Healthcare: Novartis hires CCA as Xolair seeks EU approval

Swiss drugs giant Novartis is using Chandler Chicco Agency (CCA) to handle UK PR work for Xolair, its treatment for severe alergic asthma.

The appointment of CCA comes at a pivotal time for Xolair, whose suitability for European approval is being evaluated by the European Medicines Agency.

CCA is promoting data on Xolair's efficacy, liaising with patient groups, such as Asthma UK, and handling media relations.

But a Novartis spokeswoman described CCA's remit as 'currently minimal', given that the brand has yet to launch in the UK.

Xolair almost halves the number of emergency hospital visits and significantly reduces the number of asthma attacks, according to research on the product published earlier this year.

CCA has held the international account for Xolair since 2000; Caroline Western leads its work internationally, with Jemima Warrack heading the UK account.

The agency continues to handle international work for Novartis's hypertension brand, Diovan.

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