Xs and Zs become popular in drug names

Drug names starting with an X or a Z may be hard to pronounce but that is really the last thing that drugmakers consider when coming up with new names. They want something that is memorable and evokes in doctors, or patients, some positive relationship, experts tell Reuters. Recent names in this vein are Astellas Pharma's prostate cancer treatment Xtandi, or Johnson & Johnson's ($JNJ) Zytiga. Seven drugs with names starting with X have been launched in the last several years. The X and Z also make it easier to recognize in handwritten prescriptions. Scott Piergrossi, vice president, creative, at Brand Institute, tells the publication that Xeljanz, the rheumatoid arthritis drug from Pfizer ($PFE) encapsulates innovation and practical considerations. It not only has both X and Z in the name, but the drug, designed to work by selectively blocking molecules known as Janus kinases, also may be meaningful to doctors when they seen the "jan" in the name. Story