- FiercePharma Marketing reports that Novartis is putting support behind a DC Comics-produced graphic novel whose protagonist, Scott, has the rare disease tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) and is an awareness-raising hero. His sidekick is Turbo, his pet dog.
- TSC is a rare genetic disease in which pateints suffer with seizures and skin lesions, and develop tumors in vital organs.
- Novartis manufactures a drug, Afinitor (everolimus), which is primarily indicated for kidney cancer, but also has indication for treating some of the tumors associated with TSC.
What a creative way to address a market niche—a niche populated by young people facing a devastating, rare disease that makes them feel like outsiders.
By creating a hero who also has a lot of doctors' appointments and discomfort to deal with, DC and Novartis are giving a patient population an important voice. This creative move may become a template for other companies looking to reach a target audience populated by young people with rare diseases.
This is also an interesting way to broaden the market for Afinitor, which is facing competition from Bristol-Myers' Opdivo and Exelixis' Cometriq. Both companies released trial results at the European Cancer Congress finding their respective drugs' promise in renal cell carcinoma.