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Indegene buys CultHealth to bolster its creative, medical chops

19 OCT 2022

The acquisition was funded in part by investment firms Carlyle Group and Brighton Park Capital.

Indegene acquired full-service healthcare communications agency CultHealth, the firms announced Wednesday.

The acquisition, by ILSL Inc., a subsidiary of Indegene Private Limited, was funded in part by Carlyle Group and Brighton Park Capital, the two investment firms which took minority stakes in Indegene for $200 million last year. Jeff Rothstein, CultHealth partner and CEO, will continue to run the company, reporting to Princeton-based Gaurav Kapoor, EVP of Indegene, Inc. Terms were not immediately disclosed but no layoffs are planned and the agency will retain its branding.

As part of the deal bringing New York-based CultHealth and its 140-member team into the fold, Indegene will add the agency-of-record shop to its omnichannel activation offering. This is expected to help pharma brand teams better engage with healthcare providers and patients.

“We had that subscale as Indegene, but CultHealth brings a pretty decent scale,” explained Manish Gupta, Chairman and CEO, Indegene Private Limited. “In that context, our offering to clients becomes more broad-based.”

CultHeath, for its part, can integrate the analytics and tech capabilities for which Indegene is known and extend those capabilities to the agency’s large and medium-sized pharma customers.

The agency was a finalist in the 2019 MM+M Awards for small healthcare agency of the year and was shortlisted in the 2020 Awards program for its “Ozempic Music Man” TV campaign.

Gupta said Indegene was impressed with CultHeath’s culture and the way its team works with brand teams, as well as its strong creative and medical capabilities. The latter is “important given the way the biopharma pipeline is shaping up,” he added.

In a broader sense, the acquisition bolsters Indegene’s positioning as a tech-led commercialization partner for life science companies.

“Given the clutter in the market, communication and getting a message across will always be an [important] capability,” Gupta said, citing research that found only 20% of pharma products launched in the U.S. reached a revenue of $1 billion from 2004 to 2016. Additionally, half of those companies that debuted over the past 15 years failed to reach $250 million in U.S. sales.

“The idea is to become an end-to-end, digital-first commercial partner for the life sciences industry,” he said. “We have most of the capabilities, but this was a gap that was glaring.”

Indegene’s last big M+A deal was 2021’s acquisition of Medical Marketing Economics for about $10 million.

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