Marco Taglietti, Scynexis CEO

‘Say no more’ to yeast in­fec­tions: Scynex­is rolls out new Brex­afemme mar­ket­ing — and ral­ly­ing cry

Scynex­is is rolling out a new cam­paign for its Brex­afemme yeast in­fec­tion treat­ment, but the ef­fort is more than just ad­ver­tis­ing.

As CEO Mar­co Tagli­et­ti said in wrap­ping his pre­pared com­ments dur­ing an earn­ings call on Thurs­day, “Let me fin­ish with our new ral­ly­ing cry — yeast in­fec­tion, say no more.”

Chris­tine Coyne

That head­line — writ­ten as “Yeast in­fec­tion? Say no more” — ap­pears on Scynex­is’ re­cent­ly launched ad cam­paign to health­care providers and will be­gin rolling out to con­sumers lat­er this month.

Chief com­mer­cial of­fi­cer Chris­tine Coyne ex­plained the ral­ly­ing cry is meant for pa­tients “who have been suf­fer­ing from yeast in­fec­tions and try­ing the same thing.” The same things mean over-the-counter treat­ments and long-ap­proved oral Pfiz­er’s flu­cona­zole.

The dig­i­tal and so­cial me­dia cam­paign in­cludes changes to Scynex­is’ ini­tial Brex­afemme pro­mo­tion­al ma­te­r­i­al lan­guage “to be more pow­er­ful and more ro­bust,” Coyne said. “Our new pa­tient ma­te­ri­als are much more about em­pow­er­ment which res­onates with our tar­get au­di­ences.”

Nkechi Azie

The “Say No More” de­but cam­paign with health­care providers in April us­es “re­lat­able and icon­ic im­agery paired with new da­ta and mes­sag­ing” to dri­ve home that same mes­sage to doc­tors. The cam­paign in­clud­ed a me­dia tour and cov­er­age on 25 ra­dio and TV sta­tions last week with two Brex­afemme spokes­peo­ple, Scynex­is’ clin­i­cal de­vel­op­ment leader Nkechi Azie and women’s health ad­vo­cate Bar­bara Dehn, a nurse prac­ti­tion­er bet­ter known as Nurse Barb. The me­dia tour drove view­ers and lis­ten­ers to which redi­rects to Brex­afemme’s home page.

Scynex­is is part­ner­ing with Am­pli­ty Health con­tract com­mer­cial or­ga­ni­za­tion for a ded­i­cat­ed Brex­afemme sales team of 70 reps.

The new cam­paign comes on the heels of Brex­afemme’s fall launch — af­ter FDA ap­proval in June — and first full quar­ter sales of less than $1 mil­lion re­port­ed on Thurs­day. To­tal rev­enue was $687,000 with Scynex­is re­port­ing about 4,000 pre­scrip­tions for the three-month pe­ri­od.

But Scynex­is re­mains con­fi­dent in Brex­afemme and ex­pand­ing in­di­ca­tions for the drug al­so known by its gener­ic ibrex­a­fungerp. An FDA sub­mis­sion to treat re­cur­rent vul­vo­vagi­nal can­didi­a­sis is planned for the sec­ond half with ap­proval ex­pect­ed lat­er by the end of 2022. Tagli­et­ti said it ex­pects a first hos­pi­tal in­di­ca­tion nod as an oral step-down ther­a­py for in­va­sive can­didi­a­sis by the end of 2024.

“With ex­clu­siv­i­ty pro­tec­tion un­til 2035, ibrex­a­fungerp is ex­pect­ed to be­come a sig­nif­i­cant, long-last­ing an­ti­fun­gal fran­chise with po­ten­tial com­bined peak sales of $700M to $800M,” ac­cord­ing to a Scynex­is pre­sen­ta­tion slide, with that to­tal in­clud­ing both com­mu­ni­ty and hos­pi­tal in­di­ca­tions.

Over­all, Scynex­is re­port­ed a $5.5 mil­lion loss for the quar­ter. It re­mains pos­i­tive on its cash flows as well, re­port­ing a cash bal­ance of $95.2 mil­lion at the end of March, boost­ed by an ad­di­tion­al $45 mil­lion pub­lic of­fer­ing in May, and pre­dict­ing a cash run­way in­to the first quar­ter of 2024.

Brex­afemme is the first and on­ly oral and non-azole treat­ment for vagi­nal yeast in­fec­tions — al­so known as vul­vo­vagi­nal can­didi­a­sis — and is priced at a pre­mi­um to old­er treat­ment op­tions. Pfiz­er’s oral Di­flu­can, ap­proved in 1990, is now gener­ic flu­cona­zole with many equiv­a­lents now on the mar­ket. The gener­ic is priced around $10 ac­cord­ing to GoodRx, while a four-tablet treat­ment of Brex­afemme is $475.

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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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.

Phillip Gomez, SIGA CEO

UP­DAT­ED: On the back of SIGA Tech­nolo­gies' win with the FDA, the mon­key­pox virus sees the com­pa­ny spring­ing to fur­ther ac­tion

As the cases of monkeypox now sit at well over 100 worldwide and have spread to multiple continents, the orders for any type of vaccine against monkeypox are seeing nations and medical bodies looking to get their hands on anything and everything. And now SIGA Technologies seems to be getting in on the action.

According to Euronews, SIGA Technologies, a pharmaceutical company that is focused on providing medical countermeasures to biological and chemical attacks, is now in talks with several European authorities looking to stockpile its antiviral that can counter monkeypox. The drug known as tecovirimat or Tpoxx was approved by the FDA in 2018 as a vaccine for smallpox but was approved by the European Medicines Agency to also act against monkeypox, cowpox and complications from immunization with vaccinia.