TEPEZZA Marketing Team
Agency Partners: A23, Epsilon, WE Communications, Real Chemistry, Lockwood, Mosaic
Reaching Record Launch Heights with First-of-its-Kind Medicine
In 2020, the launch of TEPEZZA (teprotumumab-trbw), the first and only FDA-approved treatment for Thyroid Eye Disease (TED), became one of the most successful rare disease medicine launches of all time. TEPEZZA generated first-year sales of $820M, far exceeding analyst projections, all in the midst of a global pandemic. How did the marketing team reach these remarkable heights?
Because there were previously no medicines approved to treat TED, there was little awareness about the disease, signs and symptoms, and where to seek care. The cross-functional team built a multichannel pre-launch disease awareness campaign that was launched six months prior to FDA approval. This included Listen to Your Eyes, a website and Facebook community designed to provide TED education and support to patients and caregivers.
Pivoting to brand awareness, the team launched a campaign for HCPs that highlights the breakthrough nature of the medicine. Within three months of its launch, 95% of target physicians were aware of the brand and more than 65% said they were highly likely to prescribe TEPEZZA. Due to COVID, the team also had to find ways to reach HCPs without an in-person sales force. The team developed a booth (TEPEZZAexperience.com) for virtual medical congresses that allows visitors to take a quiz about TED, tour the TEPEZZA data, hear real patient stories, and connect with a Horizon representative. In just the month of November, the booth received over 2,800 visits and over 550 unique HCP engagements.
As TEPEZZA is an infusion medication and the core prescriber base did not have infusion experience, a new field team was also developed to build a site of care network. The marketing team developed customized materials for the infusion center clinical and administrative staff to support rapid uptake at launch.
On the patient front, the team launched a DTC campaign that spotlighted the extremely challenging symptoms of TED that cannot be ignored. Within a month, TEPEZZA achieved 82% aided awareness among patients, an increase of 68% prior to the campaign. Combined communication efforts also drove 157K unique visitors to TreatTED.com, a page created for the TEPEZZA.com website.