Provention Bio threads the needle in Type 1 diabetes with consumer and doctor campaigns

diabetes strip blood glucose monitor
Provention Bio is rolling out its first disease awareness campaigns to drive early testing for Type 1 diabetes. (Getty Images)

Provention Bio wants to connect the familial threads around Type 1 diabetes with two new campaigns—one targeted at doctors and the other at consumers.

The physician-targeting campaign uses literal needle-and-thread imagery to illustrate the connection between Type 1 patients and the risk of disease among first- and second-degree relatives. Meanwhile, the consumer effort focuses on families of Type 1 patients and encourages them to protect against the invisible threat by getting “Type 1 Tested.”

The goal of both digital campaigns is to drive awareness that people with Type 1 in their families are 15 times more likely to develop the disease. The call-to-action for both efforts is early and routine autoantibody screening.

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Provention’s interest is tied to teplizumab, its investigational anti-CD3 monoclonal antibody designed to delay or prevent clinical Type 1 diabetes in at-risk people. The company recently submitted the clinical module of its biologic license application to the FDA as part of a rolling submission for approval, begun in April.

Provention will file its manufacturing package this quarter, concluding the filing. With a 60-day wait for acceptance and six-month review following, Provention CEO Ashleigh Palmer said it’s “conceivable we could have a decision from the FDA” by mid-2021.

Recent phase 2 clinical data showed teplizumab could delay onset of insulin-dependent Type 1 diabetes in pre-symptomatic patients by a median of approximately three years compared with placebo. If approved, the drug would be Provention's first nod. 

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The digital campaigns include targeted media efforts with paid search and social ads to the pediatric endocrinologist and Type 1 family audiences.

“The first time someone with Type 1 diabetes presents with symptoms, they’ve lost the majority of their beta cells and they can’t be put back,” Palmer said, adding that that's why it’s “so important that we educate the market with campaigns like the ones we’ve launched.”

The Type 1 campaigns are general nonpersonal promotions set to evolve into more direct personal promotions that can be used by a sales force, anticipated for next year, when talking to physicians, Chief Commercial Officer Jason Hoitt added.