Drug companies send out big RFPs

NEW YORK: A pharmaceutical company and a well-known biotech company

are reaching out to the PR industry with RFPs to help raise awareness of

a certified blockbuster drug and a potential blockbuster cancer-fighting

drug, respectively.

Tap Pharmaceuticals, a collaboration between Takeda Chemicals and Abbott

Laboratories, is looking for an agency to represent its gastrointestinal

drug Prevacid. Prevacid had $2.2 billion in sales during 2000,

totaling 73% of Tap's total sales. The amount of the RFP was not

disclosed, but was said to be substantial.

Genentech, one of the first biotech companies, has also issued an RFP

for its cancer-fighting pill Tarceva. The drug just recently entered

phase three of its clinical trial, and is not expected to be available

for use by cancer patients until 2004-2005.

The Tarceva drug is a joint venture between Genentech, Roche, and OSI

Pharmaceuticals based in Melville, NY.

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