Novartis calls in Packer Forbes to promote its chronic bronchitis treatment

Multinational pharma company Novartis has called in Packer Forbes to handle a brief for its chronic bronchitis and emphysema treatment.

Novartis: headquarters in Switzerland
Novartis: headquarters in Switzerland

Indacaterol, Novartis' treatment for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), was approved in November 2009 by the EU, where it is available under the brand name Onbrez.

COPD refers to a number of conditions, including chronic bronchitis and emphysema. It often leads to damaged airways in the lungs, causing them to become narrower and making it harder to breathe.

PRWeek has learned that the specialist healthcare consultancy Packer Forbes has been appointed to handle a brief for the COPD treatment in the UK following a pitch process.

Both Packer Forbes and Novartis declined to comment.

Analysts suggested that indacaterol could prove lucrative for the company as part of a combination treatment.

Last month, Novartis published data suggesting that used in combination, indacaterol has comparable efficiency to Boehringer Ingelheim/Pfizer's highly successful COPD treatment, Spiriva (tiotropium).

Earlier this month, Novartis was given the green light for the use of indacaterol by the Food and Drug Administration in the US.

Indacaterol was also recently approved in Japan, where it will be marketed as Onbrez. It is already available in more than 60 other countries, including the EU states.

On 1 July, PRWeek reported that Novartis was on the hunt for an agency to handle a global PR brief for its groundbreaking meningitis B vaccine, following promising results in a clinical trial.

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