Healthcare: Roche drafts in Tonic Life for cystic fibrosis work

Tonic Life Communications has netted a contract to promote Roche's cystic fibrosis treatment Pulmozyme in the UK.

The agency is bidding to boost awareness of the ongoing discrepancy in access to treatments and will stress the urgency with which such a problem needs to be addressed. The average life expectancy of those with cystic fibrosis is just 31 years.

Media relations work will target doctors and medical journalists plus those affected by cystic fibrosis.

The campaign is also aiming to increase awareness of the disease among the general public.

The appointment of Tonic Life also coincides with a Roche initiative offering patients free access to Pulmozyme on a trial basis.

Tonic Life won the business after presenting a strategy for the brand in the wake of its unsuccessful bid to secure the UK PR account for Roche's Tarceva. Tonic Life was among the agencies that lost out to Ketchum in a fierce battle for the pre-launch lung cancer treatment (PRWeek, 24 June).

Previous agencies that have promoted Pulmozyme include IncrediBull Ideas (for PR work) and Chandler Chicco Agency (for a medical comms project).

It has also been promoted by Resolute Communications.

Cystic fibrosis affects many organs in the body, in particular the lungs and pancreas, by clogging them with thick, sticky mucus.

Pulmozyme works to clear the secretions that collect on the lungs.

IncrediBull continues to handle PR for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, which has pointed out differential access to treatments across the UK in previous research reports.

Tonic Life co-founder Scott Clark and senior account manager Matthew Kent lead the agency's work on the brief.

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