become more integrated into the wider business, "and take on a broader role supporting the growth of our European Publications capabilities".

Spirit's clients include big pharma and small biotech companies.

Fleming said: "Over the past 15 years, we have proudly grown Spirit to an 80-person medical affairs agency – delivering a broad range of scientific communications globally. In joining Open Health, we are significantly expanding our geographical reach and will be able to provide a wider range of integrated services to our medical affairs and HEOR (health economics and outcomes research) clients.”

Open Health chief executive Rob Barker said: “We are delighted to welcome Spirit into the Open Health family. This is a strategic acquisition that will enhance our global medical affairs resources, further supporting our unique range of offerings and opportunities for innovation to support industry change and growth.”

Other terms of the deal, including the price, have not been disclosed.

Founded in 2011 as a joint venture with Chime Communications to create a multidisciplinary health comms and market access group, Open Health has three main business areas: medical communications; patient and brand communications; and value, informatics and evidence.

In 2018, Open Health was acquired by Amulet Capital Partners, a US-based private equity firm focused on the healthcare sector. Following the acquisition, Open Health merged with Amulet-owned Peloton Advantage, which specialises in publication planning and content development for medical education programmes.

This article was updated on Thursday (5 August) with more information about the deal.

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