ELITE 2020 Leader of the Future Paul Houghton of Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A., Inc.

Paul Houghton

Associate Director, HCP Promotions

Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A., Inc.

A Study in Effectiveness

The VARSITY phase 3b, randomized, double-blind, double-dummy, active-controlled, multi-center study is the first head-to-head trial comparing two biologic therapies for ulcerative colitis (UC), and it showed clinical outcomes of Entyvio were superior to those of Humira in moderately to severely active UC at one year. It was a key study for Entyvio—but it also meant marketing and sales teams had to quickly alter their approach around the VARSITY study. And Paul Houghton was one person who helped make that shift in strategy happen.

Paul created an entirely new platform called “GI Perspective,” which leverages the voice of KOLs to showcase the Entyvio brand. Initially, it was a magazine-style resource that used photos, quotes, and Q&A to tell a narrative around the VARSITY study. To help increase the number of impressions, the resource was incorporated into rep-driven emails. And now Paul and his team are in the process of adding video content that can be used in podcasts and on the brand website. Initial feedback has been positive, and it is currently the number one requested resource from Takeda’s fulfillment center.

Not to ignore Entyvio’s indication for treating Crohn’s disease (CD), Paul also went to work revamping the brand’s core sales aid. Together with the Field Marketing Leads and feedback from key opinion leaders they developed a resource that highlighted the unique attributes of the brand and streamlined the message for the field. The ultimate result was a sales aid that worked a little harder to highlight why Entyvio should be used as the first-line biologic for CD.

“In the short term, I still have a lot to learn on the current brand team,” Paul says about what is next for him. “But in the next five years I would like to launch a brand in the rare disease space.”


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