Healthcare: CCA wins Equasym XL pre-launch comms

Biotech firm Celltech is preparing a UK PR blitz for its extended release attention deficit hyperactivity disorder brand Equasym XL.

The firm has appointed Chandler Chicco Agency to handle pre-launch and launch comms for the product, which is expected to win UK approval later this year.

Equasym XL is designed to provide ADHD symptom control during the school day. It is known as Metadate in the US, where it is already licensed.

Leading a three-strong account team is Emma Crozier, who joined CCA last year from Cohn & Wolfe where she promoted Eli Lilly & Co's ADHD product Strattera (PRWeek, 24 October 2003).

CCA has completed a Equasym XL project targeting healthcare professionals, but has now sealed a wider contract including professional and advocacy relations and medical education.

Guidelines issued by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence say around one per cent of schoolage children - 69,000 between six and 16 - have severe ADHD that requires treatment with methylphenidate, the generic name for this type of treatment.

Celltech last month agreed to be taken over by Belgian firm UCB, with which CCA already works, promoting brands such as epilepsy treatment Keppra.

The UK last week became the first European country to approve the sale of Strattera. Strattera is now promoted by Virgo Health PR.

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