Acadia debuts first Nuplazid branded ads, aiming to spark talk of Parkinson's psychosis

Acadia is appealing to the Parkinson's disease community to raise awareness of psychosis in some patients in its first branded ads for Nuplazid. (Van Andel Research Institute)

With an FDA safety review in the rearview mirror, Acadia is back to business on Parkinson's psychosis therapy Nuplazid—and launching its first branded ad campaign to boot. 

The Nuplazid TV ads made their debut Thanksgiving Day, featuring an older man with Parkinson’s disease who doesn't tell anyone he's been seeing things. His wife notes he “started believing things that weren’t true,” but she too stayed silent. The upshot? Speaking up to a doctor finally helped them understand the hallucinations and delusions that come with Parkinson’s disease.

The ads come two months after the FDA wrapped up a safety check initially sparked by a CNN report. The review concluded in September with no changes to the drug's official safety warnings and information. Nuplazid's label adequately describes its potential side effects, the agency said, affirming that its benefits outweigh its risks.

The new TV and print campaign was built around Acadia market research, which found a knowledge gap about Parkinson's disease psychosis, or PDP. The work aims to raise awareness and offer relatable examples of the hallucinations and delusions that can strike Parkinson's patients, and to help foster discussion about them, said Michael Yang, executive VP and chief commercial officer at Acadia, in an email interview. An estimated 50% of Parkinson's patients have PDP.

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The campaign is aimed at the entire Parkinson’s community, including caregivers, healthcare providers and patient advocacy groups, “to help close the Parkinson’s disease psychosis awareness gap and educate about Parkinson’s disease related hallucinations and delusions and Nuplazid as a potential treatment option,” he said.

It was reviewed by advocacy organizations—including the American Parkinson Disease Association, Michael J. Fox Foundation and Parkinson’s Foundation—that agreed it accurately captures the real experiences of patients and their families.

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The Nuplazid campaign follows an eight-month unbranded awareness effort about hallucinations and delusions connected to Parkinson’s disease. That awareness effort began in November 2017 and ran through July of this year.

While Nuplazid is Acadia’s only approved drug and is only approved for Parkinson’s, the company is testing the drug for four additional indications and has one other central nervous system drug in its pipeline. Acadia recorded total product revenue of $124.9 million for 2017.