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A Case Study of PERJETA


Fixing a Regulatory Jam 

The Story

Project Details

Genentech and Roche were partners in developing pertuzumab, an exciting new humanized monoclonal antibody for use in breast cancer treatment in combination with Herceptin. The companies decided to drop their brand name due to potential regulatory problems, and search for a new name before their global regulatory submission for marketing approval.


They turned to Gary Martin Group to help create new drug names. A regulatory rejection was to be avoided at all costs. All new names had to be free from potential medication errors and misbranding associations. With the help of the excellent creative freelancers from the Bay Area, we created over a thousand names, and hundreds of names were prescreened, presented, legally searched, and put through linguistic analysis.


Perjeta® was selected by the Genentech and Roche team as the new name for pertuzumab. Perjeta was created from combining three brand-relevant letter strings:

  • The /PER/ prefix (from pertuzumab) suggests the brand’s scientific heritage

  • /JET/ is a metaphor for speed of recovery

  • The final /A/ creates a feminine tone, and aligns the brand with the female patient population.


Perjeta, free from potential regulatory concerns, was approved in 2012, ending a frustrating and extended brand-naming process for Genentech and Roche. But most importantly, Perjeta is available to breast cancer patients worldwide. 


  • Develop an acceptable “global” brand name to replace the originally announced brand name

  • Avoid a second regulatory proprietary name problem

  • Work with multiple brand teams across two different global partner companies



  • Strategic Workshops with combined teams

  • Name creation––over 1,000

  • “Knockout” prescreening

  • Legal prescreening

  • Linguistics evaluations



  • Perjeta® was created, approved and announced with these advantages

    • Safe and free from potential errors

    • Well-liked by the brand team

    • Replaced the previously announced brand name 

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