BioFron­tera bows bold im­agery web­sites amid Q1 sales gains in der­ma­tol­ogy

Sharks lurk­ing un­der the skin and gri­mac­ing im­peti­go le­sions are the strik­ing im­ages top­ping BioFron­tera’s new and re­vamped web­sites for its flag­ship brands Ameluz and Xepi, re­spec­tive­ly.

The skin spe­cial­ist bio­phar­ma’s Ameluz site is its first aimed at pa­tients while the Xepi re­vamp ex­pands in­for­ma­tion and re­sources for both pa­tients and physi­cians in the now one-stop site.

Ameluz is a gel used in pho­to­dy­nam­ic ther­a­py along with a spe­cial­ized lamp to treat ac­tinic ker­ato­sis (AK) le­sions on the face and scalp. AK, al­so called so­lar ker­ato­sis, is a type of pre-can­cer that if un­treat­ed can de­vel­op in­to squa­mous cell car­ci­no­ma. The shark-shaped pro­tru­sions ap­pear on the scalp of a man who al­so has le­sions on the new Ameluz page un­der the head­line “When dan­ger lurks be­low the sur­face.”

Er­i­ca Mona­co

Mean­while, the new page for Xepi, an an­ti-bac­te­r­i­al top­i­cal cream to treat im­peti­go in adults and chil­dren, is topped with an im­age of a lit­tle boy’s face and three an­thro­po­mor­phized le­sions with yel­low faces gri­mac­ing as a man­i­cured fin­ger nears with lo­tion. The tagline un­der the im­age reads: “It’s what re­sis­tant bac­te­ria fear most.”

Along with the new dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing, BioFron­tera is amp­ing up its sales force, CEO Er­i­ca Mona­co said in its first-quar­ter earn­ings call on Fri­day. It re­cent­ly cre­at­ed a ded­i­cat­ed key ac­counts sales team that aims to boost BioFron­tera across a range of der­ma­tol­ogy clin­ics “from in­sti­tu­tion­al ac­counts to re­gion­al or­ga­ni­za­tions,” she said.

Her­mann Lueb­bert

It al­so cre­at­ed a new in­side sales mod­el to sup­port the da­ta-dri­ven sales team and bet­ter serve small­er ac­counts, along with a strength­ened med­ical af­fairs group to dri­ve ed­u­ca­tion.

“We see grow­ing brand val­ue as a key met­ric of our med­ical af­fairs ini­tia­tives,” she said, adding that BioFron­tera will con­tin­ue that with con­fer­ences, round­ta­bles and oth­er ed­u­ca­tion­al ses­sions.

Dur­ing the call, BioFron­tera re­port­ed $9.8 mil­lion in sales, more than dou­ble the same time last year $4.7 mil­lion. Mona­co al­so re­port­ed $22.4 mil­lion in cash on hand as suf­fi­cient for the next 12 months.

Chair­man Her­mann Lueb­bert opened the call by point­ing out the strong re­sults af­ter last year’s IPO as con­fir­ma­tion of its “da­ta-dri­ven ap­proach” and its am­bi­tions in pho­to­dy­nam­ic ther­a­py in der­ma­tol­ogy.

A new era of treat­ment: How bio­mark­ers are chang­ing the way we think about can­cer

AJ Patel was recovering from a complicated brain surgery when his oncologist burst into the hospital room yelling, “I’ve got some really great news for you!”

For two years, Patel had been going from doctor to doctor trying to diagnose his wheezing, only to be dealt the devastating news that he had stage IV lung cancer and only six months to live. And then they found the brain tumors.

“What are you talking about?” Patel asked. He had never seen an oncologist so happy.

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Cracks in the fa­cade: Is phar­ma's pan­dem­ic ‘feel good fac­tor’ wan­ing?

The discordant effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on pharma reputation continues. While the overall industry still retains a respectable halo from its Covid-19 quick response and leadership, a new patient group study reveals a different story emerging in the details.

On one hand, US patient advocacy groups rated the industry higher-than-ever overall. More than two-thirds (67%) of groups gave the industry a thumbs up for 2021, a whopping 10 percentage point increase over the year before, according to the PatientView annual study, now in its 9th year.

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Ted White, Verrica Pharmaceuticals CEO

'Hands may be tied': FDA slaps Ver­ri­ca with 3rd CRL due to prob­lems with con­tract man­u­fac­tur­er

The FDA has rejected Verrica Pharmaceuticals’ skin disease treatment for a third time — and once again the contract manufacturer is to blame.

The biotech emphasized that the only deficiency in the complete response letter is related to a general reinspection of the CMO, Sterling Pharmaceuticals, and has nothing to do specifically with its drug-device; the rest of the NDA is good to go.

CEO Ted White said the company is “extremely disappointed,” but will keep working toward approval.

Taye Diggs (courtesy Idorsia)

Idor­sia inks an­oth­er celebri­ty en­dors­er deal with ac­tor and dad Taye Dig­gs as Qu­viviq in­som­nia am­bas­sador

Idorsia’s latest Quviviq insomnia campaign details the relatable dad story of a well-known celebrity — actor and Broadway star Taye Diggs.

Diggs stopped sleeping well after the birth of his son, now more than 10 years ago. Switching mom-and-dad nightly shifts to take care of a baby interrupted his sleep patterns and led to insomnia.

“When you’re lucky enough to be living out your dream and doing what you want, but because of something as simple as a lack of sleep, you’re unable to do that, it felt absolutely — it was treacherous,” he says in an interview-style video on the Quviviq website.

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Mar­ket­ingRx roundup: GSK in­vites al­ler­gy suf­fer­ers to cre­ate cus­tom mon­sters; Merz kicks off soc­cer spon­sor­ship

The GSK campaign for allergy nasal spray Flonase stars a variety of lawn monsters and pollinator pains. Now the pharma is encouraging allergy sufferers on social media to build their own make-believe allergy monsters.

The “Face Your Monster” digital effort encourages people to input their allergens and symptoms online or mobile phone to create a personalized version of their seasonal misery – and then share a mini-video of it in action on social media.

Co­pay coupons gone wrong, again: Pfiz­er pays al­most $300K to set­tle com­plaints in four states

Pfizer has agreed to pay $290,000 to settle allegations of questionable copay coupon practices in Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, and Vermont from 2014 to 2018.

While the company has not admitted any wrongdoing as part of the settlement, Pfizer has agreed to issue restitution checks to about 5,000 consumers.

A Pfizer spokesperson said the company has “enhanced its co-pay coupons to alleviate the concerns raised by states and agreed to a $30,000 payment to each.”

Delaware court rules against Gilead and Astel­las in years-long patent case

A judge in Delaware has ruled against Astellas Pharma and Gilead in a long-running patent case over Pfizer-onwed Hospira’s generic version of Lexiscan.

The case kicked off in 2018, after Hospira submitted an Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) for approval to market a generic version of Gilead’s Lexiscan. The drug is used in myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI), a type of nuclear stress test.

Belén Garijo, Merck KGaA CEO (Kevin Wolf/AP Images for EMD Serono)

Mer­ck KGaA pumps €440M in­to ex­pand­ing and con­struct­ing Irish man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­i­ties

The area of Ireland famous for Blarney Castle and its cliffsides along the Atlantic Ocean is seeing Merck KGaA expand its commitment there.

The German drug manufacturer is expanding its membrane and filtration manufacturing capabilities in Ireland. The company will invest approximately €440 million ($470 million) to increase membrane manufacturing capacity in Carrigtwohill, Ireland, and build a new manufacturing facility at Blarney Business Park, in County Cork, Ireland.

Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA) (Michael Brochstein/Sipa USA/Sipa via AP Images)

House Dems to Sen­ate lead­er­ship: Quick­ly move a rec­on­cil­i­a­tion bill with drug price ne­go­ti­a­tion re­forms

Twenty House Democrats, including Reps. Katie Porter of California and Susan Wild of Pennsylvania, are calling on Senate leaders to move quickly with a reconciliation bill (meaning they only need a simple majority for passage) with prescription drug pricing reforms, and to include adding new authority for Medicare to negotiate drug prices.

They also called on the Senate to specifically follow suit with the House passage of a $35 per month insulin cap (as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s deadline for a vote on that provision has come and gone), and to cap Medicare Part D costs at $2,000 per year for seniors.