Skip to NavigationSkip to content

Fleishman-Hillard to assist UCB in its Cimzia launch

Published on 14/09/07 at 09:22am

UCB is preparing its Crohn's disease treatment, Cimzia, for a 2008 launch in Europe.

This is the first of a number of possible indications for Cimzia and, if approved, the drug will enter the already competitive anti-TNF market. UCB says Cimzia's safety and tolerability profile will give it the edge over its competitors and is working with PR agency Fleishman-Hillard to communicate this message to European prescribers.

Garry Daniels, UCB's global communications manager for Cimzia, said: "As a class, the anti-TNFs are incredibly effective at treating Crohn's disease and we very much see Cimzia as the new generation of anti-TNF."

UCB intends to focus its communications efforts on how Cimzia, as the only PEGylated anti-TNF (Tumor Necrosis Factor) treatment, differs from its rivals.

Daniels said the advantages of its formulation are that it has a very low incidence of allergic reaction and injection site pain, coupled with a convenient, once-a-month dosing.

In Crohn's disease, Schering-Plough and Centocor's Remicade (infliximab) is the leading  anti-TNF, and was joined over the summer by Abbott's Humira (adalimumab).

Anti-TNF drugs work in a way that allows them to treat a number of different conditions and the market leader is Wyeth's Enbrel (etanercept), although this does not have a licence for Crohn's disease.

One of UCB's first challenges will be to raise the profile of anti-TNFs, and. the company plans to run educational programmes for gastroenterologists that will include disease-awareness and use of anti-TNFs.

In the run-up to a decision on Cimzia's European licence, UCB will also be busy presenting new clinical data in Crohn's disease from its work with leading gastroenterologists.

To assist it in this, the pharma company has appointed Fleishman-Hillard to provide European communications support to the product.

Daniels declined to comment on the PR agency's exact remit, but it has already been involved in publicising the phase III clinical trial results published over the summer in the New England Journal of Medicine.

UCB will almost certainly also involve Fleishman-Hillard later this year, when it presents further Cimzia data at the American College of Rheumatology congress in November and the World Congress in Dermatology at the end of September.


Mission Statement is a leading portal for the pharmaceutical industry, providing industry professionals with pharma news, pharma events, pharma service company listings and pharma jobs,
Site content is produced by our editorial team exclusively for and our industry newspaper Pharmafocus. Service company profiles and listings are taken from our pharmaceutical industry directory, Pharmafile, and presented in a unique Find and Compare format to ensure the most relevant matches