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CAR-T: Marketing the promise, delivering beyond the need

John Burke, Senior Vice President, Strategy; Michael Gertner, PhD, Senior Scientific Director; Andrea Weiss, Senior Vice President, Client Services; and Josh Slatko, Contributing Editor, Med Ad News | 9/22/2023

Our Marketing experts explain why marketing CAR-T treatment requires an entirely different approach, considering the complex journey behind the treatment and limited touch points with the patient.

As pharma marketers, we strive to be patient-centric. We create and analyze patient journeys, conduct in-depth research, and even co-create materials, all with the focus of creating personalized, engaging campaigns that empower and educate patients.

Sometimes, though, the science takes a leap of such breadth and scale that it changes the very concept and meaning of patient-centricity. Such is the case with chimeric antigen receptor T cell (CAR-T) therapy. The first CAR-T, developed by Novartis for pediatric patients with B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia, was approved in 2017 after the clinical trial produced astonishing results. Since then, five more CAR-Ts have been approved by the FDA. Many more are in pipelines today, and the space is rapidly evolving with manufacturers exploring novel techniques, including leveraging gene-editing technology and transcriptomics to enhance the treatment and expand its use beyond oncology.

For patients used to more traditional treatments, CAR-T offers an extraordinary and unique glimpse of a more hopeful future of oncology care. Alongside that new future will come a new kind of patient experience, an experience that stretches far beyond traditional ideas of treatment to include every step in the journey—the journey, in fact, is the treatment. And that will mean an entirely new approach to the promotion of CAR-T brands.

Download the article to learn more from our experts on the complexities of CAR-T treatment marketing.

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