Amgen's Twitter campaign #DearAsthma inspired thousands of people to express struggles and frustrations with the disease

Am­gen’s #Dear­Asth­ma spon­sored tweet lands big on game day, spark­ing thou­sands to re­spond

Am­gen want­ed to know how peo­ple with asth­ma re­al­ly felt about dai­ly life with the dis­ease. So it bought a pro­mot­ed tweet on Twit­ter not­ing the not-so-sim­ple re­al­i­ties of life with asth­ma and end­ed the post with a #Dear­Asth­ma hash­tag, a mega­phone emo­ji and a re-tweet but­ton.

That was just over one week ago and the re­spons­es haven’t stopped. More than 7,000 posts so far on Twit­ter replied to #Dear­Asth­ma to de­tail strug­gles of dai­ly life, ex­press­ing hu­mor, frus­tra­tion and some­times anger. More than a few f-bombs have been typed or gif-ed in re­ply to com­mu­ni­cate just how much many peo­ple “hate” the dis­ease.

One per­son lined up their in­haler “col­lec­tion,” while an­oth­er showed off a tat­too de­pict­ing an in­haler with a rib­bon around it that reads: “It ain’t easy bein’ wheezy.” An­oth­er replied to the hash­tag: “Fi­nal­ly a trend for me! Had some pret­ty bad asth­ma at­tacks this week to the point where I couldn’t even laugh.”

An ER doc­tor even re­spond­ed with a tweet-stream de­tail­ing how he and his team saved a young man dur­ing a se­vere asth­ma at­tack in a step-by-step se­ries of moves that an­oth­er physi­cian could fol­low.

Kate Tansey Chevlen

The 7,000 tweets re­spond­ing to that sin­gle pro­mot­ed tweet came from 5,000 unique ac­counts and added to a whop­ping so­cial me­dia to­tal of 90 mil­lion im­pres­sions for the #Dear­Asth­ma cam­paign run­ning on Twit­ter, In­sta­gram and Face­book, Kate Tansey Chevlen, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor in mar­ket­ing at Am­gen, said.

The Jan­u­ary 16th spon­sored tweet place­ment was pur­pose­ful. Last Sun­day was a big wild-card NFL play­off game day, and Am­gen hoped that the like­ly high traf­fic lev­els all day might help spur en­gage­ment with fans log­ging in to check scores and game high­lights.

“Asth­ma is a well known dis­ease but it has a se­ri­ous im­pact on peo­ple’s lives that’s of­ten un­der-ap­pre­ci­at­ed,” Chevlen said. “We re­al­ly want­ed to shine a spot­light on the ex­pe­ri­ence that peo­ple got through day in and day out.”

The game-day #Dear­Asth­ma tweet is just one part of the broad­er cam­paign that launched in De­cem­ber meant to rec­og­nize those dai­ly re­al­i­ties of liv­ing with asth­ma. The so­cial me­dia work us­es bright pur­ple and yel­low il­lus­tra­tion and an­i­ma­tion video posts to cre­ate an ap­proach­able style, Chevlen said, with ad­di­tion­al cre­ative ex­e­cu­tions in the se­ries set to launch next month.

Along with vent­ing about dai­ly breath­ing strug­gles – and cough­ing spells mis­tak­en for Covid-19 in­fec­tion – some re-tweet­ers al­so com­plained about the high cost of med­i­cines. One not­ed, “On­ly in the USA I have to pay to breathe.”

“We un­der­stand the frus­tra­tion that peo­ple liv­ing with asth­ma may feel when it comes to all as­pects of their dis­ease in­clud­ing asth­ma-re­lat­ed health­care costs,” Chevlen said, adding the phar­ma would en­cour­age pa­tients to talk to their asth­ma doc­tor about pos­si­ble so­lu­tions. She and Am­gen mar­ket­ing team mem­bers are cur­rent­ly “comb­ing through” the many com­ments for in­sights and bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of asth­ma pa­tients.

#Dear­Asth­ma is part of Am­gen’s broad­er aware­ness push in asth­ma called “Break the Cy­cle.” On its cam­paign web­site, celebri­ty spokesper­son – E! chan­nel host Ni­na Park­er – who al­so has asth­ma, de­tails her per­son­al sto­ry along with oth­er re­al pa­tients about mis­in­for­ma­tion and even em­bar­rass­ment around hav­ing asth­ma. The site asks peo­ple to con­sid­er if their asth­ma may be un­con­trolled and, along with ed­u­ca­tion re­sources, in­cludes a link for a free asth­ma track­er that at­tach­es to an in­haler and counts puffs used.

While the #Dear­Asth­ma cam­paign is un­brand­ed, Am­gen and part­ner As­traZeneca re­cent­ly got FDA ap­proval for Tezspire to treat un­con­trolled asth­ma. The med­i­cine, which tar­gets thymic stro­mal lym­phopoi­etin (TSLP), is a first-in-class that nabbed a broad in­di­ca­tion for se­vere asth­ma pa­tients re­gard­less of eosinophilic or al­ler­gic phe­no­type, which may help Tezspire gain trac­tion in a crowd­ed se­vere asth­ma field.

Glax­o­SmithK­line’s Nu­cala and As­traZeneca’s Fasen­ra are both ap­proved to treat eosinophilic asth­ma, while Sanofi and Re­gen­eron’s Dupix­ent is in­di­cat­ed for eosinophilic or oral cor­ti­cos­teroid de­pen­dent asth­ma.

Am­gen’s Su­san Sweeney, se­nior vice pres­i­dent of glob­al mar­ket­ing, ac­cess and ca­pa­bil­i­ties, told End­points News in a re­cent in­ter­view that she ex­pects Tezspire will go to mar­ket high­light­ing its broad ap­plic­a­bil­i­ty re­gard­less of eosinophilic sta­tus, but added she ex­pects at least ini­tial­ly, more in­ter­est from pa­tients with low eosinophil counts.

Bio­mark­er 'roadmap­s' and the fu­ture of can­cer R&D; Cur­tain rais­es on #AS­CO22; Pfiz­er, No­var­tis tack­le drug ac­cess; and more

Welcome back to Endpoints Weekly, your review of the week’s top biopharma headlines. Want this in your inbox every Saturday morning? Current Endpoints readers can visit their reader profile to add Endpoints Weekly. New to Endpoints? Sign up here.

While this was not a week for earth-shattering news, there were certainly a lot of interesting tidbits. If you found this recap helpful, please recommend it to your friends and colleagues. We’ll see you on the other side of the long weekend.

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Ann is one of ViiV Healthcare's newest spokespeople as the retired school administrator speaks up about her HIV status.

GSK's Vi­iV de­buts next evo­lu­tion in HIV med Dova­to cam­paign with new spokes­peo­ple and new mes­sage

When Ann saw the first TV commercials for HIV medicine Dovato, she didn’t see herself represented. So the 74-year-old retired school administrator who’s been living with HIV since 1998, reached out to GSK’s ViiV Healthcare and asked why not?

Now Ann is one of three people starring in ViiV’s latest Dovato campaign called “Detect This.” The next-step evolution in the branded campaign plays on the word “detect” — often used in describing HIV status under control as undetectable — but in this case, uses the word as a directive for people to understand they can use fewer medicines.

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Keep­ing pres­sure on Am­gen, Mi­rati draws mixed re­views on lat­est cut of KRAS da­ta

As the close runner-up to Amgen’s Lumakras in the KRAS race, any data cut from Mirati’s adagrasib continues to draw scrutiny from analysts. And the latest batch of numbers from ASCO is a decidedly mixed bag.

While a quick comparison suggests that adagrasib spurred slightly more responses and led to a longer overall survival than Lumakras among a group of non-small cell lung cancer patients, its duration of response appears shorter and the safety profile continues to spark concern.

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Pharma brands are losing their shine with US consumers who are now thinking about the economy and inflation instead of Covid. (Credit: Shutterstock)

Phar­ma brands fade in an­nu­al Har­ris con­sumer vis­i­bil­i­ty poll: Mod­er­na drops off and Pfiz­er dips

As Covid-19 concerns are fading in the US, so is biopharma visibility. The annual Axios Harris Poll survey to determine and rank the 100 most top-of-mind brands in the US finds Moderna, which was No. 3 last year, not on the list at all for 2022, and Pfizer sinking 37 spots.

However, it’s not that Moderna or Pfizer did anything wrong, it’s just that Americans have moved on to other worries beyond Covid.

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Switzer­land to de­stroy over 600,000 ex­pired dos­es of Mod­er­na Covid vac­cine

As concerns related to uptake and distribution continue to linger, Switzerland is among the first countries that plans to destroy hundreds of thousands of expired and unused Covid-19 vaccine doses.

The European country said it plans to destroy more than 600,000 doses of Moderna’s Spikevax Covid-19 vaccine as the doses have reached their expiration date.

However, Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel told the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland that he’s in the process of throwing 30 million doses in the garbage, exclaiming, “We have a big demand problem.”

Lina Khan, FTC chair (Graeme Jennings/Pool via AP Images)

Pile-on over PBMs con­tin­ues with FTC com­ments and a new bi­par­ti­san Sen­ate bill

More than 500 stakeholders sent comments to the FTC on whether the commission should look further into pharma middlemen, known as PBMs, with many of the commenters calling for more federal oversight.

Similar to the critical open comment period in a deadlocked FTC session last February, pharmacies and pharmacy groups are continuing to call out the lack of transparency among the top 3 PBMs, which control about 80% of the market.

HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra (Jacquelyn Martin/AP Images)

HHS fin­ish­es off Trump-era rule that would've erased ba­sic FDA regs with­out fre­quent re­views

HHS on Thursday finalized its decision to withdraw a rule, proposed just before former President Donald Trump left office, that would’ve caused thousands of HHS and FDA regulations to automatically expire if they weren’t reviewed within two years, and every 10 years thereafter.

The decision follows the filing of a lawsuit last March, in which several nonprofits alleged that the outgoing administration planted “a ticking timebomb” for HHS, essentially forcing it to devote an enormous amount of resources to the unprecedented and infeasible task of reviewing thousands of regulations regularly.

In a still image from BMS' new Eliquis campaign, a man draws his trumpet to life and pursues his 'What's Next?' in music.

Bris­tol My­ers Squibb re­fresh­es Eliquis cam­paign, adds eye-catch­ing an­i­ma­tions in TV ads

Passions come to life, literally, in Bristol Myers Squibb and Pfizer’s latest ads for anticoagulant Eliquis.

In the new commercial debuted this month, those passions include objects such as a trumpet, a hat and a riverboat paddle that a man draws on a screen. Then each one comes to life and he’s shown playing the trumpet, putting on the hat and playing with a band on a riverboat traveling upstream.

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Tran­si­tion to new Eu­ro­pean clin­i­cal tri­als in­fo sys­tem starts slow­ly

At the end of January, the European Medicines Agency officially launched its new clinical trials info system (CTIS), although the migration to the new platform has only really just begun, and sponsors have until the end of January 2023 before all initial trial applications must be submitted through CTIS.

Overall, 56 clinical trial applications have been submitted in CTIS during the first 3 months since the launch of the system on Jan. 31, according to new data posted by the EMA. By comparison, about 4,000 new trials are authorized each year across Europe.