Five things for pharma marketers to know: Friday, December 5


GSK will not sell a portfolio of older drugs marketed in North America and Europe after considering offers from potential buyers, Reuters reports. Assets expected to sell for more than $1.6 billion included the established drugs Paxil, Imitrex, Zantac, and Zofran. The drugs were put on the block as part of several moves the British drugmaker is pursuing to improve its long term growth prospects, including work force trimming that commenced this week in North Carolina.


Management upheaval is continuing at Sanofi with the departure of Bob Rossilli, the executive overseeing sales of diabetes medicines to doctors in the eastern US. Scott Oehrlein, vice president and head of U.S. general medicines sales will be taking over Rossilli's duties, Bloomberg reports. As the French firm looks to replace departed CEO Chris Viehbacher, the company also confirmed Thursday that Antoine Ortoli, senior vice president of intercontinental global operations, will retire at the end of the year to be replaced by Jerome Silvestre. Silvestre also retains his role of senior vice president of the global generics division. Viehbacher meanwhile has commented on a whistleblower lawsuit reported yesterday alleging payment of kickbacks, labeling the allegations as “entirely baseless and categorically false,” Bloomberg tells us.


Takeda has gained FDA breakthrough therapy status for its investigational, oral proteasome inhibitor, ixazomib (MLN9708) for treating relapsed or refractory systemic light-chain AL amyloidosis, a rare disease. The drug is the first proteasome inhibitor and first investigational therapy for AL amyloidosis to receive Breakthrough Therapy designation. Takeda is currently recruiting globally for a Phase-III study which will evaluate ixazomib plus dexamethasone in patients with the disease.


Abbott is the latest in life sciences companies to embrace corporate branding, reminding consumers about the company behind the brand, as people want to know more about products' lineage, the Wall Street Journal reports. Abbott recently expanded a campaign in Rio de Janeiro's subways, and plans to move it to China in coming months. The company's billboards in the Chicago area for the city's marathon featured a dangling rock climber with the message “Life. To the Fullest.”


J&J's Janssen is joining the American Diabetes Association and the Washington Redskins in a national education campaign—“Teaming Up To Take On Diabetes”—that launches at FedExField in Landover, Md., on December 7. Along with activities including education booths and in-stadium videos to help educate people about type 2 diabetes; the audience will hear from the campaign health ambassador Redskins offensive tackle Trent Williams.