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Novartis’ new rare disease drug Vijoice named as an ‘empty vessel poised to be filled’

Gravity Branding chose a positive outlook when it named Novartis’ latest FDA approved drug Vijoice but also set a deeper meaning.

Vijoice “can be regarded as optimistic and life affirming, but essentially, represents an empty vessel poised to be filled with relevant brand qualities,” the drug naming firm said in a press release.

The FDA approved the drug in April to treat PIK3CA-related overgrowth spectrum (PROS), an umbrella term for a rare condition that causes blood vessel abnormalities and tissue overgrowth that can present in a variety of ways.

California-based Gravity Branding, the agency behind a number of major drug brand names including breast cancer treatments like Novartis’ Kisqali and Roche’s Herceptin, has clearly gone for a name that invokes rejoice, though far enough away as to not breach the drug naming code.

“While we see how you might associate “rejoice” with a religious word, as it is sometimes used in the English translation of holy texts, it is not inherently religious in any way,” Gravity explained in an interview.

“The market research bore out this same conclusion. It is a word that has largely fallen out of modern usage and that is one of its strengths.”

The company sees Vijoice as a “blank canvas” that “will be painted in by brand cognizant imagery over the course of time,” adding that it “is unique, easy to pronounce and dynamic in tone.”

The drug has the same ingredient as Novartis’ breast cancer drug Piqray, which the FDA approved three years ago, but the pharma wanted a very different name for the vastly different disease that it tackles.

Vijoice is the first treatment to address the root cause of PROS and is approved for select patients 2 years and older with a severe form of the disorder that requires systemic therapy.