Naming without borders.


Bioenvision (now part of Sanofi, based in Paris, France), pharmaceutical maker committed to discovering and delivering transformative therapies for rare diseases


A small- to mid-size company in a world of large competitors, Bioenvision approached Zenmark for assistance with naming a compound for use throughout Europe, South America, Australia and eventually globally. The marketing rights for the U.S. were controlled by a separate entity, who intended to market the name domestically under the brand name Clolar.

The unique aspect for us at the time was a U.S. company asking us to create a non-U.S. name. As savants of language, we approach the job of creating and testing names in various cultures with creative curiosity and a desire to hit the bulls eye. The goal is finding that name that works around the globe. Further increasing the challenge was Bioenvision’s desire for a name that conveyed strength, efficacy and potency.

The winning mark, Evoltra, was a succinct contraction of the terms Evolution and Voltage — with a bit of creative top-spin nodding to Ultra. Evoltra is the first new drug for children with multiple relapsed or refractory leukemia to receive a positive opinion in Europe in more than a decade.

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