Ogilvy to promote Lundbeck's antidepressant drug vortioxetine

Ogilvy's health team has won a global brief to help launch a drug mooted as a 'breakthrough treatment' for depression.

Depression specialist: Lundbeck’s headquarters in Denmark
Depression specialist: Lundbeck’s headquarters in Denmark

Lundbeck, a pharma firm that specialises in brain disorders, has appointed Ogilvy PR Health as the global agency for vortioxetine, its first new antidepressant in five years.

The agency will provide comms around its launch in all markets except the US. The brief includes medical and media comms, data dissemination and stakeholder management.

Comms around the launch in the US will be handled by Lundbeck’s commercial partner, Japanese pharma firm Takeda.

Vortioxetine is considered a ‘multimodal’ antidepressant, which means it is thought to work across a range of neurotransmitters, or signal-transmitting chemicals found in the brain.

The company hopes it will be more effective than many current antidepressants that act mainly on one type, such as serotonin.

Business unit head Joanne Wunder, who is leading on the account, said: ‘We are excited about the potential of vortioxetine because there is still significant unmet need in the area of depression. Many patients need to try two or more antidepressants before finding one that works for them.’

The drug is also seen as significant in ensuring the company’s future growth, as another antidepressant cipralex – for which Ogilvy also does global brand comms – is coming off patent protection.

Vortioxetine was submitted to EU and US regulators for approval in September and October this year.

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