Ashfield and Huntsworth unite as life sciences consulting giant Inizio

07 July 2022 3 min. read

New York-based private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R) has combined two of its recent acquisitions to create Inizio, a 10,000-person global consulting firm providing a full suite of advisory, medical, marketing, communications, and patient and stakeholder engagement services.

CD&R in March 2020 agreed to buy Huntsworth, a London-based provider of marketing and medical communications services to pharma and biotech firms, for $511 million. Huntsworth had 50 offices across 28 countries at the time of acquisition.

As CD&R ramped up its targeting of healthcare industry companies during the pandemic (especially in the Brexit-devalued UK&I market), the PE firm also in May 2021 bought Dublin-based UDG Healthcare, a global provider of advisory, clinical, commercial, communication, and packaging services. The $3.9-billion deal included UDG's Leicestershire, UK-based consulting division Ashfield.

CD&R has now combined the health and life sciences consulting brands of Huntsworth and Ashfield into Inizio – with 10,000 people across 35 countries. The new brand is led by CEO Paul Taaffe, formerly CEO of Huntsworth.

Ashfield and Huntsworth unite as life sciences consulting giant Inizio

“The creation of Inizio is a direct response to the increasingly complex landscape our clients navigate in terms of clinical development, product launch, and commercialization. Through Inizio they can access the specialist expertise and a partner that will help them to optimize the commercialization of their products,” said Taaffe. “Collectively, we have consistently launched the majority of new drugs to market, across the largest pharma companies in the world.”

Inizio launches with five business units.

Advisory will assist pharma, biotech, and life sciences firms with strategies for portfolio licensing and development, established product strategy, new product launches, pricing, and market access. The unit will also provide intelligence and benchmarking services.

Medical will deliver medical communications, medical affairs, real world evidence, and outcomes research.

MarComms, formed out of Huntsworth agency Evoke, will provide brand strategy, creative, communications, policy and access, experience, and marketing technology services.

Engage will deliver strategic engagement and commercialization solutions across live, hybrid, and digital channels for healthcare professionals, payors, and patients, including employee engagement, training, events, treatment journey blueprinting, analytics, patient education, medical information, and promotions.

Biotech will support biotech clients with personalized and scalable solutions for the clinical development and commercialization journey.

“As Inizio, we are now able to build deeper and more strategic partnerships, as we can connect the depth of scientific knowledge, breadth of therapeutic experience and scale that exists within the business,” said Ryan Quigley, COO of Inizio and formerly COO of UDG Healthcare. “Whether we are enabling our clients to maximize value at a specific milestone, or acting as a guide throughout their journey, we seek to elevate their expectations of partnership and improve patient outcomes.”