Genentech brand to replace Roche in U.S.

Remember the mourning that ensued when Roche wrapped its Genentech buyout, officially retiring that GENE stock-ticker symbol? Roche promised that the Genentech name wouldn't go gently into the good night. But ever since, the Roche-ification of Genentech has seemed to proceed apace.

Now, the Genentech-ification of Roche begins. The Wall Street Journal Health Blog reports that, in the U.S. at least, the Roche brand name will be phased out in favor of a blue Genentech logo. All Roche meds will be rebranded for the U.S. market to capitalize on the storied Genentech name. That includes regular, old small-molecule meds, and not just the biotech drugs Genentech built its rep upon. Even Tamiflu will lose the Roche moniker, albeit after flu season.

Product packaging will be revamped. Individual drug websites will get a makeover. Even sales reps' business cards will be redesigned to carry the Genentech brand. But as the Health Blog points out, an all-important subtitle will be included: "A member of the Roche Group." But compared with the logo, that amounts to fine print.

- read the Health Blog post

ALSO: Genentech and Biogen Idec announced that the FDA refused to approve earlier use of Rituxan in rheumatoid arthritis patients, in light of the rare risk of the brain infection progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy and the availability of other effective RA treatments. Release

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