Healthcare: Roche unveils first hires to revamped team

Swiss pharma firm Roche this week confirmed the first appointments to a restructured UK PR operation.

Greg Page has become PR manager (specialist products), after spending three months freelancing for the firm, which is behind products such as Avastin, MabThera and recent headline-maker Herceptin.

Katrina Lucking has also moved internally from a role as marketing associate to become PR executive (specialist products), reporting to Page.

Two further staff are also poised to join from outside Roche. Contract negotiations are understood to remain ongoing with both, who are likely to join next month.

The spate of hires follows high-profile exits such as that of former PR manager Rebecca Hunt, now at Porter Novelli, and former head of PA Hilary Rutherford (PRWeek, 28 January), plus that of PR executive Helen Brown, who quit to go travelling (PRWeek, 11 March).

The Roche UK PR arm continues to be run by head of product comms Susie Hackett. Her team also includes PA manager Geoffrey Henning, PR executive (primary and secondary care) Teva Smith, corporate affairs manager Ruth Blakey, corporate affairs officer Gail Holliday and team assistant Pam Dann.

PROs in Roche's diagnostics division are unaffected by changes within Hackett's team.

Herceptin hit the news late last month when trial results emerged suggesting it doubles the chances of survival by women in the initial stages of breast cancer.

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