Healthcare: C&W secures US brief for Rituxan

SAN FRANCISCO: Genentech has awarded Cohn & Wolfe a US PR brief to promote its top-selling cancer drug, Rituxan after a three-way pitch.The account was previously held by Ketchum,

This is the second time in less than a year that the biotech company has replaced Ketchum with C&W.

Last September, C&W picked up US briefs for Genentech's breast cancer drug, Herceptin, and colorectal cancer drug Avastin.

C&W already promotes Rituxan outside the US, where it is known as MabThera and marketed by Roche, in the context of its planned indication for rheumatoid arthritis.

Ketchum continues to handle non-US PR for Roche on MabThera in its oncology indication.

'The main rationale behind the change was that we were seeking a well-rounded, fully dedicated team for Rituxan,' Genentech director of product comms Neil Cohen told PRWeek US.

C&W will support media relations, medical meetings and broader programmes to boost awareness among non-Hodgkin's lymphoma patients and their carers about the drug, Cohen said.

Weber Shandwick also promotes Rituxan in the US in the context of rheumatoid arthritis and other potential indications (PRWeek, 2 July 2004).

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