ELITE 2018 Strategist Chris Horvath of Bayer Pharmaceutical

Chris Horvath

Director of Marketing, Prostate Cancer

Bayer Pharmaceutical

Leading the Education of Immunotherapy

Chris Horvath began his career in the pharma industry as a R&D chemist. But in 2007, while at Novartis, he decided to broaden his potential impact in the industry by transitioning to the commercial side of pharma with a focus on Sales & Marketing. So, he entered the Rutgers Business School Pharmaceutical Management and Marketing program and subsequently graduated in 2009 receiving the top “Rx Award,” recognizing his positive impact as a leader amongst his peers. Chris then used his success at Rutgers to secure a position in the Experienced Commercial Leadership Development Program (ECLDP) at Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Biotech, Inc.

Now Chris leads a highly engaged group of marketers within the Prostate Cancer Franchise marketing team at Bayer, with a focus on growing the Xofigo brand and preparing to launch darolutamide to help patients with advanced prostate cancer.

Along the way Chris has had several notable successes, including the launch of Zytiga in 2011, which Scrip, Pharma Intelligence called: “The most commercially successful new cancer drug [2006-2017].” In 2012, Chris moved on to Dendreon, which had launched the first immunotherapy in oncology with an Overall Survival (OS) benefit. Realizing this unique opportunity and need for HCP education in a marketplace in which immunotherapy was not part of the normal treatment paradigm with oncologists, he established the first disease state education campaign focused on the important role of immunotherapy in cancer with “Fight Cancer with Immunotherapy.”

The goal was to elevate the key problem that cancer is an immunoevasive disease that can be impacted by activating the immune system through immunotherapy, and shift the mindset of urologists and oncologists. Once established, Provenge immunotherapy—with two successful Phase III trials showing OS—was the solution that resonated with progressive treaters of advanced prostate cancer.

Through this experience, Chris optimized the impact of “KOL strategic validation” that he continues to prioritize in his current role as a marketing leader at Bayer. “The importance of building strong partnerships with KOLs to help validate commercial strategies and the clinical story is imperative,” Chris says, “especially in the rapidly evolving therapeutic area of oncology.”

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