Agency Confidential - Pharmaceutical Executive

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Agency Confidential


Pharmaceutical Executive

Following are the two questions we posed to our esteemed group of agency executives this year. We also provided some background we thought might be of interest to them. We gave them the options of answering either one or the other or both of the questions.

QlieStiOll#1: Marketing First in Marketing

Imagine you are the agency of record for NicVAX. How would you approach marketing universal uptake of the vaccine? Consider:

  • NicVAX—an anti-nicotine vaccine—developed by Nabi phar-maceuticals is in its second Phase III trial
  • In March of last year, Nabi signed an exclusive worldwide option and license agreement for the development and commercialization of NicVAX with GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals SA, for a total potential consideration of over $500 million, including a nonrefundable $40 million up-front payment In addition, Nabi may also receive royalties on global sales of NicVAX and next-generation nicotine vaccines.
  • The vaccine is designed to stimulate the immune system to generate antibodies that would latch on to nicotine in a smoker's body and prevent it from ever entering the brain. One shot renders immunity to the effects of nicotine for 6 months to a year. A perfect window of time perhaps for anyone who really needs that last bit of help to finally kick the habit? Or maybe for mothers with high school age kids—a shot every September might ensure that your kid would be immune to temptation?

QlieSti0ll#2: Marketing First in Class

Imagine you have been hired to market an exciting first-in-class drug in a popular therapeutic area, and yet hot on its tail is a follow-on drug that is also a promising candidate. Are there strategies to offset the small window of marketing exclusivity and/or the benefit the follow-ups will enjoy via the marketing of the first in class? Consider:

  • 2010 brought a promising wave of new molecular entities and biologies to market, including several first-in-class drugs addressing large therapeutic areas, according to The Pink Sheet
  • Marketing exclusivity periods for first-in-class drugs have fallen dramatically in recent decades—from a median of 10.2 years in the 1970s to 2.5 years in the early part of this decade, underscoring the competitive nature of drug development, according to a study completed by the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development
  • The average time between first and second follow-on drugs fell even more rapidly—from a median of 16.1 years in the 1960s to 1.1 years in the 2000-2003 period.
  • Since the early 1990s, nearly one in three follow-on drugs entered clinical testing earlier than did the first-in-class drug.

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Source: Pharmaceutical Executive,
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