Inside Mission North’s Life Sciences Practice: Health, Sustainability and Nutrition

Life science hero

Our mission:

To solve today’s most urgent challenges and safeguard the future with science.

Our goal:

To help people live longer and healthier lives as the storytellers behind the disruptive technologies transforming how we treat disease, how we protect our planet, and how we eat.

Our current clients include:

We have also worked with:

How we help our clients:

Making Complex Scientific Stories Resonate

Life sciences companies are hard at work transforming the future of biotech, healthcare, agriculture and food. As the sector has grown increasingly crowded, we’ve seen more and more companies launching out of stealth, going public, and creating entirely new categories like never before. This is where Mission North comes in. Our job is to prepare our clients for those moments by working closely together to craft the right messages, identify the best target audiences and develop tailored strategies that ensure those messages show up in the channels where those key groups will see them—allowing companies to more meaningfully highlight the impact of their technologies.

Making a positive impact on our communities is a common thread across all of our work at Mission North, so partnering with organizations who ensure that we can all live longer, healthier and more sustainable lives is a natural fit for our business and our values.

In 2021, our Life Sciences practice experienced more than 80% year-over-year business growth, as our team worked hand-in-hand with the companies at the forefront of life-changing and often life-saving innovation. But this mission-critical work to help advance next-generation solutions for the world’s most troubling health and environmental crises has been at the center of our business from the get-go. For example, just five years ago, synthetic biology was a relatively unknown concept even to those working in biotech. Our partnership with Ginkgo Bioworks has helped to change that thinking. We’ve demystified synthetic biology and its practical applications for transforming food, fragrance and pharmaceuticals.

We’ve helped put companies on the map during major events in their evolution, whether it was Absci’s public debut on Nasdaq or the rebranding of Memphis Meats as UPSIDE Foods. We’ve worked hard to tell the stories of companies like Joyn and Enko who are building more sustainable agricultural solutions, as well as those like Motif who are raising the bar in alternative meat and dairy.

<split-lines>“Partnering with organizations who ensure that we can all live longer, healthier and more sustainable lives is a natural fit for our business and our values.”<split-lines>

What’s Driving Life Sciences in 2022 and Beyond

Some of the fastest-growing segments in the life sciences industry include cell and gene therapies, food systems innovation, drug discovery and development innovation, and alternative treatments and medicines. Companies in these segments are solving major societal, human health and planetary health issues in novel ways. They are at the forefront of creativity in rethinking and extending how humans can survive long-term on Earth, which is why we’re so energized to partner with them.

The emergence and availability of COVID-19 vaccines has helped the general public understand how RNA therapies and technology can treat all kinds of diseases. We’re seeing more excitement around innovative biotech companies, including Mission North client Shape Therapeutics, that are acutely focused on tackling disease treatment at the genetic level. The players who lead the pack will be those spearheading innovation which is accessible to the most in-need patients.

In 2021, investors poured $5 billion into sustainable agricultural technology or agtech. As we face the escalating climate crisis, as consumers seek out more green options, and as we rethink how to feed communities around the world, significant growth will continue in this sector. Staying with food, companies are becoming wildly inventive in the category of meat and dairy alternatives, with innovations such as potato milk and steak developed from carbon dioxide, along with cutting-edge technologies like precision fermentation used by Perfect Day.

Finally, as healthcare and political leaders begin to embrace the therapeutic potential of psychedelic medicine, funding and innovation in this category will accelerate. This is an exciting shift, as psychedelic medicine holds promise to treat a variety of mental health conditions, including eating disorders.

<split-lines>“Life sciences companies are challenging legacy approaches to solve big problems in unique, never-before-done ways.”<split-lines>

Ensuring PR Success in a Constantly Evolving Arena

Life sciences companies are challenging legacy approaches to solve big problems in unique, never-before-done ways. The non-stop innovation is enough to cause whiplash, and the battle for brand awareness and audience attention is greater than ever—and so is the role of PR and communications. While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to driving narratives, growing a company’s share of voice, and reaching the audiences that matter most, we would call out three communications principles that we believe are core to a successful PR program.

First, we encourage all companies to invest in audience-centric research which helps us to understand where these groups source their information, which messages they see and what resonates with them. Second, the life sciences landscape is crowded, so we need to tailor messaging in a way that will help audiences better understand the exact problem a company is solving and how it will impact their daily lives. Groundbreaking technology alone is no longer enough to guarantee media coverage. Reporters need to understand exactly why a particular technology matters to the world. This means companies must invest time and energy at the executive level into building real relationships with reporters and understand that this process doesn’t happen overnight.

Lastly, we advise all of our clients to lean into developing and then sharing bold, unique and data-driven perspectives that are authentic to their business and brand. Our job is to refine those positions into media-friendly and layperson-friendly versions and insert them in the right channels at the right moments.

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