Amgen awards Abelson-Taylor DTC for chemo drugs

Amgen has named Abelson-Taylor agency of record for DTC on two oncology brands.  The Chicago-based independent is working on TV and print advertising for Neulasta, previously handled by Euro RSCG Messner, and Aranesp, which has not previously run consumer advertising. Abelson-Taylor handles professional advertising for Neulasta and executed the U.S. and global launch of Aranesp in 1999. Better-known for its award-winning professional advertising, the firm launched its DTC capability last year, landing the DTC work for TPNA's Rozerem. Sales of Aranesp drove a 20% increase in Amgen’s profit for the fourth quarter, the company reported today. The anemia drug, which competes with Johnson & Johnson’s Procrit, pulled in $873 million worldwide. Amgen also cited increased demand for Neulasta, a white blood cell boosting anti-infective for chemo patients. Neulasta and Neupogen together took in $928 million as Neulasta sales benefited from a National Comprehensive Cancer Network advisory urging earlier use of the drug.