Genentech taps Cohn & Wolfe to handle Rituxan account

SAN FRANCISCO: Genentech has awarded Cohn & Wolfe the account for its top-selling cancer drug, Rituxan, which previously belonged to Ketchum.

SAN FRANCISCO: Genentech has awarded Cohn & Wolfe the account for its top-selling cancer drug, Rituxan, which previously belonged to Ketchum.

This is the second time in less than a year that the biotech company has replaced Ketchum with C&W.

In September, C&W picked up Genentech's breast cancer drug, Herceptin, and colorectal cancer drug, Avastin.

"The main rationale behind the change in agencies was that we were seeking a well-rounded, fully dedicated team for Rituxan," said Neil Cohen, the company's director of product communications, in an e-mail.

Three undisclosed agencies were involved in the pitch.

Teams from both the agency's New York and San Francisco offices will support media relations, medical meetings, and programs to educate and raise awareness among non-Hodgkin's lymphoma patients and their caregivers about the disease and the drug, Cohen noted.

Rituxan, which is co-marketed with Biogen Idec, is also in clinical trials for rheumatoid arthritis. Weber Shandwick was hired in June to support the drug as it advances through the approval process.

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