GSK's new web series brings science to the couch with informal health discussions

GlaxoSmithKline's new web series invites viewers to sit down and relax for some "Science on the Sofa." (GSK)

Couches are no longer just for psychiatrists when it comes to healthcare.

GlaxoSmithKline is taking science to the sofa—literally—with its new web series. Called “Science on the Sofa,” the shows feature GSK scientists and medical experts kicking back on the couch to talk about various health topics.

The series came about after GSK noticed the less-formal vibe as everyone moved to work from home during the pandemic. The company decided to embrace the change of tone, creating the “Science on the Sofa” series as a way for GSK scientists and health professionals to interact in a much more chatty and approachable way.

“We saw an opportunity to find creative and sustainable ways to engage with our audiences in new ways, not just to replace the traditional environment but to enhance and extend the experience,” Christine Roth, senior vice president and global oncology therapy area head at GSK, said in an email interview.

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The web series launched in February, and it's available on YouTube and through links from GSK digital platforms and social media promotions on Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. Roth stars in the first episode, talking about blood cancer and hematology research and innovations.

She sits on a comfy-looking sofa with an expansive view of Philadelphia behind her as she addresses the audience and chats with expert guests. Various experts in the field join Roth to talk about blood cancer, and so does Chris, a multiple myeloma patient. The format is meant to appeal to a broad swath of viewers, from healthcare providers and advocacy groups to patients and caregivers.

The feedback on the series has been overwhelmingly positive. GSK staff, colleagues and customers have reached out to Roth to tell her how much they enjoy the content and relaxed format. While GSK has experimented with presenting information in different video formats in the past, this one is more comprehensive—and more casual.

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It's a GSK first, "featuring internal and external experts to help bring the science to life and contextualize what recent advancements in blood cancer care mean to patients and the healthcare community,” Roth said.

GSK plans to expand the “Science on the Sofa” series to cover other forms of cancer and to move into other disease areas as well.

While the sofa series is unbranded, GSK's cancer drug portfolio includes Blenrep, approved in August as a first-in-class antibody-drug conjugate for multiple myeloma patients who have already tried a specific set of other options.