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Health and wellness marketing agency Fingerpaint announced today it is forming Photo 51, a new consultancy focused solely on gene and cell therapies. The services provided by Photo 51 will aim to overcome the complex scientific and operational obstacles in bringing these products to market.
Photo 51 is named after the X-ray diffraction image that led to the discovery of the double helix structure of DNA. The consultancy will bring together experts in genetic science; physician, patient, and payer communications; data analytics; and patient advocacy.
The announcement comes just months after Fingerpaint acquired California-based market access strategy firm 1798. That deal enhanced what Fingerpaint can do from advertising and marketing perspectives, which was one of the factors that influenced the decision to create Photo 51.
According to Fingerpaint Partner Andy Pyfer, one of the major challenges this consultancy will offer support on is developing a reimbursement model for gene and cell therapies that goes beyond the strategies currently used. “By taking a full-service approach and dedicating resources to looking at the entire life cycle of a product as early as possible, those challenges can be anticipated, and better solutions can be developed,” he explained.
In the area of gene and cell therapies, there is great financial risk placed on those who participate in the value chain, such as labs, providers, patients, and hospitals. In addition, cell therapies are generally used to treat orphan and rare diseases. This means the drugs are often brought to market through accelerated approval pathways with a limited number of patients in their clinical programs.
“Solving for each obstacle is the key to gene and cell therapy success,” said Roshawn Blunt, managing director of 1798. “Patient alliances, provider support programs, and innovative payer and facility contracts are just a few tools that can be implemented to support access to therapy.”
As for how Photo 51 can impact biotech and pharmaceutical companies, Fingerpaint anticipates that it will be a welcomed resource due to the large number of gene and cell therapy products in the pipeline and the value they provide to improve treatment outcomes. “Fingerpaint has always tried to look ahead and anticipate the needs of our clients and develop specific solutions that meet their needs,” Pyfer said.
In particular, Fingerpaint is confident that it will be able to reach the many small and emerging gene therapy developers on their path to commercialization. “An ideal gene and cell therapy–focused agency needs to be a chameleon, able to rapidly anticipate and adapt to any product scenario and to provide efficient and effective outcomes to the client’s investment in service-provider relationships,” Blunt explained.
Photo 51 will provide personalized and targeted education to both physicians and patients. With the rare diseases involved often difficult to diagnose, Photo 51 will aim to make physicians and patients aware of these conditions as part of the education. “For a therapy to alter someone’s life, all stakeholders need to know what resources exist,” Pyfer concluded.
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