AbbVie's first campaign for Humira follow-up Skyrizi hits TV airwaves

Is AbbVie duplicating its Humira TV strategy with follow-up psoriasis drug Skyrizi? With the first Skyrizi campaign, the Illinois drugmaker jumped quickly into TV ads for the next-gen IL-23 antagonist. And it’s already got three spots airing in rotation—one 60-second and two 30-second spots—with spending topping $15.6 million, according to data from real-time TV ad tracker

Skyrizi hit the market in May, and the first TV ad for the drug began in late August. The campaign, called “Nothing is Everything,” emphasizes the joy people feel in getting clearer skin. Lyrics from the ad’s original song note that it’s all about clearer skin and the fact that nothing—that is, no noticeable skin problems—is everything.

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TV ads or not, Skyrizi has a long way to go before it fills Humira’s shoes. The new drug notched sales of $48 million in its first two months of sales, AbbVie reported, which was well above analyst expectations of $13 million. However, even as Humira begins to slip with biosimilars entering several markets, the more-than-a-decade old anti-TNF drug still generated $19.9 billion in 2018.

Skyrizi is an IL-23 antagonist, as is Johnson & Johnson’s Tremfya, which the FDA approved in 2017. Novartis’ Cosentyx and Eli Lilly's Taltz are IL-17 antibodies and both compete with Skyrizi. 

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But despite the raft of competitors, the need for awareness around psoriasis solutions is important, AbbVie said in an emailed statement to FiercePharma. Many people “still struggle to achieve their treatment goals due to the complex nature of the disease and variability of treatment response. Skyrizi is an important advance in the treatment of adults with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis who are seeking high levels of skin clearance that can be maintained over time.”