Arcutis launches branded Zoryve ad for a 'Cream That Can' as it eyes streaming services for new campaign

One year after receiving FDA approval, Arcutis Biotherapeutics is launching the first direct-to-consumer ad campaign for its plaque psoriasis therapy Zoryve.

The non-steroid drug competes with Amgen's blockbuster Otezla, which generates more than $2 billion annually and has multiple indications. Otezla was the first pill approved for plaque psoriasis.

Arcutis aims to distinguish Zoryve from both topical steroids and Otezla by emphasizing its easier method of administration, which can cover all skin areas. This is in contrast to steroidal creams, which may pose safety risks with prolonged use. This focus is evident in its advertisements

The commercial features a simple black background with a central focus on people's naked bodies (without showing their faces). A narrator asks, "For plaque psoriasis, why can't there be a steroid-free topical I can use for as long as I need?" Then a new voice comes in, adding: “A cream I can apply, just once a day,” playing on the “Cream That Can” tagline for the campaign.

The "Cream That Can" ad will “air across many of the top on-demand video streaming platforms,” the company said in a release, rather than a full focus on TV.

Zoryve (roflumilast) works a topical formulation of the PDE4 inhibitor found in AstraZeneca’s chronic obstructive pulmonary disease treatment Daliresp. The psoriasis med crossed the FDA finish line last August, and Arcutis has been ramping up the unbranded awareness campaigns for the dermatology condition before this new DTC.

In September 2022, just weeks after the green light for the med, it launched the “Expose Psoriasis” online educational campaign designed to improve the understanding of plaque psoriasis' physical and emotional impact.

It also aimed to raise awareness that symptoms may occur anywhere on the body including knees, elbows, torso and sensitive places like the face and genitals.

Before that, in April 2022, Arcutis had also released a survey from the Harris Poll that found 75% of people with psoriasis in intertriginous areas, or skin folds, reported a negative impact on their emotional well-being.

“The Cream That Can helps make clear skin the hero. No matter where plaque psoriasis may appear on the skin, whether in hard-to-treat areas like knees and elbows, or sensitive areas like the face and skin folds, Zoryve is the cream that can help,” said Ayisha Jeter, interim chief commercial officer at Arcutis, in a press release.

Arcutis is 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 and $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 an interview with Fierce Pharma last year, Arcutis CEO Frank Watanabe said Zoryve isn’t positioned as a competitor to the biologics but rather as being complementary to them.