Asth­ma pa­tients are un­fa­mil­iar with bi­o­log­ic brands, but open to try — Phree­sia sur­vey

Peo­ple liv­ing with asth­ma are open to try­ing new bi­o­log­ic treat­ments now on the mar­ket — they just haven’t heard of them. On­ly 5% have heard of Dupix­ent, Sanofi and Re­gen­eron’s mul­ti-in­di­ca­tion asth­ma and eczema block­buster, a new sur­vey from Phree­sia re­port­ed.

Con­sid­er­ing the fact that Dupix­ent spent more than half a bil­lion on ad­ver­tis­ing in 2021 — $524 mil­lion to be ex­act and the high­est me­dia spend­ing by any phar­ma brand in 2021 — that would seem to be a fair­ly low aware­ness num­ber.

Eliz­a­beth Hebert

The even worse news for oth­er asth­ma bi­o­log­ics is that Dupix­ent’s 5% was the high­est among the new­er meds rec­og­nized at all by pa­tients. Next in line was No­var­tis’ Xo­lair rec­og­nized by 4%, the Phree­sia Pa­ti­entIn­sights sur­vey found. Glax­o­SmithK­line’s Nu­cala and As­traZeneca’s Fasen­ra fol­lowed up, ty­ing at 1% recog­ni­tion among the asth­ma pa­tients sur­veyed. Both Nu­cala and Fasen­ra al­so spend mil­lions an­nu­al­ly on main­stream me­dia to ad­ver­tise the brands.

“Just be­cause peo­ple with asth­ma are see­ing TV ads, they’re not nec­es­sar­i­ly con­nect­ing it to them. I think that’s where the val­ue of tar­get­ed mes­sag­ing is so im­por­tant in reach­ing those mod­er­ate to se­vere pa­tients to ac­ti­vate them to have that con­ver­sa­tion,” Eliz­a­beth Hebert, se­nior re­search man­ag­er at Phree­sia, said.

The good news for bi­o­log­ic mak­ers in Phree­sia’s sur­vey? Asth­ma pa­tients are open to new treat­ments. Among peo­ple with mod­er­ate to se­vere asth­ma and who have nev­er tried a bi­o­log­ic, 62% said they would like­ly try them. When asked why they hadn’t done so yet, 58% said they hadn’t heard about the new­er bi­o­log­ics.

Why not? There’s an in­for­ma­tion gap be­tween pa­tients and physi­cians. Pa­tients said physi­cians didn’t tell them about the drugs, but the Phree­sia an­a­lysts al­so said pa­tients tend to un­der­re­port their symp­toms. So pa­tients who might ben­e­fit from a bi­o­log­ic don’t re­port all of their symp­toms or don’t con­sid­er their asth­ma se­vere, even though they would qual­i­fy by nu­mer­ic mea­sures such as in­haler overuse or the num­ber of wheez­ing episodes. With­out that self-re­port­ing, doc­tors would be less like­ly to bring up the new­er op­tions meant for mod­er­ate to se­vere cas­es.

Joyce Wang

Joyce Wang, Phree­sia as­so­ciate di­rec­tor in re­search, said, “This is a con­di­tion where pa­tients play a ma­jor role in dis­ease man­age­ment. We knew there was a gap, we just didn’t know how large.”

She added, “Pa­tients just need more in­for­ma­tion, both re­gard­ing a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of their con­di­tion and a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of dif­fer­ent treat­ment ap­proach­es that might be good for them.”

Doc­tors are key to those dis­cus­sions. Among pa­tients who have tried a bi­o­log­ic, 60% said they did so be­cause of a doc­tor’s rec­om­men­da­tion.

An­oth­er gap in the bi­o­log­ic brand aware­ness may be due to me­dia habits. As Hebert said, peo­ple who don’t con­sume a lot of tra­di­tion­al TV me­dia and ad­ver­tis­ing, such as younger au­di­ences who use most­ly ad-free stream­ing ser­vices, may not see the ads.

Aware­ness of old­er asth­ma drug brands was much high­er. Al­most half (44%) were fa­mil­iar with Ad­vair and Glax­o­SmithK­line’s com­bined in­haled cor­ti­cos­teroid and bron­chodila­tor and 43% were aware of Mer­ck’s Sin­gu­lair. Both of those old­er meds have gener­ic ver­sion com­peti­tors.

Phree­sia’s ad­vice to phar­ma mar­keters is to help pa­tients un­der­stand who the meds are for.

“Phar­ma com­pa­nies can com­bat the no­tion that bi­o­log­ics are on­ly ap­pro­pri­ate for very ill asth­ma pa­tients by cre­at­ing con­tent that clear­ly out­lines the symp­toms that might make a pa­tient a good can­di­date for a bi­o­log­ic asth­ma med­ica­tion. That ed­u­ca­tion­al con­tent al­so should em­pha­size that pa­tients with the symp­toms de­scribed don’t have to suf­fer through them,” its re­port sug­gests.

Vas Narasimhan (Photographer: Jason Alden/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

No­var­tis de­tails plans to axe 8,000 staffers as Narasimhan be­gins sec­ond phase of a glob­al re­org

We now know the number of jobs coming under the axe at Novartis, and it isn’t small.

The pharma giant is confirming a report from Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger that it is chopping 8,000 jobs out of its 108,000 global staffers. A large segment will hit right at company headquarters in Basel, as CEO Vas Narasimhan axes some 1,400 of a little more than 11,000  jobs in Switzerland.

The first phase of the work is almost done, the company says in a statement to Endpoints News. Now it’s on to phase two. In the statement, Novartis says:

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How pre­pared is bio­phar­ma for the cy­ber dooms­day?

One of the largest cyberattacks in history happened on a Friday, Eric Perakslis distinctly remembers.

Perakslis, who was head of Takeda’s R&D Data Sciences Institute and visiting faculty at Harvard Medical School at the time, had spent that morning completing a review on cybersecurity for the British Medical Journal. Moments after he turned it in, he heard back from the editor: “Have you heard what’s going on right now?”

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As the House-passed bill to cap the monthly price of insulin at $35 nationwide makes its way for a Senate vote soon, Sanofi announced Wednesday morning that beginning next month it will cut the monthly price of its insulins for uninsured Americans to $35, down from $99 previously.

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CANNES — When Tamara Rogers joined GSK back in 2018, “science was king and R&D were the gods.” Now the global chief marketing officer of consumer healthcare wants to make room for another supreme being: the consumer.

As health and wellness becomes more relevant to consumers amid the pandemic, four health-focused executives called on marketers to involve patients in their creative process in a panel discussion at the Cannes Lions advertising creativity festival.

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Photo: Clara Bui for Endpoints News

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Pharma advertising has long been considered second-tier when compared to the rest of the advertising industry. And there are some legitimate reasons why. Nike sneakers and Coca-Cola soda ads will likely always be more entertaining or exciting than regulated campaigns for diabetes and heart disease.

Still, the Cannes Lions advertising festival of creativity was pharma and healthcare advertising’s annual chance to shine. For the past eight years, pharma agencies and clients stood side by side with consumer companies and agency hotshots on the biggest advertising award stage in the world at the Palais in Cannes, France.

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As bear mar­ket con­tin­ues to beat down biotech, ARCH clos­es a $3B ear­ly-stage fund

One of the biggest names in biotech investing has a whole lot of new money to spend.

ARCH Venture Partners closed its 12th venture fund early Wednesday morning, the firm said, bringing in almost $3 billion to invest in early-stage biotechs. The move comes about a year and a half after ARCH announced its previous fund, for almost $2 billion back in January 2021.

In a statement, ARCH managing director and co-founder Bob Nelsen appeared to brush off concerns about the broader market troubles, alluding to the downturn that’s seen several biotechs downsize and the XBI fall back to almost pre-pandemic levels.

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Lina Gugucheva, NewAmsterdam Pharma CBO

Phar­ma group bets up to $1B-plus on the PhI­II res­ur­rec­tion of a once dead-and-buried LDL drug

Close to 5 years after then-Amgen R&D chief Sean Harper tamped the last spade of dirt on the last broadly focused CETP cholesterol drug — burying their $300 million upfront and the few remaining hopes for the class with it — the therapy has been fully resurrected. And today, the NewAmsterdam Pharma crew that did the Lazarus treatment on obicetrapib is taking another big step on the comeback trail with a €1 billion-plus regional licensing deal, complete with close to $150 million in upfront cash.

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(AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)

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As the US Department of Health and Human Services promises to support the millions of women who would now need to cross state lines to receive a legal abortion, a handful of pharma companies have said they will pick up employees’ travel expenses.

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