Real Chemistry acquires Avant Healthcare, a medical communications company that provides solutions spanning engagement across the entire drug commercialization lifecycle, including medical affairs, promotional medical education, scientific strategy and consulting and speaker development and management. Financial terms of the acquisition, which closed on Feb. 1, were not disclosed. Avant’s team will become part of Real Chemistry’s Medical group. Its current leadership team will remain with the firm, with Avant chief customer officer and president Trina Stonner, RN, MSN, co-leading Real Chemistry’s Medical group with Suzanne Jacobs, who leads Real Chemistry’s current medical team and is based in London. “Expanding our capabilities with Avant brings us even greater scientific expertise, strength, and creativity to partner with our clients to fully leverage the next generation of product breakthroughs in the next few years,” said Real Chemistry CEO Shankar Narayanan.
Berk Communications launches its inaugural Pro Bono program. Berk will invest $100,000 in public relations services for this year's program, which will emphasize public relations services for emerging companies and entrepreneurs, including those from under-represented groups as well as those giving back and positively contributing to the communities they serve. Agency executives will work with the participants to create a tailored public relations program. The five-month program, led by VP of consumer lifestyle & sports Laura Kepus and senior account director of entertainment & social justice Arianne Antonio, will formally kick off in April. "We're looking forward to the even greater impact we can make with companies that deserve it most through this official program," said Berk founder and president Ron Berkowitz.
Chris Willard Communications, a San Francisco-based strategic communications consulting firm offering hourly consulting, narrative development, launch campaigns, media training and crisis communications services, is being started up by former Warner Bros. Discovery SVP, streaming communications Chris Willard, according to a report in Variety. The new firm will start taking meetings Feb. 12 and anticipates building up to a full client load by late spring. Before his post at Warner Bros. Discovery, Willard was SVP, communications, direct-to-consumer at HBO Max and he served as director of corporate affairs for HBO. The firm’s website says that it will work with “brands who are developing unique and exciting ways to evolve their businesses amidst disruption, and, in this new era of automation, brands who are finding the right balance between human and machine to drive innovation, educate and empower workers, and unlock value across their organizations.”