Essay Preview: Genentech Brand
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A responsible biotechnology company, Genentech contributes to the societys good cause through its various foundations and programs. The top three products of the company have significant advantages over its competitors and with strong intellectual property rights and competitive products in the pipeline, the future looks bright. Responsible advertising and ethical marketing strategies reinstate the values of the company. A highly efficient supply chain network involving the best in business supports the distribution activities of Genentech.
Genentech is committed to the cause of the society and harnesses its financial and human resources for the larger good of humanity. Genentechs Access to Care foundation supports patients who do not have insurance coverage or who cannot afford the medical costs.
Genentech Access Solutions addresses patients insurance reimbursement grievances. Through its Co-pay Assistance program, Genentech extends financial support to organizations that provide co-pay assistance to patients.
Avastin Patient Assistance program provides free Avastin to eligible patients who receive Avastin as part of their treatment.
Strategic health programs ensure enhanced disease awareness and diverse representation in clinical trials.
In its pursuit of improving the lives of patients and honing the skills and knowledge of the healthcare industry, Genentech provides Independent Medical Education Grants to organizations involved in imparting quality healthcare.
Financial support is also provided to charitable organizations in the healthcare sector.1
Competition in the pharmaceutical industry is mainly focused on the discovery and development of new therapies. Since research and development is capital intensive, firms compete with each other by launching new and efficient products and trying to gain a larger pie of the market. Generic drug makers may merely produce and sell the drugs discovered and developed by originator companies and thus branded drugs by the originator companies need to be protected by patents. The key to having an edge over competitors lies in having profitable products in the pipeline and a strong R&D portfolio. Marketing, advertising and pricing also play an important role in determining the success of a drug. 2
Genentech principal competitors include multinationals like GlaxoSmithKline, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Pfizer Inc, Novartis AG and Merck and Co. These firms compete with Genentech across different drug segments.
Genentechs Avastin competes with ImClone and Bristol-Myers Squibbs Erbitux. Data presented at the 33rd Congress of the European Society for Medical Oncology concluded that Avastin in combination with chemotherapy offered better overall survival benefit in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer when compared to Erbitux. The median progression-free survival benefit offered by Avastin was 10.7 months as compared to 9. 4 months offered by Erbitux. Erbitux also accounted for serious side effects attributed to cetuximab-related skin toxicity. 3
Avastin received a broad label from the European Union which allowed it to be used for the treatment of first and second line metastatic colorectal cancer. Avastin has been on the market for six years and consistently ranks among the top three oncology drugs in the market.4Avastin retains patent exclusivity till 2019 and is expected to be a major source of revenue for the company.
Genentechs Rituxan is an anti-CD20 chimeric monoclonal antibody used to treat non -Hodgkins lymphoma and leukemia and also rheumatoid arthritis. The first FDA approved monoclonal antibody treatment for cancer; Rituxan is one of the worlds most successful therapeutic monoclonal antibodies5 and its sales are way ahead of competitors MabCampath and Zevalin. In future, Rituxan may compete head to head with a biosimilar version of the drug being developed by Sandoz Limited. The new drug is currently in phase II trials. Roche has its ground covered with a new molecule- GA101, being touted as a successor to its blockbuster drug MabThera . The new glycol-engineered molecule is targeted towards treating severe forms of non -Hodgkins lymphoma and leukemia.6
Herceptin is a blockbuster breast cancer drug by Genentech. The drug targets the HER2 receptors which are expressed heavily in HER2+ breast cancer cells. It competes with Tykerb by Glaxo Smithkline. Tykerb was claimed more effective by virtue of its ability to bind to multiple receptors and inhibit tyrosine kinase activity. A study comparing the efficacy of Tykerb with Herceptin was undertaken by Glaxo in 2008. In 2011, an independent committee conducting the phase III trial of the study concluded that Tykerb is unlikely to work more efficiently that Herceptin. Herceptin retains patent exclusivity till 2015.
The marketing of pharmaceutical products is a key step in the success of the product. It includes educating the general public about the efficacy of the product and convincing the health service providers to prescribe the drug to their patients. Pharmaceutical marketing strategies are different from other businesses in that the products have the potential to negatively affect both patients and healthcare providers. The various modes of marketing adopted by the pharmaceutical industry include: