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Do Pfizer & Bristol-Myers Squibb "Ad" Up?

This morning's Wall Street Journal has a couple of noteworthy--although for very different reasons--pharma-related ads.

First, in the front section, Pfizer is launching a new offensive (or maybe it's defensive?) campaign on the embattled anti-smoking drug Chantix. In a full-page message signed by the company's Chief Medical Officer, Pfizer says, among other things that it's "committed to patient safety (and) furthering our knowledge of Chantix."

And the world's biggest drugmaker reminds people that, "There are few things that provide greater health benefits than quitting smoking." The Food and Drug Administration is investigating reports of psychiatric side effects and recently exposed incidences of physical problems among Chantix patients.

Chantix print ad
CNBC
Chantix print ad

As I've blogged several times, Chantix is a very important new product for PFE, but prescriptions have been falling amid the publicized safety concerns. And in the wake of the most recent revelations, the stock has fallen to new 10-and-a-half-year lows of 19 bucks and change.

Second, in the "Money & Investing" section on page C5 is what appears to be a pretty boilerplate ad announcing that Bristol-Myers Squibb is getting cozy with Kosan Biosciences . So, if it's boilerplate, then why am I calling attention to it? Well, it appeared in the paper before the companies issued their press releaseat 8:39 am ET this morning. Oops! A Bristol spokesperson tells me "it was unintentional."

Kosan print ad
CNBC
Kosan print ad

She added that there was "no snafu, but we were putting the finishing touches onthe press release, so it was delayed." She told me Bristol lawyers don't have a problem with the timing and that she's received a lot of phone calls about it, but no complaints. She is a corporate communications staffer, though, and not in investor relations.

KOSN shares are rockin' on huge volume. It's one of the small oncology-focused biotech companies that will be presenting data at the big cancer conference in Chicago this weekend.

Tomorrow on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" at around 10:10 ET am, I'll be doing a curtain-raiser report on the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting. Then, on Monday I'll be reporting live from McCormick Place throughout the day with a rundown of the breaking news from over the weekend and interviews with Dr. Susan-Desmond Hellmann of Genentech , Dr. Sol Barer of Celgene and, in his first CNBC interview, John Johnson of ImClone .

Also watch for my special report that day on Bobby Murcer. The New York Yankee legend has brain cancer and is getting an experimental vaccine owned by Avant Immunotherapeutics and Pfizer. You can see the story on "Squawk Box" around 8 am ET on Monday.

Questions? Comments? Pharma@cnbc.com