Deerfield snaps up scientific comms shop Verge

The acquisition bolsters Deerfield’s ability to service young biotechs.

Headshots of Frank Burrell, Lissette Steele and Amanda Sellers.
Top row: Deerfield’s Frank Burrell and Verge’s Lissette Steele; Bottom row: Amanda Sellers and Lissette Steele.

The Verge brand will operate independently under the Deerfield umbrella. No layoffs are anticipated.

According to Deerfield managing partner Frank Burrell, the acquisition simultaneously bolsters the company’s scientific and strategic capabilities.

“It was clear as day this would be a perfect fit for us, but it was more for us to expand on that scientific expertise and corporate branding that a lot of our clients need today,” Burrell said.

He added that the deal should make Deerfield even more appealing to biotech startups.

“As they get closer to bringing a product to market, we’re easily able to jump in and help commercialize those products for them,” Burrell explained. “For the benefit of our clients, they don’t have to keep looking for other partners or go through different experiences.”

Verge founder and managing partner Lissette Steele said her agency will be better able to work with fledgling companies beyond Phase II.

“What’s exciting about the opportunity is that we can think about new ways to lean forward,” Steele noted. “It allows us to be a longer-term partner for our clients as they start to look ahead to clinical trial marketing and pre-commercial planning, all the things that are going to be critical to help advance their companies and brands.”

Steele said that companies need to act sooner than later to strengthen their brand communications in advance of a potential economic downturn.

“It’s a time when science and storytelling has probably never been more important,” she explained. “How do you create value for an organization or communicate potential benefits of a new modality? How do you demonstrate you’ve got a team that’s well-equipped to succeed? The ability to shape compelling brands and stories is critical to building prospective partnerships and attracting employees in this kind of market.”

Steele and Verge partner Amanda Sellers, will continue to lead the agency’s operations. They will also join the senior leadership team at Deerfield Pharma Services Holdings.

Per the 2022 MM+M Agency 100, Deerfield saw revenue grow 32% during 2021, to $43.5 million.

This story first appeared on mmm-online.com. 


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