'We had no real media representation beforehand [on the brands], and this forms part of a review over the past year,' said Schering-Plough UK and Ireland comms manager Caroline Rattray.
Ashley Communications has previously promoted the brands, partially handling media relations as part of a broader med ed brief. Ashley – brought in almost two years ago (PRWeek, 19 March 2004) – will continue to handle med ed work for the products, operating in conjunction with Red Door.
'Brain and ovarian cancer are devastating conditions,' said Red Door deputy managing director Julia Harries. 'We are looking forward to working with Schering-Plough in the coming year to raise the profile of both of these conditions.'
Harries will head the account, reporting to Rattray. The account is Red Door's first Schering-Plough win.
In 1999 Temodal became the first chemotherapy agent for 20 years to meet US approval for a specific type of brain tumour, called anaplastic astrocytoma. It was sanctioned for use in Europe in the same year. Schering-Plough's patent expires in 2007, so it is looking to maximise Temodal uptake over the next year.
Caelyx is useful to women allergic to platinum-based compounds. In May last year NICE said Caelyx was the only single-agent treatment it recommended for platinum-sensitive patients who have suffered a relapse within six to 12 months of initial chemotherapy. The drug is undergoing a review, due for completion in 2009, to see whether it could be effective as a post-surgery treatment for breast cancer.
The signing of Red Door is the second fresh agency contract Schering-Plough UK has awarded in recent weeks. Two weeks ago it signed up Packer Forbes Communications to promote rheumatoid arthritis drug Remicade (PRWeek, 6 January).