Insight Public Affairs grabs hepatitis C drugs brief

Bristol-Myers Squibb has brought in Insight Public Affairs as it prepares to launch its first hepatitis C drugs in the UK.

Hepatitis drugs development: Bristol-Myers Squibb
Hepatitis drugs development: Bristol-Myers Squibb

The American pharma firm has turned to agency help as it prepares to smooth the regulatory path for two as-yet unnamed drugs to be launched in 2015. The drugs are part of a suite of eight products currently in development.

Current drugs used to treat hepatitis C, a blood-borne viral infection that can lead to liver failure, commonly give rise to unpleasant flu-like symptoms and depression.

The three-year retained brief is believed to include public affairs and stakeholder management to pave the way for the drugs’ entry into the market.

The agency has also been briefed to move hepatitis up the political agenda, while providing insight into the UK policy environment. Insight, which has previously won oncology work from BMS, has additionally been charged with providing workshops and brainstorming sessions for the internal BMS comms team.

The work will start on 2 January and finish at the end of the NICE appraisal process, which is anticipated to take between two and three years.

BMS declined to comment and Insight Public Affairs’ MD John Lehal declined to confirm the appointment.

The news comes after BMS suffered a major blow in August when it was forced to halt development of another of its hepatitis C drugs in the US after nine participants in a clinical trial were hospitalised and one died.

The cancelled drug, BMS-986094, was created after BMS bought Inhibitex, a Georgia-based firm that had developed the compound, for £1.55bn.

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Latest Articles

John Lewis to tell brand story with "tasteful" 150th anniversary celebrations

John Lewis to tell brand story with "tasteful" 150th anniversary celebrations

Department store John Lewis is to use its 150th anniversary this year to talk about its history, which "not enough people know about", according to director of communications Peter Cross.

Labour hires Obama election strategist David Axelrod to fight General Election

Labour hires Obama election strategist David Axelrod to fight General Election

The man who helped Barack Obama win the 2008 and 2012 US presidential elections is to work for Labour along with members of his team.

Sky adds Fever PR to its roster after splitting with Cake

Sky adds Fever PR to its roster after splitting with Cake

Pay-TV giant Sky has added Fever PR to its agency line-up for a wide-ranging brief covering products and services.

Max Clifford trial jury to continue deliberations after Easter break

Max Clifford trial jury to continue deliberations after Easter break

The jury in the trial of celebrity publicist Max Clifford has been sent home for Easter and will reconvene on Tuesday for further deliberations about its verdicts on 11 charges of indecent assault.

Home Office brings in Munro & Forster to campaign against FGM

Home Office brings in Munro & Forster to campaign against FGM

The Home Office has tasked Munro & Forster (M&F) with supporting its campaign to eradicate female genital mutilation (FGM) as part of a wider retained brief.