Arcutis, with a fresh FDA nod for Zoryve in hand, launches 'Expose Psoriasis' campaign

Arcutis is looking to boost awareness of how plaque psoriasis affects patients, launching a new campaign to “expose” the skin disease.

The "Expose Psoriasis" website is positioned as an educational campaign designed to improve the understanding of plaque psoriasis' physical and emotional impact. The condition can cause large areas of skin to be covered in red patches. The point of the campaign is to “empower those living with the disease to have open, honest conversations with their healthcare providers, family and friends,” the biotech said in a press release.

The campaign taps expert advice from a leading dermatologist in Tina Bhutani, M.D., co-director of the UCSF Psoriasis and Skin Treatment Center, as well as the personal story and tips from an award-winning writer and psoriasis patient advocate Sabrina Skiles.

Arcutis, which got its psoriasis med across the FDA line last month, also aims to raise awareness that symptoms may occur anywhere on the body including knees, elbows, torso and sensitive places like the face and genitals.

This also comes after Arcutis released a survey from the Harris Poll back in April that found 3 in 4 (75%) people with psoriasis in intertriginous areas, or skin folds, reported a negative impact on their emotional well-being.

And so, with the new campaign, Arcutis also wants to address “the value of having a support network” it said in the release and provides talking points that patients can use to discuss their disease with their loved ones.

“Psoriasis can have an impact on your relationships with others, and talking about your symptoms with loved ones can be difficult, but it's so important to do so,” said Skiles, who also appears on a video discussing some of these issues.

“Remember, your family and friends are there to support you, not judge you. By sharing your story with them and educating them about the disease, you are normalizing the topic and strengthening your support network.”

In late July, Arcutis nabbed a plaque psoriasis FDA approval for Zoryve (roflumilast), a topical formulation of the PDE4 inhibitor found in AstraZeneca’s chronic obstructive pulmonary disease treatment Daliresp.

It now competes with Amgen’s blockbuster Otezla, which made $2.2. billion last year, the first pill approved for plaque psoriasis. Arcutis is hoping to differentiate Zoryve from topical steroids and as an easier method of administration than taking a pill.

Arcutis is also hoping to do better than Pfizer’s Eucrisa, which was set to be the next big topical treatment for inflammatory skin diseases, but the ointment never gained traction in psoriasis thanks to side effects and reimbursement hurdles.

But Mizuho analysts are bullish on Zoryve's prospects, which works differently to Eucrisa, and believes the Arcutis med can, with other approvals, hit peak annual sales of between $1.8 billion to $3.8 billion in 2030.

In the current psoriasis treatment landscape, next-gen biologics such as Novartis’ Cosentyx, Eli Lilly’s Taltz and AbbVie’s Skyrizi have demonstrated remarkable efficacy in psoriasis. But in a recent interview with Fierce Pharma, its CEO Frank Watanabe said Zoryve isn’t positioned as a competitor to the biologics.

“We really see us as being complementary to—not competing with—the biologics,” the chief executive said.