Carrie Strom, AbbVie SVP and Allergan Aesthetics president

Ab­b­Vie un­veils 'See Your­self' Botox cam­paign, days af­ter new ri­val ap­proved

Tanya is 42 and a mom of nine “sports kids,” al­ways run­ning from one ac­tiv­i­ty to the next. She’s al­so one of the faces be­hind Ab­b­Vie’s lat­est “See Your­self” Botox Cos­met­ic cam­paign.

Be­fore treat­ment, Tanya said she didn’t con­sid­er Botox soon­er be­cause she sim­ply didn’t have the time. Thir­ty days af­ter treat­ment, she smiles in­to the cam­era with a life “as full as it was be­fore, just with less lines.”

In its lat­est cam­paign, Ab­b­Vie’s Al­ler­gan unit tapped 25 re­al pa­tients to tell their sto­ries be­fore and af­ter Botox treat­ment. In short videos, pa­tients speak about why they pur­sued Botox in the first place and what’s changed since. For Javi, a 31-year-old fit­ness in­struc­tor, it was see­ing him­self in a pho­to.

“I looked clos­er and I was like, ‘That’s what every­body sees?’” he says with a chuck­le. “The lines were so promi­nent, it’s all I saw in the pho­to­graph.”

Par­tic­i­pants were se­lect­ed from a pool of 20,000 ap­pli­cants in Ab­b­Vie’s first-ever open cast­ing call for Botox, the com­pa­ny said in a news re­lease. The sub­tle jokes and up­beat sound­track di­verge from the more se­ri­ous tone of the cam­paign’s first it­er­a­tion, cre­at­ed by Os­car-win­ning doc­u­men­tary film­mak­er Er­rol Mor­ris and launched last year.

“I met my hus­band in 2002,” Stephen, a 52-year-old make­up artist, said with tears in his eyes in last year’s cam­paign. “That af­ter­noon, I called my friends and I just said, ‘I’ve met the man I’m go­ing to mar­ry.’ I miss those eyes.”

The new cam­paign launch­es as Botox gains a longer-last­ing com­peti­tor, Re­vance Ther­a­peu­tics’ Daxxi­fy, which was ap­proved just last week. While peo­ple us­ing Botox may need to re­turn for in­jec­tions every three to four months, Daxxi­fy po­ten­tial­ly re­quires just two in­jec­tions per year.

“Our mis­sion con­tin­ues to be root­ed in show­ing up au­then­ti­cal­ly, shar­ing can­did, sin­cere sto­ries and con­tent high­light­ing our re­al pa­tients’ rea­sons for get­ting treat­ed and how they feel about treat­ment,” Car­rie Strom, Ab­b­Vie SVP and Al­ler­gan Aes­thet­ics pres­i­dent, said in a news re­lease. Ab­b­Vie was not im­me­di­ate­ly avail­able for an in­ter­view.

“At a time when peo­ple want trans­paren­cy and hon­esty, we are giv­ing them just that, re­al pa­tients with re­al re­sults,” Strom said.

Par­tic­i­pants an­swered the 10 most com­mon­ly searched ques­tions about Botox in be­fore-and-af­ter footage, treat­ment di­aries and be­hind-the-scenes shots. Did it hurt? “Quick pinch,” Wendy, a 51-year-old hos­pi­tal ad­min­is­tra­tor says. “Go­ing to be hon­est with you, I hate nee­dles.”

Med­ical aes­thet­ics ads have been trend­ing younger, with Merz re­cent­ly tap­ping 33-year-old singer-song­writer Joe Jonas to mar­ket its Botox ri­val Xeomin. The com­pa­ny de­buted its “Beau­ty on Your Terms” last month, tar­get­ing peo­ple in their 20s and 30s “who are in­ter­est­ed in an­ti-wrin­kle in­jec­tions to treat frown lines be­tween the eye­brows or are cu­ri­ous about them,” North Amer­i­ca busi­ness head Patrick Ur­ban told End­points News. 

The cam­paign claimed that US adults un­der age 45 show a high­er in­ter­est in cos­met­ic treat­ment than old­er adults, but are of­ten held back by a stig­ma around cos­met­ic work.

Botox for cos­met­ic us­es earned Ab­b­Vie $695 mil­lion last quar­ter alone, plus an­oth­er $678 mil­lion for ther­a­peu­tic us­es.

“The re­al­i­ty is my pa­tients don’t want to see more mod­els star­ing in­to the cam­era while strik­ing a posh pose,” clin­i­cian Sher­ly Soleiman said in Ab­b­Vie’s news re­lease. “They want to see peo­ple they can ful­ly re­late to be­cause they have sim­i­lar chal­lenges, de­sires and hopes in life.”

Biotech in­vestors and CEOs see two paths to growth, but are they equal­ly vi­able?

The dynamic in the biotech market has been highly volatile in the last few years, from the high peaks immediately after the COVID vaccine in 2021, to the lowest downturns of the last 20 years in 2022. This uncertainty makes calling the exact timing of the market’s turn something of a fool’s errand, according to Dr. Chen Yu, Founder and Managing Partner of TCG Crossover (TCG X). He speaks with RBC’s Noël Brown, Head of US Biotechnology Investment Banking, about the market’s road ahead and two possible paths for growth.

Mar­ket­ingRx roundup: No­var­tis re­cruits NFL coach for Leqvio cam­paign; Pfiz­er pro­motes ‘Sci­ence’ merch on so­cial me­dia

Novartis is turning to a winning coach to talk about Leqvio and the struggles of high cholesterol — including his own. Bruce Arians, the retired NFL head coach of the Arizona Cardinals and Super Bowl-winning Tampa Bay Buccaneers, is partnering with the pharma for its “Coaching Cholesterol” digital, social and public relations effort.

In the campaign, Arians talks about the potential for “great comebacks” in football and heart health. Once nicknamed a “quarterback whisperer,” he is now retired from fulltime coaching (although still a front-office consultant for Tampa Bay), and did a round of media interviews for Novartis, including one with People and Forbes.

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Amy West, Novo Nordisk head of US digital innovation and transformation (Illustration: Assistant Editor Kathy Wong for Endpoints News)

Q&A: No­vo Nordisk dig­i­tal in­no­va­tion chief Amy West dis­cuss­es phar­ma pain points and a health­care 'easy but­ton’

Amy West joined Novo Nordisk more than a decade ago to oversee marketing strategies and campaigns for its US diabetes portfolio. However, her career path shifted into digital, and she hasn’t looked back. West went from leading Novo’s first digital health strategy in the US to now heading up digital innovation and transformation.

She’s currently leading the charge at Novo Nordisk to not only go beyond the pill with digital marketing and health tech, but also test, pilot and develop groundbreaking new strategies needed in today’s consumerized healthcare world.

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Casey McPherson shows his daughters Rose (left) and Weston around Everlum Bio, a lab that he co-founded to spark a treatment for Rose and others with ultra-rare conditions. (Ilana Panich-Linsman)

Fa­ther starts lab af­ter in­tel­lec­tu­al prop­er­ty is­sues stymie rare dis­ease drug de­vel­op­ment

Under bright lab lights, Casey McPherson holds his 6-year-old daughter, Rose. His free hand directs Rose’s gaze toward a computer screen with potential clues in treating her one-of-a kind genetic condition.

Gray specks on the screen show her cells that scientists reprogrammed with the goal of zeroing in on a custom medicine. McPherson co-founded the lab, Everlum Bio, to spark a treatment for Rose — and others like her. A regarded singer-songwriter, McPherson never imagined going into drug development.

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Benjamine Liu, TrialSpark CEO

Paul Hud­son and Tri­alSpark's mu­tu­al de­sire to speed up de­vel­op­ment con­verges in three-year, six-drug goal

A unicorn startup that originally set out to hasten clinical studies for biopharma partners dug further into its revised path of internal drug development by linking arms with Sanofi in a pact that the biotech’s CEO said originated from the top.

TrialSpark and the Big Pharma on Tuesday committed to in-licensing and/or acquiring six Phase II/Phase III drugs within the next three years.

“I’ve known Paul Hudson for a while and we were discussing the opportunity to really re-imagine a lot of different parts of pharma,” TrialSpark CEO Benjamine Liu told Endpoints News, “and one of the things that we discussed was this opportunity to accelerate the development of new medicines in mutual areas of interest.”

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User fees in ac­tion: FDA un­veils new short­ened sup­ple­ment re­view, rare dis­ease pi­lots

Thanks to PDUFA VII, signed into law last Friday by President Joe Biden, the FDA this week unveiled two new industry-friendly pilot programs to advance new rare disease endpoints via additional meetings, and to shorten FDA review times for supplemental apps aimed at unmet medical needs.

The agency this week released eagerly-awaited details behind the shortened pilot, known as the Split Real Time Application Review or STAR pilot program, which will speed up certain FDA reviews of efficacy supplements across all therapeutic areas (thanks to earlier submissions of data), but only for those that propose addressing an unmet medical need.

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Marc Dunoyer, Alexion CEO (AstraZeneca via YouTube)

Up­dat­ed: As­traZeneca nabs a small rare dis­ease gene ther­a­py play­er for 667% pre­mi­um

AstraZeneca is kicking off the fourth quarter with a little M&A Monday for a gene editing player recently overcoming a second clinical hold to its only program in human studies.

The Big Pharma and its subsidiary Alexion are buying out little LogicBio for $2.07 per share. That’s good for a massive 667% premium over its Friday closing price, when it headed into the weekend at 27 cents and just weeks after Nasdaq said LogicBio would have to delist, which has been put on hold as the biotech requests a hearing. It’s one of two biotech deals to commence October, alongside the news of Incyte buying a vitiligo-focused biotech.

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Dave Marek, Myovant CEO

My­ovant board balks as ma­jor­i­ty own­er Sum­it­o­mo swoops in with a $2.5B deal to buy them out

Three years after Sumitomo scooped up Roivant’s 46% stake in the publicly traded Myovant $MYOV as part of a 5-company, $3 billion deal, they’re coming back for the whole thing.

But these other investors at Myovant want more than what the Japanese pharma company is currently offering to pay at this stage.

Sumitomo is bidding $22.75 a share for the outstanding stock, which now represents 48% of the company after Sumitomo bumped its ownership since the original deal with Roivant. Myovant, however, created a special committee on the board, and they’re shaking their heads over the offer.

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Albert Bourla, Pfizer CEO (Gian Ehrenzeller/Keystone via AP)

Can a smart­phone app de­tect Covid? Pfiz­er throws down $116M to find out

What can a cough say about a patient’s illness? Quite a bit, according to ResApp Health — and Pfizer’s listening.

The pharma giant is shelling out about $116 million ($179 million AUD) to scoop up the University of Queensland spinout and its smartphone technology that promises to diagnose Covid and other respiratory illnesses based on cough and breathing sounds, the university announced last week.

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