AstraZeneca hands inhaler brief to Virgo

Anglo-Swedish drugs giant AstraZeneca has appointed Virgo Health PR to handle the global account for its inhaler brand, Symbicort.

The business, which is understood to have PR fees in the region of £500,000, was won against five-and-a-half-year incumbent CPR Worldwide, Cohn & Wolfe and Ogilvy PR Worldwide.

Start-up PR agency Virgo, which was founded by ex- Cohn and Wolfe UK health MD Angie Wiles and former Sugar Consulting MD Sarah Matthew, will handle media relations, congress support, opinion-leader and patient-group relationship building.

Symbicort, a combination inhaler for asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) sufferers, was first approved in Sweden in 2000 and is now available in more than 70 countries.

Virgo’s PR work will include promoting the benefits of adjustable dosing, as well as publicising new supporting data and indications that will be unveiled during the next two years.

Symbicort launched in the UK, where it will continue to be promoted by Munro & Forster Communications, in June 2001.

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