Communications agency appoints former pharma boss

A specialist medical communications agency has bolstered its senior management team and added a “new dynamic” to the company with the appointment of a medical director.

Colin Wheeler built up Southwood Research, founding the company in 2016 before going to sell it five years later. He has now joined the Maidenhead agency as medical director on a part-time basis and brings 23 years’ experience, both as a medical practitioner and in the pharmaceutical industry.

The major appointment of a medical director marks another milestone for the independent, full-service agency, which was formed in 2011, that helps clients launch, build and develop great pharmaceutical brands, with the team expanding from 12 to more than 20 in the last five years.

Colin trained as a physician in Glasgow and worked in the NHS in oncology and haematology, before moving to industry to satisfy his interest in development and licensing of novel medicines. Initially working as a medical advisor in research and development, Colin went on to set up and sell his own pharmaceutical business.

Colin said: “I have always been interested in how science can be used to improve health, it is why I went into medicine. Through working in the pharmaceutical industry, I have been fortunate enough to be involved in bringing a number of novel medicines to those who need them.”

He added: “I am delighted to be working with Dice as they are very focused on their clients and patients, keeping science at the heart of what they do. They approach every new project with optimism and focus.”

Meanwhile, Renée Schalks has re-joined the team as head of medical writing, having left in 2017 to work for an Italian-based agency before working in London.

She said: “In my new role at Dice, I am looking to push forward with the writing and wider team, and strive to deliver top-quality work and a joined-up service that clients are thrilled with. I am delighted to be part of the Dice team again, which feels like family. It is an enjoyable and exciting workplace to be in, both personally and professionally.”

The agency has also employed Rowley Emery as its latest account executive after completing his chemistry degree and developing an interest in pharma.

Rowley said: “Dice Medical Communications ticked all my boxes as the team are all so professional, as well as approachable. The Dice family is passionate about what it does, and the team is willing to provide the best service it can for the people in need. The close-knit nature of the company helps it to thrive and drives the company forward.”

Matthew Dickinson, Dice’s Managing Director, said: “Having Colin as a medical director adds a new dynamic to Dice, enhancing the service we provide to clients. We are thrilled to see Renée back, who has returned to us with both international and big agency experience, while we are also happy to welcome Rowley who is an excellent addition to the team. We are always on the look out for new talent as we continue to grow.”

Dice is a Veeva-Certified, IQVIA Certified and an industry-recognised agency, ranked in the Top 40 Creative Healthcare Agencies, a leading index published by PM Live.

The company uses Pharmacohesion® to help refine strategic thinking across all channels, using marketing and scientific insight. From creative execution to rigorous measurement, Dice ensures brands make an impact.

Dice also publishes Alea, an online periodical offering a perspective on trends and marketing in the pharmaceutical industry.

For more information about Dice Medical Communications, visit:

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