Decision on Novartis’ Zelnorn Account Looms

NEW YORK — A decision in the $100 million creative review for Novartis’ Zelnorm is expected within two weeks, as the review is down to two contenders, Interpublic Group’s Deutsch and Omnicom’s Cline, Davis & Mann, sources said.
Novartis has dropped WPP’s Ogilvy & Mather and Interpublic’s McCann-Erickson from review for its forthcoming remedy for irritable bowel syndrome, according to several sources.

The shops are all based in New York and the review covers only the U.S. Novartis declined to comment on the review.

The agencies are competing to work on the drug, known as Zelnorm in North America and Zelmac in Europe. Its generic name is “tegaserod.” Pending FDA approval, a direct-to-consumer campaign could launch next year, said a source. Novartis, headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, has its U.S. offices in New York and East Hanover, N.J.