Christophe Bourdon, Leo Pharma CEO

Leo Phar­ma looks 'be­yond the skin' in atopic der­mati­tis aware­ness cam­paign

As Leo Phar­ma aims to take on heavy­weight champ Dupix­ent in atopic der­mati­tis, the com­pa­ny is launch­ing “AD Days Around the World,” an aware­ness cam­paign doc­u­ment­ing re­al pa­tient sto­ries across Eu­rope.

The project, un­veiled on Mon­day, spot­lights four pa­tients: Mar­jo­laine, Lau­ra, Ju­lia and África from France, Italy, Ger­many and Spain, re­spec­tive­ly, in short video clips on the chal­lenges of liv­ing with AD, the most com­mon form of eczema.

“Peo­ple nor­mal­ly don’t re­al­ize how se­ri­ous and how in­tense for us it is and how deeply we suf­fer it,” África says in a short clip.

She wrote a chil­dren’s book on her ex­pe­ri­ence with AD. “Eight years ago, 90% of my body was cov­ered in eczema. When I met the doc­tor who helped me, it was like a mir­a­cle. He was the first doc­tor to tell me, ‘This is no way of liv­ing.’ I was feel­ing much bet­ter; my skin was much bet­ter.”

The clips are mod­er­at­ed by pa­tient ad­vo­cate Ash­ley Ann Lo­ra, who trav­eled to Eu­rope to speak with the four pa­tients. The cam­paign web­site al­so fea­tures re­sources and ad­vice for pa­tients, in­clud­ing a guide to help pre­pare for doc­tor’s vis­its.

Though the cam­paign is un­brand­ed, the site links to Leo Phar­ma’s main web­site, where there’s more in­for­ma­tion on its prod­ucts and ex­per­i­men­tal pipeline. There’s a big fo­cus on Ad­bry, the atopic der­mati­tis drug Leo scooped up from As­traZeneca in 2016 and got ap­proved in De­cem­ber. The com­pa­ny al­so has del­go­c­i­tinib, a late-stage pan-JAK in­hibitor for chron­ic hand eczema and a cou­ple ex­per­i­men­tal mon­o­clon­al an­ti­bod­ies in the works for AD.

The com­pa­ny’s eczema and skin in­fec­tion unit raked in about $378 mil­lion last year (DKK 2.8 bil­lion), up 6% ac­cord­ing to a fi­nan­cial re­port.

Ef­forts are be­ing led by ex-Or­p­hazyme CEO Christophe Bour­don, who an­nounced he was jump­ing over to Leo in Feb­ru­ary amid a ma­jor re­struc­tur­ing. Ear­li­er that month, Leo Phar­ma said it would elim­i­nate up to 1,000 of 6,000 po­si­tions over the next two years. A spokesper­son told End­points News on Wednes­day that most changes have al­ready tak­en place.

’We know der­ma­tol­ogy goes be­yond the skin, and in our in­dus­try, we have the re­spon­si­bil­i­ty to see the whole pa­tient when it comes to care,” Bour­don said in a news re­lease.

A cor­rec­tion has been made to re­flect that Leo Phar­ma’s staff re­duc­tion will af­fect up to (not more than) 1,000 po­si­tions.

Has the mo­ment fi­nal­ly ar­rived for val­ue-based health­care?

RBC Capital Markets’ Healthcare Technology Analyst, Sean Dodge, spotlights a new breed of tech-enabled providers who are rapidly transforming the way clinicians deliver healthcare, and explores the key question: can this accelerating revolution overturn the US healthcare system?

Key points

Tech-enabled healthcare providers are poised to help the US transition to value, not volume, as the basis for reward.
The move to value-based care has policy momentum, but is risky and complex for clinicians.
Outsourced tech specialists are emerging to provide the required expertise, while healthcare and tech are also converging through M&A.
Value-based care remains in its early stages, but the transition is accelerating and represents a huge addressable market.

FDA ad­vi­sors unan­i­mous­ly rec­om­mend ac­cel­er­at­ed ap­proval for Bio­gen's ALS drug

A panel of outside advisors to the FDA unanimously recommended that the agency grant accelerated approval to Biogen’s ALS drug tofersen despite the drug failing the primary goal of its Phase III study, an endorsement that could pave a path forward for the treatment.

By a 9-0 vote, members of the Peripheral and Central Nervous System Drugs Advisory Committee said there was sufficient evidence that tofersen’s effect on a certain protein associated with ALS is reasonably likely to predict a benefit for patients. But panelists stopped short of advocating for a full approval, voting 3-5 against (with one abstention) and largely citing the failed pivotal study.

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 163,500+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

Chat­G­PT with phar­ma da­ta de­buts for med­ical meet­ings, be­gin­ning with AACR

What do you get when you combine ChatGPT generative AI technology with specific pharma and clinical datasets? A time-saving tool that can answer questions about medical conference abstracts and clinical findings in seconds in one new application from ZoomRx called FermaGPT.

ZoomRx is debuting a public version of its generative AI product specifically for medical conferences beginning this week for the upcoming American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) annual meeting that runs April 14-19.

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 163,500+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

Alaa Halawa, executive director at Mubadala’s US venture group

The ven­ture crew at Mubadala are up­ping their biotech cre­ation game, tak­ing care­ful aim at a new fron­tier in drug de­vel­op­ment

It started with a cup of coffee and a slow burning desire to go early and long in the biotech creation business.

Wrapping up a 15-year discovery stint at Genentech back in the summer of 2021, Rami Hannoush was treated to a caffeine-fueled review of the latest work UCSF’s Jim Wells had been doing on protein degradation — one of the hottest fields in drug development.

“Jim and I have known each other for the past 15 years through Genentech collaborations. We met over coffee, and he was telling me about this concept of the company that he was thinking of,” says Hannoush. “And I got immediately intrigued by it because I knew that this could open up a big space in terms of adding a new modality in drug discovery that is desperately needed in pharma.”

Endpoints Premium

Premium subscription required

Unlock this article along with other benefits by subscribing to one of our paid plans.

Sanofi, Re­gen­eron boast PhI­II win with Dupix­ent in COPD, clear­ing first bar for ex­pan­sion

Dupixent, the blockbuster anti-inflammatory drug from Sanofi and Regeneron, has cleared a high-stakes Phase III study in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, the companies announced Thursday morning.

If they hold up in a second, identical trial, the data pave the way for Dupixent to become the first biologic to treat patients whose COPD remains uncontrolled despite being on maximal standard-of-care inhaled therapy — the patient population studied in the pivotal program. The companies had spotlighted this as a key readout as they look to expand the Dupixent franchise and explore its full potential.

A new study finds that many patient influencers are sharing prescription drug experiences along with health information.

So­cial me­dia pa­tient in­flu­encers ‘danc­ing in the gray’ of phar­ma mar­ket­ing, more clar­i­ty need­ed, re­searcher says

It’s no surprise that patient influencers are talking about their health conditions on social media. However, what’s less clear is what role pharma companies are playing, how big the patient influencer industry is, and just how is information about prescription drugs from influencers relayed — and received — on social media.

While University of Colorado associate professor Erin Willis can’t answer all those questions, she’s been researching the issue for several years and recently published new research digging into the communication styles, strategies and thinking of patient influencers, many of whom partner with pharma companies.

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 163,500+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

In­cyte wins ac­cel­er­at­ed ap­proval for PD-1 in rare skin can­cer

Incyte touted an accelerated approval for its PD-1 retifanlimab in a rare skin cancer on Wednesday, roughly a year and a half after the drug suffered a rejection in squamous cell carcinoma of the anal canal (SCAC).

Retifanlimab, marketed as Zynyz, was approved for metastatic or recurrent locally advanced Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC), a fast-growing skin cancer typically characterized by a single, painless nodule. It’s roughly 40 times rarer than melanoma, according to the nonprofit Skin Cancer Foundation — but incidence is growing, particularly among older adults, Incyte said in its announcement.

Drug short­age so­lu­tions brought be­fore Sen­ate Home­land Se­cu­ri­ty com­mit­tee

With more than 300 active drug shortages, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs had its hands full on Wednesday with multiple experts testifying on drug shortages and possible solutions.

A picture of the shortage situation. presented by Erin Fox, an adjunct professor at the College of Pharmacy at the University of Utah, explained how some patients have died due to drug shortages, including with medication errors when substitutes were dosed incorrectly or when an emergency product was not available.

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 163,500+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

FDA re­jects Ab­b­Vie's in­fu­sion ther­a­py for Parkin­son's, re­quests more in­fo on pump de­vice

The FDA rejected AbbVie’s 24-hour infusion therapy for Parkinson’s, saying it needs more information on a device used to administer the treatment before it can clear it.

The Chicago-area drugmaker said in a press release that the complete response letter from the agency didn’t include any requests for more efficacy or safety trials related to the drug, known as ABBV-951. The company said it aims to “resubmit the NDA as soon as possible.”

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 163,500+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.