Lagging rival Neurocrine, Teva preps ad campaign in tardive dyskinesia

Austedo
Teva told investors this week that it plans to roll a DTC campaign for movement disorder drug Austedo, launching soon. (Teva)

Teva is joining the marketing push in tardive dyskinesia with its first consumer campaign for Austedo, executives said Wednesday..

Teva’s campaign will be the second tardive dyskinesia effort in market. Rival Neurocrine Biosciences' unbranded awareness effort “Talk About TD” has been running on TV and digital since 2019.

While Teva did not reveal details about the upcoming work, executives said the DTC is meant to reach more people with the condition caused by long-term use of some antipsychotic drugs.

“We've been looking at DTC for a period of time,” Brendan O’Grady, Teva’s head of commercial in North America, said, adding that Teva sees a lot of opportunity for Austedo.

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"There are 500,000 patients estimated with tardive dyskinesia in the U.S.," he said. "We've got about 30,000 patients currently treated (or) about 6%. So the upswing and the potential is huge.”

RBC Capital Markets analysts tacitly agreed that “Teva’s DTC plan could help raise awareness,” in an investor note. The analysts pointed out that Teva’s push is “validation of the remaining commercial potential in the TD market.”

Neurocrine began its unbranded effort in early 2019, more than a year after Ingrezza was approved. The “Talk About TD” campaign includes national TV ads, and it's spent more than $27 million to date on commercial airings, according to data from real-time TV ad tracker iSpot.tv.

Awareness, and diagnoses, are up: Neurocrine CEO Kevin Gorman told Fierce Pharma earlier this year that 20% of TD patients are now diagnosed versus only 3% when Ingrezza was approved in 2017.

Of the two TD treatments, Neurocrine's Ingrezza leads sales with $993 million in 2020 compared to Austedo’s $638 million.

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The TD prevalence rate ranges from about 20% to 30% of people who take antipsychotics and some other medicines.

However, awareness remains low even among potential patients themselves. A Neurocrine study found that almost 60% of people taking the medicines did not know about the involuntary movement disorder.