Exelixis (San Francisco, CA), leading biopharmaceutical innovator specializing in small molecule cancer treatments.
Exelixis approached Zenmark to develop a global brand name for a new indication for its oncology molecule, cabozantinib. CABOMETYX was approved by the FDA in April 2016 for the treatment of advanced renal cell carcinoma after being granted a breakthrough therapy designation. This is the second indication for cabozantinib, following a 2012 approval the treatment of medullary thyroid cancer (MTC) which was subsequently marketed under the brand name COMETRIQ; also developed by Zenmark.
Building on the success of COMETRIQ, Exelixis again turned to Zenmark to develop a new proprietary trade name for cabozantinib which the FDA required for the new indication. The Exelixis product team expressed interest in developing a name that was readily relatable to the non-proprietary name cabozantinib, thus the use of the prefix CABO. The MET infix is used to convey multiple messages. First it evokes the tyrosine kinase c-MET, which is one of the receptors CABOMETYX targets. Secondly, it highlights the connection to the METEOR Phase III clinical trial, the results of which led to the FDA approval of CABOMETYX. The YX suffix, serves the dual purpose of creating a unique and memorable script while also emphasizing the X ending which typically is associated with strength and effectiveness (e.g., Clorox, Xerox, Ajax).