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COVID-19 Adenovirus Vaccine Image

COVID-19 Oxford Vaccine Trial Results: Summary

AZD1222, a COVID-19 vaccine that has just undergone phase 3 trials, was co-developed by the spin-out company, Vaccitech, based at the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca. It uses a replication-deficient chimpanzee viral vector based on an attenuated (weakened) version of a common cold adenovirus. The latter has been modified to include the DNA sequence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus spike protein. As a result, this surface spike protein is produced in the recipients body post-vaccination. It is the most antigenic part of COVID-19, eliciting an antibody response, and priming the immune system to counteract future infections.


Overview of COVID-19 Vaccine Trial (Phase 3) Results:

Vaccine Name: AZD1222

Developers: Astra Zeneca + VacciTech (Oxford University) UK

Vaccine details: Chimpanzee Adenovirus vector (attenuated) + Sars-Cov2 spike protein DNA

Approach: Two dosing regimens (inadvertent – see below for explanation)

statistical significance: p-value <=0.0001

Dose – Day 1 Dose – Day 28 Number of test subjects Efficacy
Half dose Full dose n=2471 90%
Full dose Full dose n=8895 62%

Figures released to the press [1] included a composite average efficacy of 70%. In reality there were effectively two trials, due to the difference in doses. The half dose was actually given in error initially, to 2.7K+ test volunteers. This subgroup who received an erroneous administration, actually produced the most pronounced efficacy (90%). Speculative theories around this suggest, the lower dose may stimulate T cell production of antibodies more effectively. Alternatively, the patients who received the higher dose on day 1 may have experienced a more pronounced reaction to components of the viral vector itself. Thus, the response to the second dose was blunted (62%).
Clearly, more research is needed to establish the cause. Additional data on the age and ethnicity breakdown of the individuals included in the higher efficacy subgroup would also be necessary to ensure the trial group was representative of the population at large and no biases were present. For example, an absence of individuals who were 65+, or from ethnic minority groups in the higher efficacy group, has a potential to skew results.
The researchers stated no severe cases of COVID-19 or hospitalisations were recorded in any patients, where the vaccine proved ineffective.

Note that whilst phase 1/2 trials of the vaccine have been published with peer-review [2], we still await the full results and data of the phase 3 trial.
The Oxford University and AstraZeneca team have also made a commitment to broad and equitable global access to the vaccine. https://www.ox.ac.uk/news/2020-06-05-oxford-university-s-covid-19-vaccine-next-steps-towards-broad-and-equitable-global

Pros & Cons of Adenovirus Vaccines Vs RNA vaccines


  • Established and large scale production techniques available
  • Thermostable, at normal cold storage temperatures 2-8oC
  • Cons

  • Time-consuming production
  • Prospect of annual boosters required
  • Update 30th December 2020:
    The UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) authorised the emergency supply of COVID-19 Vaccine (AZD1222) for the immunisation of individuals 18 years+. This authorisation recommended the two full dose regimens be given – due to a lack of data for the half dose/ full dose regimen at present. They have recommended that the two identical doses be given with a 4 to 12 week interval.

    Publisher: About Us – Onyva The Agency
    We are a scientific marketing agency. We have continued to support clients through the current pandemic, producing technical literature, articles and digital marketing support relating specifically to COVID-19 for the medical, healthcare and biotechnology industries. Our scientifically trained team are able to combine up-to-date knowledge on the evolving pandemic, with decades of marketing experience to meet you needs.Take a look at our services.
    Get in touch for marketing support: info@onyva-agency.com


    1. AstraZeneca Press Release: 23 Nov 2020 https://www.astrazeneca.com/media-centre/press-releases/2020/azd1222hlr

    2. Folegatti PM, Ewer Kj et al., Oxford COVID Vaccine Trial Group. Safety and immunogenicity of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine against SARS-CoV-2: a preliminary report of a phase 1/2, single-blind, randomised controlled trial. Lancet. 2020 Aug 15;396(10249):467-478. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(20)31604-4. Epub 2020 Jul 20. Erratum in: Lancet. 2020 Aug 15;396(10249):466. PMID: 32702298; PMCID: PMC7445431.

    5 years anniversary Onyva The Agency

    5 years anniversary

    We’re celebrating 5 years since our launch this month! Onyva the Agency, founded by our MD Seema Sharma, officially launched in September 2015. We have been providing marketing services to the scientific sector for half a decade! During that time we’ve partnered with diverse clients in scientific publishing, biotechnology, medical diagnostics, research instrumentation and cancer charity sectors, to name a few.

    ‘We’re very proud to have reached this milestone, and provide our marketing expertise combined with our scientific and industry-specific knowledge to our growing client base. The recent challenges faced globally with the Covid-19 pandemic, have meant that we’ve had to work more closely to support the health, medical and life sciences sector in rapidly emerging situations with tight deadlines. We’re looking forward to the next 5 years, and expanding our Public Relations and bespoke marketing software offering.’

    Dr. Seema Sharma. Founder and MD, Onyva the Agency.

    For further information contact the team on info@onyva-agency.com

    Continued marketing support_Onyva_Covid19

    Continued marketing support

    During the recent challenges, we would like to assure existing and new clients that we will continue to support them with all marketing projects.

    We are fortunate to be able to work remotely, and have all the infrastructure in place for our team. We are keeping abreast of,and adhering to all of the government advice issued on Covid-19.

    We are infinitely grateful to all those working in the medical and healthcare sector who are at the frontline of keeping everyone well, and don’t have the option of working from home.

    Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with any queries you may have directly, and stay well.

    Life science marketing short survey CTA

    Survey poll: Marketing support for the life sciences sector

    Over the next few weeks, we seek to get your input on the marketing resources and support, that could help you with your business goals in 2020! If you’re a life science company, or work in a related scientific sector, it would be great if you could fill out our short poll.

    It’s embedded below and should only take a minute or two – we promise! We greatly value your opinion – and in the future this will help us deliver the best free content and marketing consultancy services.

    What’s more, there’s an optional opportunity to provide your email for entry into a prize draw for office goodies at the end of the survey. *Extended* We will select and announce the winner on Mar 31st 2020.

    Marketing support for the life sciences sector

    Interested in getting more marketing tips for the life sciences sector? Take a look at our recent article ‘Toolkit for life sciences marketing: Strategy, email & SEO.’

    Toolkit for life sciences marketing: Strategy, email & SEO

    In this summary article, we’ve collated insights and tips into key marketing tactics, if you’re working in the scientific sector. These include the fundamentals needed for a life science marketing plan, email marketing advice for the scientific sector, and an SEO checklist.

    Life science marketing article link

    Life sciences marketing plan: Fundamentals and Infographic

    This article, includes a useful infographic and covers the key background work you need to do, before you formulate an effective life sciences marketing strategy. These fundamentals, that cover customer personas, product, targets, form a core basis for both inbound and outbound marketing tactics.
    Email marketing article

    Email marketing for the Scientific Sector

    In this post, we cover prerequisites for getting your email marketing up and running optimally. We consider relevant content ideas for the life sciences, biotech, medical and related sectors — with tactics on how to grow and establish your subscriber list. We summarise the key email platform providers and provide insights on layout. In addition we cover approaches to lead nurturing and cadence.
    Navigating SEO article link

    Navigating SEO: Tips and infographic

    Navigating SEO in a B2B scientific product marketing setting is business critical, but comes with its own unique challenges. In this post, we provide key pointers on starting your SEO plan. This is complemented with an infographic SEO checklist into tactics and resources, to ensure you’ve got the key things covered.

    In summary

    Doing your groundwork is essential to provide direction and a solid foundation for your overarching marketing plan. It’s important to take time to choose your platform, consider subscribers, plan content and optimise layouts for effective email marketing. Similarly, SEO for the scientific sector often sees you competing for similar technical terms, so optimising iteratively, is essential to get ahead.As your first quarter progresses, you may need to modify to account for changes. This could be due to market factors, a new offering from a competitor, for example, or sales underperformance.
    Adaptability is a key skill for life science marketing success.

    If you need life science marketing consultancy Email us today!
    Happy New Year from Onyva The Agency

    2020: Happy New Year & Decade!

    Wishing everyone a very Happy New Year! As we start a new decade, we look forward to some new and exciting scientific marketing challenges and trends. 🙂 We’d like to thank all of our friends and colleagues for their support last year. Also, our special appreciation goes to our clients who helped us keep busy. Bring on 2020!
    Merry Christmas 2019 Onyva The Agency

    Merry Christmas from the Onyva Team

    Let the festivities begin!

    We wish all our friends and colleagues the very best for the festive season! We hope you have a great break if you’re celebrating. It’s been a busy year for all of our team and we’re looking forward to a little down time. We wanted to say a special thank you to our great clients in 2019, that have kept us busy! In 2020, we’ll be launching a new series of marketing tips and new podcasts for the life sciences, biotech and scientific technical sector. Feel free to email us, if there are any specific topics you’d like us to cover. We’ll be launching survey’s online too.

    We like to give something back and our two chosen charities for 2020 are the Motor Neurone Disease Association (MNDA) — who are doing great things for research and helping sufferers, and Petals – The baby loss counselling charity.

    Best Wishes from,

    Seema Sharma & the Onyva The Agency Team.

    Pioneering women in science IWD2019

    Pioneering Women in Science 2019

    In honour of International Women’s Day 2019 and Women in Science day, both falling in March this year, we’d like to thank and acknowledge all of the pioneering women who’ve advanced scientific discovery through a dedicated infographic. Women are still underrepresented in STEM, so we hope that these scientists serve to inspire others through the significant contributions they have, and will continue to make.

    Read our relevant content articles for Women in STEM for Mendeley:

     Gender Bias in the Workplace: Practical Steps for change by Seema Sharma

    Women in Tech: Pioneers, past and present by Seema Sharma

    Email Marketing Life Sciences

    Email marketing for the scientific sector: A practical guide

    by Seema Sharma

    Email Marketing Stage 1: Establishing subscribers, content ideas and platforms

    In our next series of blog posts, we’ll be covering practical approaches to email marketing for the scientific sector, which include the life sciences and related biotech, pharmaceutical and medical diagnostics fields. In this post, we’ll take a look at establishing your list, content ideas for the scientific sector, prerequisites for a good digital strategy, and platforms to consider. Our next articles will cover, content, layouts, A/B testing, KPI’s and metrics.

    Background and key groundwork

    B2B email marketing in the life sciences and related sectors, requires critical differences in approach to the B2C and retail areas to be effective. A strong content hub, relevant to your scientific audience is a critical prerequisite to an effective email campaign. You should include content thats relevant to all of the personas that are interested in your product offering. In fact, identifying your target customers, their demographics and personas, including a typical journey to purchase, is a critical task for planning your entire digital marketing strategy — including email.

    If you don’t know who your customers are, or their buying habits — finding that out is your first crucial step in the process. Typical customers could include academic researchers, industry researchers, clinicians and lab managers, amongst others, dependent on your company offering. They may need further subdivision if they intersect with different research focusses, clinical specialisms or stage of career. If you have sufficient numbers of each intersect – you need to produce tailored or specialised content that is deemed valuable to that demographic.


    ‘Identifying your target customers, their demographics and personas, including a typical journey to purchase, is a critical task for planning your entire digital marketing strategy.’

    To be the most effective, subscribers should be expecting to receive an email from you, having opted in actively. Note that the forms and opt-in need to be compliant with the data laws in your country, (GDPR compliant opt-in and emailing is required in the UK!).

    Email capture and content ideas

    Establishing your list requires a clear understanding of who you want to engage and capture as a subscriber. A good approach is to use a ‘give-away’ that is relevant to them. ‘Give-away’ is used in the broad sense here, to mean anything from your content hub that they would find useful. For those of you that like inbound terminology – this is sometimes referred to as ‘top of the funnel content.’
    Some online content ideas for the life sciences or scientific sector include:
    Email icon

    • Industry-specific reports
    • e-books / blog posts on recent scientific research developments
    • Webinar access
    • Research or clinical training video access
    • How-to technical summaries or research methodology guides
    • Posters, including pathways or disease mechanisms
    • New research discoveries and summary infographics
    • Interactive competitions that have research relevant prizes

    to name a few…..

    The latter all need to be posted on a landing page, with a plan to drive traffic to that page. Gating this content to include an email capture form that allows for key demographics, (e.g name, job, title, research field or clinical specialism and permission to contact etc.,), is a great way to expand and establish your subscriber list.
    SEO optimisation of your landing page will help it perform well organically. Promoting it through existing channels, like Social Media accounts can help spread the word and will ensure you have an integrated approach to your marketing across channels.

    You can also use a PPC (pay per click) approach here, using Google adwords, or Social Media advertising (promoted tweets, facebook ads etc.,). However, be sure to do an A/B test to optimise the format and wording that performs best, and set a small budget in the first instance. This will allow you to gauge performance against parameters for quality leads, before committing to a full campaign. Not doing so can mean you have sub-optimal performance and can heavily overspend very rapidly.

    Some offline ideas to expand your subscriber list include:

    • Organising events with key speakers on relevant research topics and including opt-in forms as part of the registration process.
    • Alternatively, exhibition leads who opt-in at your booth in return for a give-away or competition.

    Deciding between email providers

    There are an ever increasing range of email platforms available on the market, that claim to solve all your email marketing problems. That coupled with the trend for marketing automation that encompasses email marketing as part of its offering, means the range has got even more complicated.

    Key considerations when selecting an email provider or marketing automation software:

      • Your budget
      • Ease of integration with existing CRM systems
      • The complexity of your emailing. (Some platforms only allow for a certain level of complexity).
      • Road test a free version thoroughly, (if its available).
      • Use recommendations — Do you know someone else that’s used a platform? Chat to them about the pros and cons of using it and any headaches they encountered.
      • Data considerations – I recently worked with a client whose promise to its customers was that their data would not be transferred outside of Europe. As such, we had to exclude many platforms, as many data servers are housed in the US.
      • Level of HTML and IT expertise in-house — Most platforms will require a certain level of HTML knowledge to allow for the creation of a unique template that will appeal to your target customers. There are off the shelf-templates in many platforms, that allow for drag and drop template design with reasonably straight-forward UI’s, but they will most likely need customisations to fit your branding, content and layout needs. Some platform providers have in-house template development and support as an add-on cost.
        Note, they’ll also be basic things to do on your site like DNS entries, to ensure the email is coming from your domain, alongside this. Also, if you are at the larger company end of the spectrum, and have other platforms in-house like Salesforce or an alternative CRM system, you’ll need to consider how to integrate your chosen email platform with it.

    Email platforms to consider

    (NB: This list is not exhaustive and in no particular order. Monthly subscription costs of the most basic package available are shown in brackets)
    Mobile email icon



              1. (Free for <1000 subscribers)


              1. ($200)


              1. ($895)

    Oracle Eloqua

              1. ($2000 for <10K contacts)

    Campaign Monitor

              1. (£9 <2500 subscribers)

    Adobe Campaign

              1. (Pricing information not available)

    Pardot by Salesforce

              1. ($1250 for <10,000 subscribers)

    Zoho Campaign

              1. (Tiered according to subscribers/emails.Prices start at $3 for <500 emails)


              1. ($49)


              1. (£250)

    Get Response

              1. ($15)

    Active Campaign

              1. ($9)

    Red Cappi

              1. ($10 < 500 subscribers)


              1. (£80)


              1. (free basic plan or $20 per month with more functionality)

    Email Templates and Layout

    Your layout should be reflective of your company’s brand and instantly recognisable as coming from you. A strongly branded header and footer can help with the latter. It’s tempting to add a lot of text heavy technical content into individual emails if you work in marketing the life sciences, or related Biotech and Pharma fields, but incorporating several images is crucial to make your content appealing.

    Subscribers like to click on images and they help considerably as content teasers. Consider what these images might routinely be for your company, (e.g product images, research data and graphs, cellular microscopy images, etc.,), what size they would look optimal at, and how many it would make sense to have in your initial template. You can of course, produce several variations if you’ll have say one template for events, with a venue displayed, another for product offers and another for new content from your hub. Calls to action should be clearly visible as clickable buttons and include action words (join, view, download etc.,) to encourage readers to act and maximise click through rates.

    You’ll need HTML, (preferably responsive!) and text based templates. Mobile optimisation is key for emails, with a sizeable shift in individuals using their mobile devices to read and interact with this channel, in the past few years. However, before you invest too much time optimising, check what proportion of your subscribers are opening your emails this way. Also, note that if you are using a responsive template, much of the optimisation will be automatic across devices.
    Regardless of whether you have a responsive template in place, you’ll need to keep your subject line between 25-30 characters for mobile, to display correctly without being cut off. Additionally, call to actions should be centred, high-up in the email, clearly visible on your device and have enough space around them so readers do not click multiple links at once. Importantly, note if you use a pre-header — a short line of text to provide context and act as a lead-in for your subject line, you can significantly improve engagement.
    Finally, there’s a legal bit — you must include your fully registered company contact details and an unsubscribe option in all emails,to comply with global data laws.

    Lead nurturing and cadence

    As mentioned previously, it’s really important to know the personas of your customers, and their typical journey to purchase. If you are at the early stages of setting up a company, you may not have this knowledge to hand and you can use your email marketing and other channels to help feed data into this.

    New lead that you capture through gated content, or at an exhibition, typically need some time to develop trust in your brand, and have sufficient product awareness before they commit to purchase, or can become qualified as sales leads. As such, you need to have a clear plan for your e-campaign to send content that enables this conversion.

    Here are some key questions to ask yourself, before we move on to the next stage of content planning:
    What would develop kudos and trust in your brand at the early stages of your e-campaign?
    To provide an example — if a cohort of your subscribers are researchers in a specific field – for example immunology, this could be a content piece on a newly discovered immunology pathway with input from a pre-eminent person in the field who is a current customer, or details of your companies attendance at a high-profile immunology conference or, alternatively, a link to a high-impact peer review publication featuring your product.
    Ask yourself — how can you introduce your product in a way that would appeal to your subscriber and solve their problems or enhance their work?
    Describe how you can solve a research or technical problem for your subscriber to create the context and need for your product and service.

    Email cadence, or how often you contact your customers is important to factor when you schedule your campaign. You don’t want to bombard your subscribers with information that results in annoyance and a rise on unsubscribes. However, you want to make sure you contact them enough to ensure that brand awareness is maintained. Bi-monthly emails may be a good starting point. Above all, the key is to send valuable and relevant content and keep your eye on KPI’s for engagement and unsubscribes, to see what is working. Subsequently, you can then adjust your content plan.

    In our next post, we’ll discuss email content, layouts, A/B testing, KPI’s and metrics.

    Finally, good luck with your email marketing campaigns!
    If you need help with your email marketing Get in touch with us now

    Life Sciences Marketing Plan Preparation

    Life Sciences Marketing Plan : Stage 1

    Getting started with your life sciences marketing plan…

    Stage 1: Fundamentals and Foundation work

    If you’re in the early stages of formulating your B2B biotech, or life sciences marketing plan, or alternatively need some pointers to get started, you’ve come to the right place. Over the next few weeks we’ll publish a series of short articles and infographics to help with key steps. We will base them on our direct and extensive experience of marketing in the life sciences and biotech industry. Additionally, we plan to cover key marketing channels, goals and how to measure success.

    Our first article covers key background work that you need to do, before you formulate any effective life sciences marketing strategy. It’s important that you take time to ensure you have these fundamentals in place as a solid foundation to direct you. You will need them on both inbound and outbound aspects of your marketing. Dedicate this time in advance before outlining all the specific plan details, including marketing channels and scheduling.

    1. Customers and Personas

    You need to have a clear insight into your current customer base, and specifically what qualifies them as leads for your products. Ensure you know what lead qualification data you hold and where the gaps are — e.g email, job titles, location, life science research or technology areas of interest, sector (academia, Pharma etc.,), purchasing history, to name a few. Note that the latter should be captured through active opt-in from subscribers to comply with your country’s data laws. Ask yourself — can you split them into different personas, or demographic groups? Do they need a different marketing approach and campaign? Who makes the purchasing decision? How do you keep in touch with your customer base and inform them about your products? What is the current approach used to retain customers and make them loyal to you?

    2. Products, market positioning and price

    Product USP and lifecycle phase

    If you’re responsible for a specific product or product portfolio, you need to have a clear vision of the product USP. Which stage of the product life cycle is it at — introduction, growth, maturity or decline? Different approaches are needed for each stage. It’s common for a product that’s developed in-house to be preceded by a lab to launch stage. After initial feasibility and idea generation, it’s common to invest considerable time and money for R&D, testing, QC and compliance. An alternative is the use of an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) model. Here, you opt to buy and source a product or technology from a smaller supplier, and rebrand it to sell to your customer base.

    In-house development versus OEM

    If you’re offering a unique product that you’ve developed in-house, you have an advantage in the market. However, you may also need to recoup considerable development costs with your pricing.
    A rebranded OEM product can have smaller margins, but you forfeit development costs. As a result, market positioning could be very different to an in-house product. Especially, if your competitors are doing the same thing, or the OEM manufacturer is also selling the product directly to customers.

    So, how do you differentiate your product to the customer? Critical to success are your brand reputation in the area, and out-manouevering your competitor on customer reach in the target market. Other ideas include further in-house testing, more expedient delivery, and better support to help your re-branded product get ahead. You need to communicate these advantages clearly in your marketing messages.

    You should be also be aware of the product pipeline for the upcoming year, including new product releases prior to starting your annual marketing plan.

    3. Competitor Analysis

    You need to have a clear idea of the position you occupy in the market with your products, before you embark on marketing activities. This also feeds into determining your USP. Hence, a competitor analysis is a fundamental part of your marketing plan. You need to identify your competitors and evaluate their strategies to have a thorough understanding of their strength and weaknesses, relative to your offering.

    4. Your sales growth targets

    A critical task is to establish annual projections for growth for product offerings to help prioritise your marketing activities. This will help you allocate marketing time and budget effectively as well. Depending on your company structure, this may be the remit of the sales team. It’s important you have a clear understanding for the basis of sales projections. They may be based on year on year growth trends from previous performance — so-called bottom up approach. Alternatively, they can be the result of a company priority designated by the executive board, or the revenue you require to recoup R&D costs of a new product. This will help direct your strategy. The latter two reasons may require more initial time and effort allocation than the former. Especially if your product is already in a sustained growth phase.

    5. Available Budgets

    You need to have an idea of your allocated fiscal marketing budget. If you have a joint budget pool for your team, it’s common to have to submit a plan as justification for the budget you receive.

    In summary

    Doing your ground work is essential to provide direction and a solid foundation for your marketing plan. As your first quarter progresses, you may need to modify to account for changes. These could include unseen market factors, a new offering from a competitor for example, and sales performance. Indeed, adaptability is a key skill for marketers who suceed. However, researching thoroughly at the planning stage provides you with clear justification for the strategies adopted.

    Want to receive further life science marketing tips and high-res versions of all of our marketing plan infographics?

    Sign up here

    Or get in touch with us for life science marketing consultancy now.