#FierceMadness, ready to roll: Play-in winners Dovato, Nubeqa, Doptelet and Aimovig move into Round 2

FierceMadness 2020 bracket
Erleada, Delstrigo, Mulpleta and Ajovy are headed home after Round 1 of FierceMadness. (Carly Helfand)

**Voting for Round 2 has closed. See the results here and vote in the Sweet 16 here.**

The bracket is officially set for #FierceMadness. With play-in winners determined, FiercePharma's drug name tournament is moving into its full, 64-name matchups across four divisions. (It's not too late to join in! Grab your printable bracket here.)

But first, a little recap of the action so far: In the Oncology division, Bayer’s Nubeqa topped Johnson & Johnson’s Erleada by a score of 93-76. While voters left positive comments for both, Nubeqa got props for use of the q without the u (although at least one voter noted they “hate” that usage). Best creative take came from this commenter, who said the name Nubeqa was a “good name for the brigade of eunuchs who guard royal Ottoman harems. Apt moniker for a CRPC drug.”

In the Infectious Disease/Primary Care group, it was ViiV Healthcare’s Dovato over Merck & Co’s Delstrigo by a score of 94-61. Dovato seemed to win over the Demi Lovato, fans with many mentions of the similarities to the pop singer’s name—although for some, that association wasn't a good thing. “Dovato sounds like Demi Lovato and I don’t like her either,” one commenter said. Other ideas for Dovato among voters included “sounds like a smooth bottle of vino from an exotic locale” and the simple “Dovato … tomato.”

In the Rare Disease/Miscellaneous category, Dova’s Doptelet win over Shionogi’s Mulpleta was a closer race at 83-65. Doptelet got the nod with comments like “Fun to say” and “Sounds like a drug that would let one dope. ‘Lets you Dope’ (which is bad and cool at the same time :').” However, there was a definite lack of enthusiasm in this category, with replies that indicated neither name was a good contender. One dire prediction: “Either of these rightfully will lose in the next round.”

Finally, in the CNS division, Aimovig from Amgen eliminated Teva’s Ajovy, 115-58. Voters liked the use of "aim" in the winner’s name, as in this comment illustrates: “(I) like that is has the term ‘aim’ like you are aiming for something better.” And while Ajovy didn’t win, this comment does: “I'll be honest, it just made me think of Bon Jovi, and a play-in team is probably Living on a Prayer.”

While voting was light (focused on COVID-19 news, anyone?), the number of informed, light-hearted and funny comments was not. Thank you to the play-in voters for some much-needed levity. Let’s keep it up with the big round of 32 head-to-head matchups in Round 2. It’s a short two-day round, so remotely rally your friends and coworkers to chime in!

Cast your votes and leave your comments here through 10 p.m. on Tuesday, and then check in on Wednesday to see which names are moving on.

Round 2 (Vote here)

Infectious Disease/Primary Care 

(1) Motegrity vs. (16) Dovato

Maker: Takeda
Indication: chronic idiopathic constipation
Sounds like: more righteous than you

Maker: ViiV Healthcare    
Indication: HIV
Sounds like: a well-dressed man

(8) Pifeltro vs. (9) Biktarvy

Maker: Merck
Indication: HIV
Sounds like: a dessert expert

Maker: Gilead
Indication: HIV (3-drug combo)
Sounds like: upgraded driveway material

(5) Rinvoq vs. (12) Rybelsus

Maker: AbbVie
Indication: rheumatoid arthritis
Sounds like: taking back engagement ring

Maker: Novo Nordisk
Indication: Type 2 diabetes
Sounds like: a founder of Rome

(4) Olumiant vs (13) Evenity

Maker: Eli Lilly
Indication: rheumatoid arthritis
Sounds like: an insect related to the firefly

Maker: Amgen
Indication: osteoporosis
Sounds like: work-life balance in perfect alignment

(6) Dengvaxia vs (11) Ervebo

Maker: Sanofi Pasteur
Indication: dengue vaccine
Sounds like: a Chinese internet startup

Maker: Merck
Indication: ebola vaccine
Sounds like: a vacation rental company

(3) Xofluza vs (14) Recarbrio

Maker: Roche/Genentech
Indication: flu 
Sounds like: too many hug and kiss marks on a card

Maker: Merck
Indication: UTI, intra-abdominal infection
Sounds like: getting back to eating bread and pizza after a juice cleanse

(7) Ilumya vs (10) Skyrizi

Maker: Sun Pharma
Indication: plaque psoriasis
Sounds like: a female Spanish pop star

Maker: AbbVie
Indication: plaque psoriasis
Sounds like: a Scottish island castle

(2) Orilissa vs (15) Vyleesi 

Maker: AbbVie
Indication: endometriosis
Sounds like: your cousin’s idea of a cool new baby name

Maker: AMAG
Indication: hypoactive sexual desire in women
Sounds like: Mother of Dragons

Rare disease/Miscellaneous

(1) Reblozyl vs (16) Doptelet

Maker: Celgene
Indication: beta thalassemia
Sounds like: an online building game for kids

Maker: AkaRx/Dova
Indication: thrombocytopenia
Sounds like: unrelated pet twins

(8) Tegsedi vs. (9) Onpattro

Maker: Akcea/Ionis
Indication: polyneuropathy from hereditary transthyretin-mediated amyloidosis
Sounds like: weekly ramen noodle bowl special

Maker: Alnylam
Indication: polyneuropathy from hereditary transthyretin-mediated amyloidosis
Sounds like: Dad’s best friend

(5) Vyndaqel vs. (12) Firdapse

Maker: Pfizer
Indication: cardiomyopathy from transthyretin-mediated amyloidosis
Sounds like: a French vodka brand

Maker: Catalyst
Indication: Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome
Sounds like: a pine tree disease where all the needles drop off

(13) Trikafta vs. (14) Lutathera

Maker: Vertex
Indication: cystic fibrosis
Sounds like: three-meat Lebanese kebab

Maker: Novartis
Indication: neuroendocrine tumor treatment
Sounds like: a religious cult

(6) Ultomiris vs. (11) Takhzyro

Maker: Alexion
Indication: paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria
Sounds like: a cosmetic brand

Maker: Takeda
Indication: hereditary angioedema
Sounds like: when you’re the bigger person

(3) Oxbryta vs. (14) Adakveo

Maker: GBT
Indication: sickle cell disease
Sounds like: teeth-whitening toothpaste

Maker: Novartis
Indication: sickle cell disease
Sounds like: a video camera brand

(7) Aklief vs. (10) Jeuveau

Maker: Galderma
Indication: acne 
Sounds like: a trendy home goods store

Maker: Evolus
Indication: aesthetics filler, frown lines
Sounds like: Inspector Clouseau’s sidekick

(2) Beovu vs. (15) Ibsrela

Maker: Novartis
Indication: age-related macular degeneration
Sounds like: the prequel poem to Beowolf

Maker: Ardelyx
Indication: irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C)
Sounds like: the Wicked Witch’s kind-hearted cousin


(1) Xospata vs. (16) Nubeqa

Maker: Astellas
Indication: acute myeloid leukemia
Sounds like: a Spanish shoe brand

Maker: Bayer
Indication: prostate cancer
Sounds like: a Pacific island vacation hotspot

(8) Vitrakvi vs. (9) Brukinsa

Maker: Bayer/Loxo Oncology
Indication: tissue agnostic cancer
Sounds like: Outward Bound hiking adventure

Maker: BeiGene
Indication: mantle cell lymphoma
Sounds like: the bro posse at a hipster consulting firm

(5) Turalio vs. (12) Polivy   

Maker: Daiichi Sankyo
Indication: giant cell cancer tumors
Sounds like: an Italian travel company

Maker: Genentech
Indication: large b-cell lymphoma
Sounds like: multiple lives, like in reincarnation

(4) Tibsovo vs. (13) Balversa

Maker: Agios Pharmaceuticals
Indication: acute myeloid leukemia
Sounds like: an adventure company for single travelers

Maker: J&J Janssen
Indication: urothelial cancer
Sounds like: a semi-pro European basketball team

(6) Piqray vs. (11) Talzenna

Maker: Novartis
Indication: breast cancer
Sounds like: a newfangled laser sorting machine

Maker: Pfizer
Indication: breast cancer
Sounds like: a hip new Thai restaurant

(3) Vizimpro vs. (14) Lorbrena

Maker: Pfizer
Indication: lung cancer
Sounds like: TV technology for the clearest screen ever

Maker: Pfizer
Indication: non small cell lung cancer
Sounds like: wizard and witches battling arena

(7) Libtayo vs. (10) Daurismo

Maker: Sanofi and Regeneron
Indication: cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma
Sounds like: condiment combo for Freedom Fries

Maker: Pfizer
Indication: acute myeloid leukemia
Sounds like: a graffiti artist

(2) Enhertu vs. (15) Padcev

Maker: AstraZeneca
Indication: breast cancer
Sounds like: plus-one on an invitation

Maker: Astellas
Indication: urothelial cancer
Sounds like: home renovation Reddit


(1) Lucemyra vs. (16) Aimovig

Maker: US Worldmeds
Indication: opioid withdrawal
Sounds like: the Greek goddess of light

Maker: Amgen
Indication: migraine
Sounds like: an investment hedge fund

(8) Mavenclad vs. (9) Mayzent

Maker: EMD Serono
Indication: multiple sclerosis
Sounds like: a fashion-forward group of friends

Maker: Novartis
Indication: multiple sclerosis
Sounds like: the entrance to a corn maze

(5) Vumerity vs. (12) Epidiolex

Maker: Alkermes and Biogen
Indication: multiple sclerosis
Sounds like: a lot of swearing

Maker: GW Pharma
Indication: epileptic seizures 
Sounds like: dissecting a foreign language

(4) Wakix vs. (13) Sunosi

Maker: Harmony Bioscience
Indication: narcolepsy
Sounds like: an alarm clock-maker

Maker: Jazz Pharmaceutical
Indication: narcolepsy, obstructive sleep apnea
Sounds like: incredibly curious 

(6) Zulresso vs. (11) Spravato

Maker: Sage    
Indication: postpartum depression
Sounds like: World of Warcraft kingdom

Maker: J&J Janssen     
Indication: treatment-resistant depression
Sounds like: a newly discovered type of mushroom

(3) Reyvow vs. (14) Ubrelvy

Maker: Eli Lilly
Indication: migraine
Sounds like: a Star Wars Jedi's promise

Maker: Allergan
Indication: migraine
Sounds like: a rainy day canopy

(7) Dayvigo vs. (10) Inbrija

Maker: Eisai
Indication: insomnia
Sounds like: a Spanish foreign film no one understands—even with subtitles

Maker: Acorda Therapeutics
Indication: Parkinson’s disease
Sounds like: the lead singer of Albanian steampunk band

(2) Diacomit vs. (15) Zolgensma

Maker: Biocodex
Indication: Dravet syndrome
Sounds like: two events booked on the same night

Maker: Novartis
Indication: spinal muscular atrophy
Sounds like: the mindreader act at the county fair