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Emergent's 'We Go' ad campaign continues with latest ads featuring its military work (above) and Narcan generic opioid reversal agent.

Emer­gent TV ads book­end its tu­mul­tuous year. Can mil­i­tary, Nar­can work help re­hab its brand?

When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, Emergent BioSolutions was relatively unknown. But the contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) suddenly hit the spotlight when it nabbed a massive $628 million government deal in mid-2020 to manufacture Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines.

Emergent saw an opportunity to introduce the public to its brand. Along with its CDMO work, Emergent makes its own vaccines and commercial meds, including the Narcan opioid reversal agent, as well as medical countermeasure products like smallpox and anthrax vaccines.

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Jeff Ajer, BioMarin CCO

Q&A: Bio­Marin com­mer­cial chief Jeff Ajer gears up for biggest drug launch to date — with an­oth­er wait­ing in the wings

Is BioMarin’s chief commercial officer ready to get off the company’s rollercoaster ride of the past few years? Not necessarily. As CCO Jeff Ajer says it’s expected at BioMarin that “drug development does not go in a straight line.”

Although right now BioMarin’s line seems to be a straight line heading up. Last week it posted positive data for its hemophilia A gene therapy Roctavian, bouncing back after a surprise FDA CRL in 2020 that requested more data. It has already filed for Roctavian’s approval in Europe and plans to submit to the FDA again in the second quarter. Meanwhile, in November, it nabbed an FDA nod for Voxzogo, the first approved drug to treat children with achondroplasia, the most common form of dwarfism, following on a summer approval in Europe.

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Mar­ket­ingRx roundup: Aduhelm can’t get trac­tion with docs; Pfiz­er press­es vac­cine ef­fort dur­ing NFL play­offs

While much of the pharma industry’s attention pivoted to CMS’ preliminary decision last week to only cover Biogen’s controversial Alzheimer’s drug Aduhelm in clinical trials and its effect on prescribing, neurologists were already hesitant.

Spherix Global Insights has been tracking neurologists’ perception of Aduhelm. Its latest six-month survey, taken before the CMS decision, found that while now most neurologists have had interactions with Aduhelm sales reps, the majority of neurologists are still not actively recommending the drug.

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Adam Hessel, Ogilvy Health's new creative chief

Ogilvy Health’s new chief cre­ative of­fi­cer Adam Hes­sel con­tem­plates cre­ative pros and cons of Covid

Ogilvy Health’s new creative chief Adam Hessel is anxious to get back to creative jam sessions in person. However, he’s also realistic and acknowledges that hybrid models are likely going to be the new way to work.

But what won’t change, and hasn’t even during the pandemic, is advancing creativity and new ideas in pharma and healthcare marketing, he said. He pointed to a handful of campaign examples from his previous job and at Ogilvy Health where despite the pandemic — and maybe even because of it — new ideas emerged from workarounds and experimentation.

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Ar­genx de­buts first DTC for myas­the­nia gravis med Vyv­gart even as MG com­mu­ni­ty ef­fort con­tin­ues

In a quick turn to DTC, argenx is rolling out its first campaign for myasthenia gravis med Vyvgart just a month after FDA approval.

Four real MG patients star in the inaugural TV ad that, while unbranded and not mentioning Vyvgart by name, does focus on a “new FDA-approved treatment” for the debilitating autoimmune disease.

A voiceover in the 30-second commercial asks the question why do patients want a new treatment? Each patient is then featured in succession as they answer with reasons like “because we want to go out to dinner with friends” or “because in family photos, we want to be able to smile.”

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Covid vac­cine mak­ers Pfiz­er, J&J notch high brand marks amid over­all still-strong phar­ma in­dus­try rep: Har­ris Poll

Can the pharma industry hold onto its pandemic-minted positive reputation? So far so good, according to the Harris Poll’s latest data. The industry seems to have stabilized positive opinions in the US, now leveling off in the mid-50 percent ranges, data from the Harris Poll’s most recent December survey reveal.

Meanwhile, the global picture is even sunnier. The pharma industry notched a 59% overall positive industry sentiment, ahead of financial services (51%) and insurance (47%), and not that far behind typical favorites like consumer packaged goods (64%) and retail (66%).

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#JPM22: The fire­side chat with Take­da CEO Christophe We­ber

John Carroll:

Okay everybody. This is John Carroll. I am back with Christophe Weber, the CEO of Takeda. We had a chance to talk I think about a year ago, about the company and everything. In a lot of different respects Christophe, this is kind of a key inflection point, I think for Takeda in terms of where you are at right now. You got the CEO job. You were charged with changing the culture, rather dramatically, and changing the direction and focusing in on R&D. And you have been I think, very focused on R&D, very focused on innovation. Towards the latter part of last year, you had a couple of key drug approvals. I don’t know if I can pronounce this properly. One was Exkivity and the other was Livtencity, which sound like cousins. I don’t know where you guys come up with these names. It sounds like they’re beamed in. Where do these names come from?

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Twitter and its partners are launching a new content product that marries in-person conference news with new digital realities.

Twit­ter aims to bring med­ical con­fer­ences — and ad spon­sors — from ‘in­side 4 walls and 3 days’ to dig­i­tal fu­ture

Medical conferences’ new hybrid virtual models are changing the news cycle for healthcare professionals. Now Twitter wants to make it easier for physicians to stay up on medical convention news — and give pharma marketers another way to reach them.

The social media giant, along with Medscape and Publicis Health Media, is debuting “Conference Conversations” to run around big medical conventions like ASCO and ASH.

Jennifer Aniston (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Ac­tress Jen­nifer Anis­ton stars in Idor­si­a's de­but cam­paign to raise aware­ness for in­som­nia

Jennifer Aniston is so over restless nights. The former “Friends” actress is seen tossing and turning in a TV ad in Idorsia’s “Seize the Night & Day” campaign, which debuted just two days after the company secured an approval for its new insomnia drug Quviviq.

While the campaign never mentions Quviviq, the goal is “just bringing sleep to the forefront of conversation,” said Christopher Clark, US head of Idorsia’s communications. Quviviq — which is the Swiss biotech’s first approved drug — isn’t launching until May because it has to be scheduled as a controlled substance by the US Drug Enforcement Administration.

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Image credit: AP

Pfiz­er lays off hun­dreds of US sales rep as few­er in-per­son meet­ings ex­pect­ed to re­main per­ma­nent

Pfizer is cutting its US sales staff to adjust to the permanent shift to digital promotions and away from in-person meetings. It plans to eliminate a few hundred sales force positions, but at the same time, will add back about half that same number of jobs in newly created positions that will engage with HCPs in the ways they want going forward.

In a statement, a spokesman said Pfizer is “evolving into a more focused and innovative biopharma company, and evolving the way we engage with healthcare professionals in an increasingly digital world. There will be some changes to our workforce to ensure we have the right expertise and resources in place to meet our evolving needs. We value the significant contributions of our employees, and any impacted colleagues will be appropriately supported through this transition.”

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