Sun taps travel for its new 'long haul' psoriasis campaign

Sun Pharma is confident that its four-times-a-year psoriasis drug Ilumya and its corresponding information booth managed to stand out in the crowd at the American Academy of Dermatology Annual Meeting thanks to its clinical data.

The clever use of diner seating in a callback to its successful “Meet-Up” campaign is also pretty eye-catching. In the background, the videos of these patient stories are playing.

The booth, which was featured at this year’s event March 25-29, also drew from Sun’s travel-themed “The Long Haul” to give visitors to the booth the virtual experience of a cross-county road trip. The characters are a grandmother and granddaughter, both of whom have psoriasis, but thanks to their Ilumya treatment are now able to go on the road and experience freedom from the disease. The duo visit places such as the Chandelier Tree drive-thru in the Pacific Northwest, Bigfoot in the Redwoods and the beach.

Kyle Ferguson, Sun Pharma’s biologic business head and vice president of sales and marketing, says the idea of a journey is basically a metaphor for the experience a psoriasis patient must take to find the drug that works for them.

“They go through quite a journey—they take a lot of different medicines, they have a lot of products that they try, that fail, they go on to the next product, they don't get the long term effect they want. They're really looking for a treatment that is going to allow them to have confidence that it will work for a long, long period of time.”

Of course, the purpose of the exhibit is not only to entertain but also to educate about Ilumya, so a good portion of the booth is dedicated to the clinical data—especially its five-year numbers.

“The information that we're sharing with our providers—our customers, it’s incredibly relevant to them. We’re aligned with their goals of providing and finding that long-term treatment success for their patients. I believe they will take that back and use that information to further treat patients that need therapies like this,” Ferguson said.

Approved in 2018, Ilumya is an IL-23 inhibitor administered by a doctor four times a year. The drug is unique in that it still shows good results for patients five years into treatment. The psoriasis field is highly competitive and includes other new drugs such as AbbVie’s Skyrizi and Johnson & Johnson's Tremfya, both of which are consistently in the top 10 for drug ad spend. 

In its 2021 fiscal report, Sun posted sales of $143 million for Ilumya with an increase of 51% year over year. Ferguson say Sun is exploring further uses for Ilumya across the immunology field, a common practice with its rivals that can bump sales up into the blockbuster range.