Millennium Sales Force Ranked #1 by Independent Survey of Leading Oncologists

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company today announced its sales force ranked first in an independent assessment of hematology/oncology sales teams in the pharmaceutical industry. The survey was conducted by Health Strategies Group, an independent consultant and market research company, and ranked the sales teams of leading hematology/oncology companies based on their ability to build valuable relationships with oncologists.

The report, titled Hematologic Cancer Sales Opportunity Assessment, asked oncologists who treat hematologic cancers to rank their sales representatives based on the behaviors, knowledge and resources used to improve overall performance. According to those oncologists responding to the survey, relationship value occurs when:

  • A representative has ongoing dialogue about his/her product and provides value-added support to the office
  • The customer is satisfied with the representative
  • The customer agrees that the time they spend with the representative is valuable

The Millennium sales team outranked all other U.S. cancer companies. According to the survey, the relationship value average across companies was 26 percent (range 9 percent-46 percent). Millennium secured an average of 46 percent, leading the industry in relationship value.

“We are extremely impressed with the knowledge and professionalism of our field team, and this top ranking by an independent assessment confirms what we’ve known all along,” said Joseph Regan, Vice President, US Sales, Millennium. “Perhaps most impressive is Millennium’s ability to secure these high-quality relationships while marketing only one product, VELCADE®, for the treatment of multiple myeloma and mantle cell lymphoma. Our product benefits greatly from having an experienced and diligent sales team handling promotion, and in turn, our field is privileged to sell a product that is such an important treatment option for patients.”

The field team at Millennium consists of sales and medical professionals dedicated to promoting the Company’s market-leading drug VELCADE® (bortezomib), a treatment for patients with multiple myeloma. This team was expanded significantly in 2008 when Millennium was acquired by Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited (TSE:4502), Japan’s largest pharmaceutical company. Today, Millennium is Takeda’s center of excellence in oncology and is responsible for global strategies regarding discovery, development and commercialization.

For more information on the survey by Health Strategies Group, please visit www.healthstrategiesgroup.com.

About VELCADE

VELCADE is co-developed by Millennium and Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development, L.L.C. Millennium is responsible for commercialization of VELCADE in the U.S., Janssen-Cilag is responsible for commercialization in Europe and the rest of the world. Janssen Pharmaceutical K.K. is responsible for commercialization in Japan. VELCADE is approved in 92 countries and has treated more than 160,000 patients worldwide.

What is VELCADE® Used For?

VELCADE (bortezomib) is approved for the treatment of patients with multiple myeloma (a cancer of the plasma cells). VELCADE is also approved for the treatment of patients with mantle cell lymphoma (a cancer of lymph nodes) who have already received other treatments.

How is VELCADE administered?

VELCADE is prescribed by a physician experienced in the use of medications to treat cancer. It is administered as an injection into your vein (IV) by a health care professional.

Who Should Not Receive VELCADE?

Before you receive treatment with VELCADE, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions. You should not receive VELCADE if you are:

  • allergic to bortezomib, boron or mannitol
  • pregnant or plan to become pregnant
  • breastfeeding. Discuss with your doctor when it is safe to restart breastfeeding after finishing your treatment.

The effects of VELCADE in children have not been evaluated.

What are the Possible Side Effects of VELCADE?

VELCADE can cause serious side effects including:

  • Neutropenia (low levels of neutrophils, a type of white blood cell) and Thrombocytopenia (low levels of platelets). VELCADE can cause low levels of white blood cells (infection fighting cells) and/or platelets (clot-forming cells). You will have regular blood tests to check your cell counts during your treatment with VELCADE. If the number of these cells is very low, your doctor may change the dose and/or schedule of VELCADE. If your white blood cells become low, you can be at higher risk for infections. Tell your doctor if you develop a fever or believe you have an infection. If platelets become very low, there is an increased risk of bleeding. Your doctor may recommend a platelet transfusion. There have been cases of bleeding in the stomach, bowels and brain during treatment with VELCADE.
  • Gastrointestinal Problems. VELCADE treatment can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation. If your symptoms are severe, your doctor may recommend IV fluids and/or medications.
  • Peripheral neuropathy. VELCADE can cause damage to the nerves, a condition called peripheral neuropathy. You may feel muscle weakness, tingling, burning, pain, and loss of feeling in your hands and feet, any of which can be severe. Tell your doctor if you notice any of these symptoms. Your doctor may change the dose and/or schedule of VELCADE or stop it altogether.
  • Low blood pressure. VELCADE can cause a drop in blood pressure. Tell your doctor if you have low blood pressure, feel dizzy or feel as though you might faint. If you are taking drugs that lower blood pressure, your medications might need to be adjusted. If you are not drinking enough liquids, your doctor may need to administer IV fluids.
  • Heart problems. VELCADE treatment can cause or worsen heart rhythm problems and heart failure. Your doctor may closely monitor you if you have, or are at risk for, heart disease. Tell your doctor if you experience chest pressure or pain, palpitations, swelling of your ankles or feet, or shortness of breath.
  • Lung Disorders. There have been reports of lung disorders in patients receiving VELCADE. Some of these events have been fatal. Tell your doctor if you experience any cough, shortness of breath, wheezing or difficulty breathing.
  • Liver disease. If you have liver problems, it can be harder for your body to get rid of VELCADE. VELCADE has caused sudden liver failure in patients who were taking many medications or had other serious medical conditions. Symptoms of liver problems include a yellow discoloration of the eyes and skin (jaundice) and changes in liver enzymes measured in blood tests. Your doctor will closely monitor you if you have liver disease.
  • Tumor Lysis Syndrome (TLS). TLS can occur with cancer treatments and your doctor will be monitoring blood and urine for any signs of this syndrome. If you develop TLS, your doctor will take appropriate steps to treat it.
  • Reversible Posterior Leukoencephalopathy Syndrome (RPLS). There have been reports of a rare, reversible condition involving the brain called RPLS in patients treated with VELCADE. Patients with RPLS can have seizures, high blood pressure, headaches, tiredness, confusion, blindness or other vision problems. VELCADE treatment should be stopped in cases of RPLS.

The most common side effects seen in patients receiving VELCADE include: thrombocytopenia, neutropenia, nausea, peripheral neuropathy, neuralgia (nerve pain), pyrexia (high temperature), diarrhea, anemia, leukopenia (low levels of white blood cells), decreased appetite, fatigue, constipation, vomiting, dehydration, dyspnea (difficulty breathing), cough, asthenia (low energy), insomnia (trouble sleeping), peripheral edema (swelling of the limbs), and headache.

What other information should you discuss with your doctor?

You should also tell your doctor if you:

  • have kidney disease. If you are on dialysis, your doctor will administer VELCADE after the dialysis procedure.
  • are taking medication for diabetes. VELCADE can affect your blood glucose levels. Your doctor may require close monitoring of your blood glucose levels and change the dose of your diabetes medicine while you are being treated with VELCADE.
  • are using medicines like ketoconazole (an anti-fungal) and ritonavir (an anti-viral), which will require close monitoring during treatment with VELCADE.
  • are using any other medications (including over the counter drugs), herbal or dietary supplements, or holistic treatments.
  • develop a rash of any type while receiving VELCADE.

The side effects of VELCADE may impair your ability to drive or operate machinery.

These are not all of the possible side effects with VELCADE. It is important to always contact your doctor if you experience any side effects while on VELCADE. If you have any questions about VELCADE, contact your doctor. Additional information is available on the VELCADE website at www.VELCADE.com.

Please see the full prescribing information for VELCADE including warnings and precautions.

About Millennium

Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company, a leading biopharmaceutical company based in Cambridge, Mass., markets a first-in-class proteasome inhibitor, and has a robust clinical development pipeline of product candidates. Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc. was acquired by Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd. ("Takeda", TSE: 4502) in May, 2008. The Company's research, development and commercialization activities are focused in oncology. Additional information about Millennium is available through its website, www.millennium.com.

Editors’ Note: This press release is also available under the Media section of the Company’s website at: www.millennium.com/media.



CONTACT:

Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company
Manisha Pai, 617-551-7877
[email protected]
or
Lauren Musto, 617-551-7848
[email protected]

KEYWORDS:   United States  North America  Massachusetts

INDUSTRY KEYWORDS:   Health  Biotechnology  Oncology  Pharmaceutical  Other Health  Research  Science

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