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Pharma brand naming for XALKORI

Pfizer
Pfizer approached InterbrandHealth to create a global brand name for crizotinib, a kinase inhibitor indicated for the treatment of advanced ALK-positive non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Crizotinib was granted fast-track status and required regulatory approval of its preferred brand name candidate upon first submission to the FDA.

As an innovative personalized medicine, the brand name for crizotinib needed to speak to the needs of a highly specialized audience – both oncologists and a small subset of patients, usually non-smokers, who test positive for the ALK gene.

The name XALKORI was created to highlight its targeted nature (“X” marks the spot) and the ALK inhibitory mechanism. The name also communicates getting to the core of the disease. The unusual name construction and style reflected the elegant and novel treatment approach that XALKORI represented. XALKORI represents a paradigm shift in NSCLC treatment, moving from a one-size-fits-all approach to biomarker-based treatment decisions.

To ensure timely approval of the name, XALKORI, InterbrandHealth conducted 10/10® Brand Name Evaluation and a Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) and certified that the brand name is acceptable prior to submission to the global regulatory authorities.

XALKORI was approved by the FDA in 2011 and the EMA in 2012, ensuring that the brand name was in place for launch.

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