Abbott, AZ team up to promote Crestor

Share this article:
Seeking to increase its share of voice without beefing up its sales force, AstraZeneca is partnering with Abbott on a co-promotion of Crestor in the US.

AstraZeneca spokeswoman Donna Huang said the move is a response, in part, to increased interest in the drug among physicians since it received an indication for use in slowing the progress of atherosclerosis last November. 

“For us, it's about knowing that we're meeting that need with extra share of voice, without increasing the size of our sales force,” said Huang. “That creates flexibility for us in the future to reallocate resources when we have emerging compounds that we're launching.”

US net sales of the drug for the second quarter were up 17% over Q2 2007 to $415 million. Crestor has doubtless benefited from the uncertainty surrounding rival Merck/Schering-Plough's Vytorin, which has stumbled since its ENHANCE trial showed no benefit in fighting atherosclerosis. In February, AstraZeneca launched ads touting the findings of its METEOR study, which showed Crestor to be effective in slowing atherosclerosis. The company has also run an unbranded atherosclerosis awareness campaign dubbed “Us Against Athero.”

The deal gives Abbott non-exclusive rights to promote Crestor alongside AstraZeneca in the US, excluding Puerto Rico. The companies declined to comment on the financial terms of the deal or the size of the sales forces involved. AstraZeneca's US sales force numbers around 5,500. 

It's the second time the two firms have teamed up on lipid drugs—under a 2006 agreement, they're partnering on a combination of Crestor and Abbott's TriLipix, a developmental fibrate. Abbott expects an FDA decision on TriLipix before the end of the year, and the companies plan to submit an NDA for the combo in the second half of 2009. Abbott also markets HDL-raising Niaspan, triglyceride-lowering TriCor and Niaspan/ simvastatin combo Simcor. 

Crestor is indicated for use as an adjunct to diet in treating lipid disorders including primary 
hyperlipidemia, mixed dyslipidemia and isolated hyper  triglyceridemia, as well as slowing the progression of atherosclerosis in adults.  

Share this article:
You must be a registered member of MMM to post a comment.

Next Article in Features

Email Newsletters

More in Features

Journal Ad Review: Reality Bites

Journal Ad Review: Reality Bites

Print's numbers may be taking some small steps in the right direction, but data is what the industry really wants to sink its teeth into. Larry Dobrow reports on what ...

Headliner: Proteus CEO takes an original path

Headliner: Proteus CEO takes an original path

Andrew Thompson, CEO, Proteus Digital Health

Leadership Exchange: How Do We Get Beyond the Pill?

Leadership Exchange: How Do We Get Beyond the ...

As its focus moves from manufacturing to service, pharma needs to partner with healthcare neophytes as well as established players. James Chase asks six experts to assess the risks and ...