Lundbeck picks B-M for Euro Parkinson’s launch

COPENHAGEN/LONDON: Burson-Marsteller has emerged victorious from the four-way agency battle to launch Danish pharma firm Lundbeck’s first Parkinson’s disease drug across Europe.

B-M locked horns for the contract with Hill & Knowlton, Galliard Healthcare and Fleishman-Hillard, the agency that promotes the product in the US.

A spokesperson from the strategic marketing department at Lundbeck’s Neurology Division said: ‘We were really impressed with the experience B-M has within the area and the creative ideas it presented to us, which brought the campaign to life.’

The company is working alongside Israeli-headquartered Teva Pharmaceuticals to develop and market the drug, rasagiline, in Europe.

They plan to launch the drug, to be marketed under the brand name Azilect, across the EU including the UK early next year, pending authorisation from the European Commission.

Lundbeck received a recommendation for approval from European regulators last week, paving the way for its foray into the crowded Parkinson’s disease treatment market next year.

PR work will be most likely targeted at the medical professional audience, although Lundbeck refused to divulge details of its comms strategy.

The account will be co-ordinated from the UK by B-M healthcare managing director Amie Malkin.

Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder after Alzheimer’s disease. An estimated four million people suffer from the disease worldwide, including more than one million in the EU.

Worldwide sales of Parkinson’s drugs reached almost £1.5bn in 2003, about 40 per cent from Europe.

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