DUBAI Hanover Communications is launching a healthcare division in the Middle East, and has appointed former Edelman UAE health lead Simone Elviss to head up the new offer.

The UAE healthcare division has been set up in response to client demand: around two-thirds of the agency’s top healthcare clients have operations in the Middle East. Healthcare now makes up around 30% of Hanover’s global business: its London, Brussels and Dublin teams work with some of the largest pharma and medtech businesses and public sector healthcare organisations in the world, including Lilly, Sanofi and the NHS.

Elviss has an academic background in biomedical science and genetics. She spent five years at Abchurch Communications in London working on corporate and financial communications for listed and provate life sciences and healthcare clients, before joining Edelman in 2013. She was one of the 14 staff made redundant by Edelman in the UAE this summer.

Over her career, Elviss has led pharma accounts including Janssen, Novo Nordisk and Shire, across a wide range of therapeutic areas, along with healthcare service providers such as Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.

Elviss reports to Jonty Summers, Hanover’s MD for the Middle East and the Gulf, who told the Holmes Report: “Simone has a very Hanover outlook, with the independent, questioning spirit we always look for, and professionally her experience is terrific for us. She knows this market really well and she’s a great fit for what we want to do in the region.”

He added that as well as drawing on the existing global healthcare specialist network and the UAE comms team, Hanover Health would bring new healthcare and digital talent on board in the region as required.

Elviss said: “The healthcare industry in the UAE and wider region is thriving, driven by powerful ambition and significant investment to meet the needs of the growing population, making it an incredibly exciting market to work in. Hanover Health has a fantastic track record of smart, strategic work rooted in deep expertise from communications to market access, and I am thrilled to be joining the team as we expand the healthcare footprint to the Middle East.”