Echo has been set up by Mike Dixon, former MD at healthcare PR agency Jago Pearce, and Marian Byrt, a senior consultant at the same agency.
'The pharma industry is a lot more cost-conscious now and comms agencies need to recognise that and respond,' said Dixon. 'We promise to deliver programmes at a sensible cost.'
The agency launches with clients already lined up including pharma firm Genzyme Therapeutics and heart charity Heart UK. It has a base of eight staff working from its offices in Egham, Surrey.
Advertising agency VB Communications hired Dixon to set up Jago Pearce nine years ago.
VB was then bought up by Huntsworth in 2004 (PRWeek, 9 July 2004), which was followed swiftly with healthcare specialist Avenue HKM. Huntsworth then merged the agencies into a single company, Huntsworth Health, in 2006 (PRWeek, 28 Sep 2006).
Dixon stayed on throughout the buy-out but left in October 2006 to work on his own. Byrt left the agency in September last year.