Sanofi talks up personalized diabetes care in patient-centric awareness push

Sanofi's new diabetes initiative highlights the drugmaker's ambitions in personalized care. (Sanofi)

Diabetes hits patients of all ages, ethnicities, weights, heights, occupations and personalities. Why wouldn't diabetes treatment take on as many different forms?

That's the question Sanofi asks in a new awareness campaign. The “Diabetes Your Type” effort looks to move the needle on how and why individualized care is important for people with diabetes—and also to highlight Sanofi’s work on several fronts to personalize treatment.

The campaign website features patients detailing their own stories and learning about fellow patients’ journeys, often very different from their own. A Stanford University student named Konner, a 50-year-old physiotherapist in São Paolo named Lucy and the U.K.'s first professional boxer, Ali, who's also diabetic, read each other's stories and tell their own.

“Our vision and commitment is to put each individual patient first, with a broad portfolio of solutions,” said Gustavo Pesquin, global head of Sanofi’s diabetes and cardiovascular business, in an email interview.

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Those Sanofi solutions include traditional R&D for new medicines but also educational programs, integrated treatment and monitoring services, and partnerships with payers and public health authorities for better access, he said.

Technology has been key in the company's diabetes efforts, with integrated efforts of its own through its joint venture with Google's health business Verily—branded as Onduo—and more recently in a device-development deal with Verily and Sensile.

The new campaign also fits into the American Diabetes Association's recent guidelines that prioritize patient-centered care in diabetes. “Our campaign and approach are in line with this," Pesquin said. "We want to move in partnership with doctors, patients and health authorities beyond a product focus to a holistic approach that will optimize the management of diabetes."

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Sanofi has been in the diabetes treatment business for almost 100 years, and today more than 50% of people on once-daily basal insulin treatments are supported by Sanofi, the company says.

Sanofi’s current portfolio includes basal insulins Lantus and Toujeo, fast-acting insulin Apidra and its GLP-1 drugs Soliqua and Lyxumia, but the diabetes group has struggled lately. Sales for 2018 were €5.47 billion, down 14.5% from 2017.