Looking Forward For Pharma Naming

Posted June 25, 2019 by

As brand naming professionals with a wide array of clients in the pharmaceutical industry, it is always interesting to review projections toward best-selling compounds, along with their corresponding names. FiercePharma and EvaluatePharma recently looked at all of the approvals thus far for 2019 and projected them according to the ten best-selling compounds five years out in 2024. FiercePharma’s Angus Liu says, “The 2019 class of top drug launches shows the booming of expensive orphan drugs that are based on novel technologies, as well as the undying enthusiasm about the growing immunology market whose opportunity is evident in the world’s best-selling drug Humira.” Liu also notes interestingly that, “Cancer is probably the most sought-after indication in the biopharma world, but it’s missing from 2019’s class of top drug launches.”

Novartis’ Mayzent, the first-ever oral drug for secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS), also projects as a successful compound in the immunology space, and trails two other Novartis drugs on the list positioning the Swiss company for a huge impact moving forward as the only one with three compounds making the top ten.

Out of the six brand names cited, it’s interesting that four include “z,” with 2 starting with that letter. A small, yet significant sample size, for sure, but still interesting as to the historic prominence, as well as possibly newly invigorated usage of that letter. In a recently completed naming audit by Brandsymbol of the past 4 years of approved drug names, it was found that “z” was used as the starting letter six times, so these recent approvals might indicate an upswing.

All the listed names, due to recent approvals, are just beginning their individual journeys to market awareness and associations, and that is always interesting when it’s paralleled with the fact that pharmaceutical companies must necessarily begin name development and validation efforts years ahead of a planned product launch. Predictive patterning of letter usages or non-usages is also becoming a welcome and vital responsibility for brand naming partners to pharmaceutical companies, along with the combination of creative diligence, vigorous global trademark searching, timeline management, linguistics analytics, safety testing and evaluation and submission expertise.


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