Case | HBS Case Collection | November 2009 (Revised March 2010)

Managing Drugs on the Forefront of Personalized Medicine: The Erbitux and Vectibix Story

by Richard G. Hamermesh, Raju Kucherlapati and Rachel Gordon

Abstract

In May 2007, Amgen Inc. (Amgen) received disappointing news from the European Medicines Agency (EMEA) that its drug Vectibix, developed to fight metastatic colorectal cancer, had been rejected. This was especially surprising news given that a similar rival drug had received approval several years prior. Moreover, Vectibix had also received Food and Drug Administration approval in 2006. During additional trials, Amgen has learned that the Vectibix is only effective with the 60% of the population that has a specific gene marker. Given this development, what should Amgen's strategy around Vectibix be both in Europe and the United States?

Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Governing Rules, Regulations, and Reforms; Health Testing and Trials; Marketing Strategy; Product Positioning; Genetics; Biotechnology Industry; Europe; United States;

Citation:

Hamermesh, Richard G., Raju Kucherlapati, and Rachel Gordon. "Managing Drugs on the Forefront of Personalized Medicine: The Erbitux and Vectibix Story." Harvard Business School Case 810-066, November 2009. (Revised March 2010.)