Ashley Comms wins S-P cancer portfolio

US-headquartered pharma firm Schering-Plough has hired Ashley Communications to promote its cancer treatment portfolio, including Temodal and Caelyx.

The Middlesex-based agency won what is understood to have been a four-way pitch to land a UK contract to promote all three S-P oncology brands, including the long-established Intron-A.

The appointment comes as the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) prepares for a reappraisal of the use of Temodal in brain cancer treatment.

New Temodal data, which will trigger a wave of PR targeting oncology specialists and budget holders, is due soon, according to agency chairman Chrissie Ashley.

Further supporting data is also due for Caelyx, which treats ovarian cancer and metastatic breast cancer.

Ashley’s contract also includes Intron-A, a drug launched almost 20 years ago in the interferon alfa class, and licensed for a range of conditions including malignant melanoma and chronic myeloid leukaemia.

S-P has other oncology products in the pipeline, with clinical trials ongoing.

The oncology brands were promoted by Santé Communications, but the agency ceased to handle the remit almost a year ago as part of S-P budget cutbacks.

Ashley Communications has worked in the oncology arena since its inception in 1996. The agency’s other clients include Boehringer Ingelheim, for which it works on breast cancer supportive therapy Benefos. It previously worked for S-P on an ad hoc basis.

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