Healthcare: GSK selects Clew and Virgo for Cervarix job

GlaxoSmithKline has called in Clew Communications and Virgo Health PR as its first agencies behind pre-launch cervical cancer treatment Cervarix.

Clew is handling consumer comms, while Virgo is to target healthcare professionals for the drug - touted as a potential blockbuster.

Cohn & Wolfe, Ketchum, Athena Medical PR, Beattie Media and The Red Consultancy are all understood to have been in the running for the work. The treatment is likely to become available in late 2006 or early 2007, going head-to-head with Merck's Gardasil.

By coincidence, Clew and Virgo were jointly hired by GSK last year (PRWeek, 2 July 2004) to promote diabetes medication Avandamet. This brand is now solely handled by Virgo, which like Clew also works on other GSK brands.

- GSK is to create a public access website detailing 'all its dealings with' patient groups in the UK. Rival firm AstraZeneca (AZ) is also planning a similar move.

GSK is expected to launch the site later this year or in early 2006.

A spokesman said: 'We believe that being open about our support for patient groups can only improve our ability to work together on shared objectives.'

AZ is planning a UK site declaring 'all money we donate to charities and patient groups, delineating what we are doing and why', said a spokesman.

A launch date has not yet been decided.

Healthcare feature, p23.

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