Can Sunovion cast Kynmobi as a more convenient alternative for Parkinson’s disease symptom treatment in an already crowded market? That’s the strategy, as Kynmobi launches with an easy dosing message.
The under-the-tongue dissolvable serves an unmet need in the now four-drug market, Sunovion says.
Kynmobi, approved in May, treats “off” episodes that can occur in Parkinson’s when symptoms reemerge between doses of baseline long-term care drugs. Those symptoms include tremors, stiffness, slowed movement and difficulty swallowing.
Sublingual Kynmobi can be taken quickly at the onset of symptoms, with clinical trials showing improvement in as few as 15 minutes.
However, as the fourth drug in the space, Kynmobi faces a challenge to differentiate itself. It follows Acorda Therapeutics’ inhaled Inbrija, Kyowa Kirin's once-daily pill Nourianz, and, most recently, Neurocrine Biosciences’ once-daily pill Ongentys.
That’s where the easier-to-use dosing message comes in. Sunovion’s existing neurology sales force will take that message to physicians virtually and face-to-face where permitted during COVID-19, Chief Commercial Officer Thomas Gibbs said. Virtual peer-to-peer training for doctors and educational programs for patients and care givers will help extend rep reach.
The sales team will initially bypass primary care physicians to focus on “movement disorder specialists and general neurologists that are really the leaders of Parkinson’s disease,” he said.
While Parkinson’s drugs are sometimes only found at specialty pharmacies, Sunovion worked with Walgreens to ensure Kynmobi availability at all 9,300 locations in the U.S. Once the drug is prescribed, patients receive a free starter kit with different strength films, a dose tracker, a video about administering the drug and information about support services and financial help.
Like many other drugmakers have during the pandemic, Sunovion held its Kynmobi launch meeting virtually. However, there were still impactful moments.
Sunovion shared a video of a patient experiencing a sudden onset of symptoms. Employees watched as she took Kynmobi and the symptoms subsided.
It was “the most dramatic thing I’ve ever seen in my career,” Gibbs said.