J&J subsidiary Janssen, has released a new direct-to-consumer (DTC) ad promoting Stelara’s latest indication in the treatment of Crohn’s disease. The human monoclonal antibody was previously approved to treat two other autoimmune diseases, plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.
The spot features actors talking seriously about Crohn’s disease and how it is “more than just a bathroom disease.” The ad then goes on to explain how patients can take control of their symptoms by using Stelara. The ad began airing on Monday and has been played 208 times since then, according to iSpot.tv.
The push comes nearly one year after the drug was approved to treat Crohn’s in September of 2016. Competitors in the psoriasis space – including Eli Lilly’s Taltz, Valeant’s Siliq and Novartis’ Cosentyx – are all threatening to grab some of Janssen’s market share, leading the company to explore more opportunity in the Crohn’s market.
Inflammatory bowel diseases – including Cohn’s – currently affect between one and 1.3 million people in the US, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). While the underlying cause of Crohn’s is not well understood, the nature of the disease causes the immune system to inappropriately attack the body’s own tissues.
In 2015, US sales of Stelara totaled $1.68 billion, with this number jumping to $2.68 billion in 2016. Initial financial results for the first two quarters of 2017 suggests a continuation of this upward trend, likely due in part to sales under the Crohn’s indication.
The active ingredient in Stelara, ustekinumab, is an antibody designed to target two immune proteins, interleukin 12 and interleukin 23. By suppressing these cytokines, ustekinumab dampens the body’s inflammatory response to alleviate symptoms of Crohn’s disease.
You can watch the advertisement here.