Thursday, Feb 16, 1989
South San Francisco, Calif. -- February 16, 1989 --Genentech, Inc. today announced that the U.S. marketing sales force of Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. will join Genentech in promoting its heart attack drug Activase -- a tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA) -- to physicians throughout the United States.
Starting May 1, the approximately 400 members of Boehringer Ingelheim's U.S. sales team would spend one-fifth of their time promoting Activase to office-based, primary care physicians. The Boehringer Ingelheim sales force markets two drugs for cardiac patients: Persantine®, a blood platelet aggregation inhibitor, and Mexitil®, used to treat heart rhythm disturbances. The agreement with Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals will remain in effect through the end of 1991 and may be extended thereafter.
"The agreement marks an important extension of our marketing reach," said James M. Gower, Genentech senior vice president of marketing. "When Activase was approved in November 1987, we initially concentrated on marketing to a core group of hospital-based physicians, nurses and pharmacists," he said.
"We are delighted that a highly-skilled and motivated sales force will now help us address a much larger prescribing audience about the benefits Activase provides to people who have had heart attacks," Gower said. "It represents a quick and reasonable way for Genentech to accelerate its promotional efforts for Activase and thrombolytic therapy."
The nature of the relationship is equally perceived by Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.'s president/COO, Digby Barrios. "We enthusiastically welcome the opportunity to participate in the marketing of Activase," said Barrios. "We feel that our marketing effort is of sufficient caliber to add significant impact to Genentech's activity. We are quite anxious to commence these efforts."
Based in Ridgefield, Conn., Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a U.S. affiliate of Boehringer Ingelheim International GmbH, Genentech's licensee for manufacturing and marketing t-PA in all countries except the United States, Canada and Japan.
Gower noted that an expanded sales team would enable Genentech to reach approximately 35,000 office-based, primary care physicians who are often involved in the decision to administer thrombolytic therapy to heart attack patients. While Activase generated sales of close to $190 million in its first 12 months on the market, there is a need to make thrombolytic therapy better understood to expand treatment to eligible patients who are not receiving treatment.
With headquarters in South San Francisco, Calif., Genentech, Inc., is a leading biotechnology company focusing on the development, manufacture and marketing of pharmaceutical products produced by recombinant DNA technology.
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