Argenx is literally cooking up new ideas to raise awareness of neuromuscular disorder myasthenia gravis.
Along with James Beard Award-winning chef Sean Brock, the drugmaker is debuting an online cookbook with recipes for people with MG, who can have difficulty chewing and swallowing.
The idea for "Cooking Together" hatched after Argenx noticed how popular the recipes on its MG United website had become. Brock, who's managed his career around MG, reached out to Argenx, and the idea of the cookbook came together.
The free, downloadable book features 23 nutritious recipes from people with MG. Three were contributed by chef Brock exclusively for the project.
“One of the unique things is the recipes are designed and developed to be easy to chew, easy to swallow because MG patients sometimes find this difficult to do, so it's adapting to their needs,” Argenx Chief Operating Officer Keith Woods said.
Brock, known as a champion of traditional Southern food, helped Argenx kick off June's MG Awareness Month at an event this week. For the second year, the observance includes MG Illuminate, when city landmarks around the country light up in the color teal.
At the Argenx event, Brock discussed his own struggles with the disorder and hosted a cooking demo with other members of the MG community. The light-up night event and cookbook are available for download on the MG United website.
Now with more than 25,000 patient and caregiver members, the website launched last year during the first MG Illuminate event. This year's locations include Boston and Santa Monica, California.
The site serves as a hub for MG information, including emotional, social and financial support, and features Argenx's award-winning documentary about living with the disease, “A Mystery to Me.”
MG is a rare chronic autoimmune disease that causes debilitating and potentially life-threatening muscle weakness. While Argenx’s MG awareness campaigns are unbranded, the company is awaiting FDA review for its candidate efgartigimod to treat generalized MG, with a decision due Dec. 17.
“We are looking forward to gaining approval first here in the US, quickly followed in Japan, then in Europe, and then to rest of the world,” Woods said. “Our plans are to serve people that are suffering with MG, and make a transformational difference in their lives.”