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.

Lisa Book­wal­ter

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.

Twit­ter serves as the me­dia plat­form, while Med­scape will pro­vide the con­tent and Pub­li­cis Health Me­dia is the ad strate­giz­er in the co­or­di­nat­ed ef­fort.

“Con­fer­ences used to ba­si­cal­ly be in­side four walls and around three days. But that’s not how con­fer­ences are any­more. Peo­ple are fol­low­ing them vir­tu­al­ly, they’re fol­low­ing the Twit­ter hash­tag. Peo­ple fol­low AS­CO con­ver­sa­tions all year round,” Lisa Book­wal­ter, Twit­ter’s di­rec­tor of client so­lu­tions in health, said. “Yes, there’s a heavy up dur­ing the con­fer­ence, but guess what? Peo­ple are talk­ing about AS­CO long af­ter the con­fer­ence is over.”

Med­scape will cre­ate a se­ries of videos of ed­i­to­r­i­al cov­er­age for each con­ven­tion for Con­fer­ence Con­ver­sa­tions, Vin­cent Mue­hter, Med­scape’s group gen­er­al man­ag­er and SVP, ex­plained. The pack­age in­cludes four videos: a pre­view of what to ex­pect at the con­fer­ence, a clin­i­cal take­away, an­oth­er on what the study news out of the con­fer­ence means for HCPs and a fi­nal re­cap.

The first video will launch about a week be­fore the con­fer­ence and then roll out in suc­ces­sion dur­ing the event and up to about three weeks af­ter it ends. Each two-to-three-minute video will fea­ture sub­ject mat­ter ex­pert physi­cians cho­sen by Med­scape’s ed­i­to­r­i­al staff. Drug­mak­ers will not be in­volved in any con­tent de­vel­op­ment.

Pat­ty Ryan

How­ev­er, there will be ad­ver­tis­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for phar­ma com­pa­nies. That comes from Pub­li­cis Health Me­dia whose clients will be able to in­sert pre-roll ads be­fore the Med­scape video con­tent. While the spe­cif­ic con­tent of the short video ads will vary by con­fer­ence and drug­mak­er, Pat­ty Ryan, group VP, paid so­cial me­dia at Pub­li­cis Health Me­dia, said she ex­pects the ad mes­sages will be cus­tomized for each event.

When the Covid-19 pan­dem­ic struck, phar­ma mar­keters with now lim­it­ed in-per­son ac­cess to HCPs were left won­der­ing how to best reach them.

Ryan said that’s how the part­ners came up with the idea “where we can not on­ly sur­round con­fer­ences that we know are high­ly en­gag­ing for HCPs through­out the year, but al­so have these ever­green, al­ways-on ac­ti­va­tions tar­get­ing HCPs in a dig­i­tal world on Twit­ter where we al­ready know they are spend­ing time and are al­ready hav­ing con­ver­sa­tions.”

“Con­fer­ence Con­ver­sa­tions” is launch­ing with AS­CO, ASH and two oth­er an­nu­al meet­ings – the Amer­i­can Acad­e­my of Al­ler­gy, Asth­ma and Im­munol­o­gy (AAAAI) and the Amer­i­can Psy­cho­log­i­cal As­so­ci­a­tion (APA) con­ven­tions, Mue­hter said, but oth­ers will be con­sid­ered for cov­er­age.

While the pan­dem­ic forced con­ven­tions to go vir­tu­al – ac­cel­er­at­ed the move to dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing – the med­ical con­fer­ence of­fer­ing on Twit­ter re­flects broad­er shifts, the co-cre­ators said.

“You have a new de­mo­graph­ic of doc­tors com­ing in and they lever­age so­cial and dig­i­tal in dif­fer­ent ways,” Book­wal­ter said. “Mar­keters are hav­ing to add to their toolk­it be­yond what they’re used to do­ing. It’s def­i­nite­ly an evo­lu­tion of dig­i­tal but it’s al­so an evo­lu­tion of the ide­ol­o­gy in DTC that you have to find pa­tients where they are. Now you have to find HCPs where they are.”

Illustration: Assistant Editor Kathy Wong for Endpoints News

How Pur­due's $272M ad­dic­tion pay­out fund­ed a new home for its dis­card­ed non-opi­oid re­search

Don Kyle spent more than 20 years working for Purdue Pharma, right through the US opioid epidemic that led to the company’s rise and eventual infamy. But contrary to Purdue’s focus on OxyContin, Kyle was researching non-opioid painkillers — that is, until the company shelved his research.

As the company’s legal troubles mounted, Kyle found an unlikely way to reboot the project. In 2019, he took his work to an Oklahoma State University center that’s slated to receive more than two-thirds of the state’s $272 million settlement with Purdue over claims that the drugmaker’s behavior ignited the epidemic of opioid use and abuse.

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Singer Nick Jonas is back at work for Dexcom, this time for its new G7 glucose monitor.

Dex­com's spokescelebri­ty Nick Jonas re­turns to Su­per Bowl in new glu­cose mon­i­tor com­mer­cial

Dexcom is going back to the Super Bowl with its pop singer and patient spokesperson Nick Jonas. Jonas takes center stage as the lone figure in the 30-second commercial showcasing Dexcom’s next-generation G7 continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) device.

Jonas’ sleight-of-hand tricks populate the commercial — he pinches his empty fingers together and pops them open to reveal the small CGM — even as he ends the ad, saying, “It’s not magic. It just feels that way.” Jonas then disappears in a puff of smoke.

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President Joe Biden at the State of the Union address with Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (Patrick Semansky/AP Images)

The drug pric­ing pres­i­dent: Biden warns of ve­to for any IRA re­peal at­tempts

President Joe Biden made clear in his “finish the job” State of the Union address last night that one of those jobs to be finished is insulin prices.

Biden’s push again to tackle insulin prices, after Republicans rebuffed the idea last summer and just after Biden won Medicare drug price negotiations/caps via the Inflation Reduction Act, shows how heavily he’s leaning into this work.

Rupert Vessey, Bristol Myers Squibb head of research and early development

Up­dat­ed: R&D tur­bu­lence at Bris­tol My­ers now in­cludes the end of a $650M al­liance and the de­par­ture of a top re­search cham­pi­on

This morning biotech Dragonfly put out word that Bristol Myers Squibb has handed back all rights to its IL-12 clinical-stage drug after spending $650 million to advance it into the clinic.

The news arrives amid a turbulent R&D stage for the pharma giant, which late last week highlighted Rupert Vessey’s decision to depart this summer as head of early-stage R&D following a crucial three-year stretch after he jumped to Bristol Myers in the big Celgene buyout. During that time he struck a series of deals for Bristol Myers, and also shepherded a number of Celgene programs down the pipeline, playing a major role for a lineup of biotechs which depended on him to champion their drugs.

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Utpal Koppikar, new Verily CFO

Ex­clu­sive: Ver­i­ly wel­comes Atara Bio­ther­a­peu­tics vet­er­an as new CFO

Verily, Alphabet’s life sciences outfit, has plucked a new CFO from the ranks of Atara Biotherapeutics, the company announced on Wednesday.

Utpal Koppikar joins Verily after a nearly five-year stint as CFO and senior VP at Atara, though his résumé also boasts roles at Gilead and Amgen.

The news follows a major reshuffling at Verily, including several senior departures earlier this year and a round of layoffs.

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Richard Francis, newly-appointed Teva CEO (Novartis via Facebook)

New Te­va CEO Richard Fran­cis repri­or­i­tizes to 'get back to growth'

Six weeks into his new role at the helm of Teva Pharmaceutical, Richard Francis said it’s time to “get back to growth,” starting with a good look at the company’s priorities.

The chief executive has kicked off a strategic review, he announced during Teva’s quarterly call, which will continue over the next several months and produce results sometime in the middle of 2023. That means some pipeline cuts may be in store, he told Endpoints News, while declining to offer much more detail.

Sanofi is renewing its #VaccinesForDreams campaign with more stories, such as Juan's in Argentina (Sanofi)

Sanofi re­news so­cial cam­paign to re­mind that vac­cines let peo­ple ‘Dream Big’

Sanofi is highlighting people’s dreams — both big and small — to make the point that vaccines make them possible.

The renewed “Dream Big” global social media campaign’s newest dreamer is Juan, a teacher in the Misiones rainforest in Argentina whose story is told through videos on Instagram and Sanofi’s website with the hashtag #VaccinesForDreams.

The campaign ties to Sanofi’s broader umbrella initiative “Vaccine Stories” to promote the value of vaccines and drive awareness of the need for improved vaccination coverage.

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Bill Anderson, incoming Bayer CEO (David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Bay­er taps Roche's Bill An­der­son to lead phar­ma gi­ant as CEO

We now know where Roche’s ex-pharma chief Bill Anderson is going.

German pharma giant Bayer announced Wednesday that Anderson will be taking on the role as CEO, less than six weeks after Anderson stepped down from his perch at Roche as head of the group’s pharmaceutical division.

Roche announced back in December that Anderson would depart on Dec. 31 to “pursue opportunities outside of Roche.” His replacement, Genentech vet and Roche’s current head of global product strategy, Teresa Graham, will start her role in March.

Iya Khalil, Merck VP and head of data, AI and genome sciences (Novartis)

Mer­ck-No­var­tis re­volv­ing door spins again as AI leader Iya Khalil switch­es phar­mas

As talk of AI this-and-that gobbles up headline after headline, one Big Pharma is losing its AI leader as she transitions to another drug giant: Iya Khalil will trade in her hat as Novartis’ go-to expert and leader in the space for Merck as VP and head of data, AI and genome sciences next week.

After nearly three years leading the artificial intelligence team at Novartis — as Big Pharma and biotechs alike latch onto the ripening AI-for-drug-discovery mode of operation — Khalil will switch employers to head up a similar post at Merck, where she’ll work out of Cambridge, MA beginning Feb. 13, the company tells Endpoints News.