Galliard lands Pfizer UK brief for Revatio launch

By Pfizer is using Galliard Healthcare Communications to handle UK work for Revatio – a treatment for a dangerous form of high-blood pressure made from the same active ingredient used in impotency brand Viagra.

Revatio is awaiting UK approval to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), an aggressive and life-shortening vascular disease affecting 100,000 people worldwide. Though rare, PAH can destroy the heart.

The drug contains sildenafil, the ingredient that relaxes blood vessels for Viagra takers.

Revatio's competition would include Actelion Pharmaceuticals' Tracleer, one of the limited treatment options currently available to PAH sufferers.

The Food and Drug Administration in the US approved Revatio for PAH this summer, with the treatment becoming the first oral medication to win approval for an early stage of the disease.

Galliard won a pitch to secure the business and has a three-strong team on the account, overseen by MD Marika Freris and led on a day-to-day basis by account director Katie Tomlinson. The agency's brief is mainly PR, with some medical education work.

Galliard has not previously operated in the field of pulmonary hypertension. It has, however, worked for Pfizer on its schizophrenia drug Zeldox and anti-depressant Lustral. It has also handled corporate comms for the firm in the mental health arena.

Viagra launched to worldwide fanfare as a prescription-only treatment for impotence in 1998. The famous little blue pill has reportedly been taken by around 900,000 British men, and more than 26 million men worldwide. Revatio will be coloured white to differentiate it from Viagra.

Unwanted erections were not a problem in those trialling Revatio – most patients were female and no male alerted clinical trial
organisers to their having an unrequired erection.

Chandler Chicco Agency continues to be retained by Pfizer to promote Viagra as an impotence treatment in the UK.

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