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Drug Uptake Impacted by COVID! A case study

Due to the rise in frequency of Covid-19 outbreak, many companies have begun to feel its effects on the business. The Covid-19 pandemic has blocked both clinical research organizations and pharmaceutical companies and has made them seek ways to alleviate the disruption caused by travel restrictions and self-isolation.

Covid-19 completely paralyzed marketing techniques in person and made new launches difficult altogether. The current blockade not only delayed regulatory time and the launch of new drugs, but also reduced the absorption of newly launched drugs.

Self-isolation scenario and travel restrictions with an agenda to combat the virus and relieve the burden of healthcare systems around the world, small-cap biotech companies are starting to feel the spill-over effects on their newly launched products.

Case 1 – Small Pharma Company

New launched drugs for treating serious diseases with fewer or no competitors will be less affected amid the pandemic. As per recent survey done by Spherix Global Insights,  a quarter of neurologists are less likely to prescribe a migraine therapy that has been on the market for less than a year due to the current COVID-19 crisis. This resulted into reduced uptake of Recent Acute Migraine Market Entrants, diminishing specialists’ prelaunch expectations that Biohaven’s Nurtec ODT would Challenge Allergan’s Ubrelvy and Eli Lilly’s Reyvow.

Biohaven, is trying best to fight against Covid 19 Pandemic by switching it’s marketing strategy during the early days of selling Nurtec ODT, is already shifting its marketing tactics to webinars, telemedicine, DTC campaign and social media to boost its presence among doctors and patients. Biohaven enters collaboration with cove, leading migraine telemedicine platform, to enhance accessibility of Nurtec ODT.

Case 2- Mid Pharma Company

Bluebird bio is another example of a medium-size biotechnology company that has been caught in the middle of the COVID-19 storm. Bluebird bio shifted the treatment of the first commercial patient with ZYNTEGLO in Germany to the second half of 2020 in response to the evolving COVID-19 situation. During this time, bluebird bio plans to continue to engage in reimbursement discussions and undertake commercial preparation activities in the priority launch markets in Europe.

Case 3- LargePharma Company

Pfizer’s Vyndaqel launch to treat ATTR cardiomyopathy struggles to its path to blockbluster status due to growing Covid 19 Pandemic. Launch of Vyndaqel took the relatively new market by storm, putting significant pressure on a rival drug from Alnylam as well as a second contender from Ionis affiliate Akcea.

As per SVB Leerink analyst view, “Given social distancing and measures against elective medical procedures in the US and EU, we expect growth in TTR diagnosis rates to pause” in the first quarter, adding that the drop in new diagnoses could be even more precipitous in the second quarter. And that “will flatten the ramp of new patient starts” for all three drugs.

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