Cohn & Wolfe loses blood drug account to Edelman

Cohn & Wolfe's healthcare arm has suffered another blow with the loss of its global account for AstraZeneca's potential blockbuster blood-thinning drug Brilinta.

AstraZeneca: enlists Edelman
AstraZeneca: enlists Edelman

AstraZeneca has turned to Edelman to handle PR for the pre-launch acute coronary treatment. The pharma firm had previously used Edelman for the pre-launch drug, but ditched the agency in favour of C&W in late 2008.

The account is believed to be worth more than £700,000 and covers markets including the UK, US, France, China and Germany. AstraZeneca called the review after changes to C&W's global healthcare team.PRWeek revealed last month (22 January) that UK healthcare directors Fiona McMillan and Rebecca Galbraith, who were team leads on the Brilinta account, had been dismissed from the agency.

C&W CEO Fiona Noble said the agency had declined to participate in the recent pitch.

Michele Pelkowski, AstraZeneca global PR director for Brilinta, said: 'As our long-standing and proven partner, we determined Edelman is the right agency to support us on this critically important brand. We will work to transition the brand during the coming months.'

Pelkowski refused to be drawn on reports that the pharmaceutical firm cancelled the competitive tender for the account earlier this month and handed the account to Edelman without meeting other agencies.

Analyst forecasts for Brilinta, which has yet to be approved, indicate sales of $686m by 2014.

Last year, AstraZeneca awarded its lucrative global oncology portfolio to Edelman following a two-way shoot-out against Cohn & Wolfe.

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