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.”

M&A: a crit­i­cal dri­ver for sus­tain­able top-line growth in health­care

2021 saw a record $600B in healthcare M&A activity. In 2022, there is an anticipated slowdown in activity, however, M&A prospects remain strong in the medium to long-term. What are future growth drivers for the healthcare sector? Where might we see innovations that drive M&A? RBC’s Andrew Callaway, Global Head, Healthcare Investment Banking discusses with Vito Sperduto, Global Co-Head, M&A.

AstraZeneca's new Evusheld direct to consumer campaign aims to reach more immunocompromised patients.

As­traZeneca de­buts first con­sumer cam­paign for its Covid-19 pro­phy­lac­tic Evusheld — and a first for EUA drugs

AstraZeneca’s first consumer ad for Evusheld is also a first for drugs that have been granted emergency use authorizations during the pandemic.

The first DTC ad for a medicine under emergency approval, the Evusheld campaign launching this week aims to raise awareness among immunocompromised patients — and spur more use.

Evusheld nabbed emergency authorization in December, however, despite millions of immunocompromised people looking for a solution and now more widespread availability of the drug.

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15 LGBTQ lead­ers in bio­phar­ma; Paul Stof­fels’ Gala­pa­gos re­vamp; As­traZeneca catch­es up in AT­TR; and more

Welcome back to Endpoints Weekly, your review of the week’s top biopharma headlines. Want this in your inbox every Saturday morning? Current Endpoints readers can visit their reader profile to add Endpoints Weekly. New to Endpoints? Sign up here.

A return to in-person conferences also marks a return to on-the-ground reporting. My colleagues Beth Synder Bulik and Nicole DeFeudis were on-site at Cannes Lions, bringing live coverage of pharma’s presence at the ad festival — accompanied by photos from Clara Bui, our virtual producer, that bring you right to the scene. You can find a recap (and links to all the stories) below.

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De­spite a slow start to the year for deals, PwC pre­dicts a flur­ry of ac­tiv­i­ty com­ing up

Despite whispers of a busy year for M&A, deal activity in the pharma space is actually down 30% on a semi-annualized basis, according to PwC’s latest report on deal activity. But don’t rule out larger deals in the second half of the year, the consultants said.

PwC pharmaceutical and life sciences consulting solutions leader Glenn Hunzinger expects to see Big Pharma companies picking up earlier stage companies to try and fill pipeline gaps ahead of a slew of big patent cliffs. Though a bear market continues to maul the biotech sector, Hunzinger said recent deals indicate that pharma companies are still paying above current trading prices.

Joe Wiley, Amryt Pharma CEO

Am­ryt Phar­ma sub­mits a for­mal dis­pute res­o­lu­tion to the FDA over re­ject­ed skin dis­ease drug

The story of Amryt Pharma’s candidate for the genetic skin condition epidermolysis bullosa, or EB, will soon enter another chapter.

After the Irish drugmaker’s candidate, dubbed Oleogel-S10 and marketed as Filsuvez, was handed a CRL earlier this year, the company announced in a press release that it plans to submit a formal dispute resolution request for the company’s NDA for Oleogel-S10.

Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) (J. Scott Applewhite/AP Images)

Phar­ma-friend­ly sen­a­tor calls on FDA for a third time to show patent pro­tec­tions should­n't be blamed for high drug prices

North Carolina Republican Sen. Thom Tillis made a name for himself in the 2020 election cycle as the darling of the pharma industry, accepting hundreds of thousands in campaign contributions, even from the likes of Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla.

Those contributions have led Tillis to attempt to re-write patent laws in pharma’s favor, a move which failed to gain steam in 2019, and request for a third time since January that the FDA should help stop “the false narrative that patent protections are to blame for high drug prices.”

VMLY&R execs Claire Gillis and Walter Geer listen to Olympic gold medalist Tianna Bartoletta talk about the importance of diversity at Cannes Lions 2022 (Clara Bui/Endpoints News)

#Can­nes­Lions2022: Why does di­ver­si­ty mat­ter in cre­ativ­i­ty? Olympic gold medal­ist and VM­LY&R ex­plain

CANNES – When Olympic gold medalist Tianna Bartoletta went to the hospital to deliver her son last year, she packed signed advanced directives and her will in her bag. Why? Her past experience with the healthcare system while training for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

She was training in sprint and long jump — after winning two golds in 2016 and one in 2012 — when she began to notice changes in her period. While Bartoletta initially rationalized it as stress or training too hard, it kept getting worse — to the point where she had dizzy spells and episodes of passing out. So she went to the doctor.

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From left to right: Shaheed Peera, Ivor Horn, Sommer Bazuro and Pat Setji speak about diversity, equity and inclusion at Cannes Lions 2022 (Clara Bui/Endpoints News)

#Can­nes­Lions2022: Ad­dress­ing clin­i­cal tri­al di­ver­si­ty prob­lems will take 're­al work now,' pan­elists say

CANNES —  As a young scientist, Sommer Bazuro was looking at oncology data when she realized that the patient population was not at all representative of the demographics most likely to suffer and die from cancer.

Thinking it must be an isolated incident, she turned to peer-reviewed publications and began talking to oncologists, only to discover that a lack of diversity in clinical trials was par for the course. Black and Hispanic patients typically don’t even reach levels of representation consistent with the general population.

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Abortion-rights protesters regroup and protest following Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)

Fol­low­ing SCO­TUS de­ci­sion to over­turn abor­tion pro­tec­tions, AG Gar­land says states can't ban the abor­tion pill

Following the Supreme Court’s historic decision on Friday to overturn Americans’ constitutional right to an abortion after almost 50 years, Attorney General Merrick Garland sought to somewhat reassure women that states will not be able to ban the prescription drug sometimes used for abortions.

Following the decision, the New England Journal of Medicine also published an editorial strongly condemning the reversal, saying it “serves American families poorly, putting their health, safety, finances, and futures at risk.”