AstraZeneca has appointed WPP as one of its primary oncology network partners. Under WPP’s new remit as a global creative partner, the agency will support U.S. and global advertising for AstraZeneca’s line of cancer medicines.

Led by VML Health and composed of members from Grey Health and Ogilvy Health, WPP’s team will be based out of both the U.S. and U.K. It will complement the efforts of CMI Media Group, which supports oncology media planning and buying for the drugmaker.

“Collaboration with partners who share our passion is critical for us to achieve progress against our bold ambition to one day eliminate cancer as a cause of death,” said AstraZeneca SVP, head of US oncology Mohit Manrao. “WPP has been a long-standing partner and we are looking forward to expanding our work together.”

“WPP’s AstraZeneca team will leverage its extensive creative expertise and the latest technologies across the network to deliver innovative and strategic solutions for the AstraZeneca oncology brands globally and in the United States,” added Wendy Lund, chief client officer of Health@WPP. “Central to this partnership is a shared commitment and passion to eliminate cancer as a cause of death.” 

AstraZeneca’s oncology account was previously held by Omnicom and IPG. An IPG spokesperson said that IPG Health continues to serve as an AOR partner to AstraZeneca on several oncology brands.

Omnicom did not respond to requests for comment. Omnicom PR Group handled the communications responsibilities for the drugmaker’s ongoing Get Body Checked Against Cancer campaign in collaboration with the National Hockey League. In 2023, Omnicom Health Group won an assignment from AstraZeneca for its non-Hodgkin lymphoma treatment Calquence.

AstraZeneca’s oncology portfolio has driven the company’s recent growth. It contributed $5.1 billion in revenue in Q1, representing a 26% year-over-year increase. To further bolster its presence in the space, AstraZeneca has been active on the M&A front.

In March, the drugmaker announced plans to acquire Fusion Pharmaceuticals for up to $2.4 billion. As part of the deal, AstraZeneca will obtain Fusion’s portfolio of next-generation radioconjugates, which show promise for treating several cancers.

Two months ago, AstraZeneca unveiled promising data for cancer drugs Enhertu and Tagrisso at the 2024 American Society of Clinical Oncology’s annual meeting in Chicago. Tagrisso already holds a commanding position as a first-line treatment for patients with a positive EGFR mutation. 

More recently, AstraZeneca’s immunotherapy Imfinzi plus chemotherapy was approved by the Food and Drug Administration for treating mismatch repair deficient advanced or recurrent endometrial cancer.