Allergan’s new spokescharacter breaks down enzyme importance in Zenpep campaign

"Eddie the Enzyme" stars in Allergan's new campaign for Zenpep explaining how the digestive helping enzymes work. (Allergan)

Eddie the Enzyme is ready to break down food and take on the competition in pancreatic enzyme products. The spokescharacter, created by Allergan, works in “interdigestive space” with a friendly message about the need for prescription enzymes for people with exocrine pancreative insufficiency (EPI).

The colorful cartoon character is designed to especially resonate with children with cystic fibrosis who often suffer from EPI because the characteristic mucus secretions of the disease don't allow digestive enzymes to move efficiently from the pancreas to the gut.

However, Eddie is also meant to address EPI in an easy-to-understand way with adults who have conditions that may predispose them to EPI, such as pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer and Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

AbbVie’s Creon is Zenpep’s chief competitor and the established market share leader in the space.

The campaign, "Let Me Break it Down For You," is "a play on words because that’s what enzymes do from a food and an absorption perspective," said Aimee Lenar, VP of gastroenterology marketing at Allergan. But "it’s also 'let me really break it down for you and explain it in a way that’s easy for children with cystic fibrosis to understand and their parents and caregivers, but also adults as well,'” she said.

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Eddie and the Zenpep branded work complement Allergan’s unbranded Live2Thrive program, which offers copay assistance for EPI treatment. Allergan acquired Zenpep in July, 2014 as a result of its Aptalis acquisition, but it has only more recently focused marketing attention and budget on the enzyme treatment, with “a lot more to come,” Lenar said.

Last year, Zenpep generated sales of $212 million, an increase of 5.8% over 2016. Lenar estimated Zenpep’s share at 20% to 30% of the market. Market-leader Creon generated sales of $831 million in the U.S. for AbbVie last year, an increase of 14% over its previous-year sales.