Ensuring appropriate use and communication of AztraZeneca’s new antibiotic



Having invested millions in the development of a new antibiotic to combat carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CREs) AstraZeneca wanted to ensure that Physicians used it appropriately.

They asked us to help them to understand who made the treatment decision, what it was based on and what were the Physician and patient needs. From this we were able to develop a positioning for the drug and to establish a way to help Physicians to identify the relevant patients.

Secondly they needed help in understanding the Physician segments and how to communicate Zavicefta and its uses to the relevant segments.

Action – Stage one

We analysed the research that AstraZeneca had already conducted including a comprehensive U&A study. Using this valuable resource as a base we developed positioning options that we tested through qualitative research globally.

Through this research we established that Physicians, when having to treat empirically in these severe infection cases thought more in terms of risk factors than traditional patient types – we therefore devised a novel research methodology wherein Physicians identified the combination of risk factors that determined when they would use Zavicefta.

This was confirmed through quantitative research and a decision tree was built to ensure Physicians in practice could identify the Zavicefta moment.


Action – Stage two

Using Cluster analysis we identified 4 distinct Physician segments and how each identified the Zavicefta moment.

We worked closely with the advertising agency to ensure the positioning and understanding of the Physician was taken through to the development of the advertising creative and the detail aid. Both of which we tested qualitatively across the world.




  • Zavicefta was sold to Pfizer in 2017 for $550m upon completion, with a further $1.03bn for various rights, regulatory milestones and sales-related payments.
  • Pfizer said that the excellent insight and brand work helped give them the confidence to do the deal and offered roles to the team responsible for it.
  • Pfizer now use the risk factor methodology that we developed for all their anti-infectives portfolio across the globe.

Read our client Q&A with AstraZeneca on how powerful insight drove the launch of AstraZeneca’s new antibiotic

Want to talk about your next project?

We’d love to chat.