UDG Healthcare acquires US communications firm for $35m

UDG says acquisition of Cambridge BioMarketing would provide platform for growth

UDG Healthcare has acquired US-based healthcare communications business Cambridge BioMarketing for $35 million (€30.5 million).

The US firm specialises in orphan and rare disease drug launches, a fast-growing area of drug development and commercialisation.

UDG said the acquisition would provide it with a platform for growth, specifically in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Oakland, California, both of which have a strong biotech presence.

It follows UDG’s acquisition earlier this month of Vynamic, a US-based healthcare industry management consulting firm.


Cambridge BioMarketing is being acquired for an initial consideration of $30 million, with an additional consideration of up to $5 million payable over the next 12 months, based on the achievement of agreed financial targets.

The orphan drug and rare disease market is forecasted to grow by 11 per cent between 2017 and 2022 to $209 billion, with orphan drugs estimated to account for 21.4 per cent of prescription sales by 2022.

“The acquisition of Cambridge BioMarketing provides us with industry-leading expertise in the fast-growing area of orphan and rare disease drugs and adds further capabilities in patient-focused communications programmes, an increasing focus for pharmaceutical companies,” UDG chief executive Brendan McAtamney said.

“The acquisition is in line with our strategic ambitions to grow our healthcare communications business in the US and expand the range of services we offer to our global pharmaceutical customer base,” he said.

Cambridge BioMarketing chief executive Maureen Franco said: " Being part of the UDG group provides us with a deeper, complementary suite of services including healthcare communications, consulting, market access, clinical services and meeting and events, as well as a global footprint - allowing us to better serve our clients and providing increased opportunities for our employees."

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy is Economics Correspondent of The Irish Times