SCEMBLIX Brand Team
Agency Partner: DDB Health
Novartis Team Members:
Caroline Yarborough, Vice President, CML
Angela Moore, Sr. Brand Director, Marketing, SCEMBLIX Launch Lead – U.S.
Susanna Liu, Senior Product Manager, U.S. Oncology
Joanne Moore, Director Regional Marketing Hematology
Joanna Roberts, Senior Product Manager, U.S. Oncology
(Photo Above: Top row, left to right: Caroline Yarborough, Susanna Liu, and Joanne Moore. Bottom row, left to right: Angela Moore and Joanna Roberts.)
Taking a Stand Against the “Good Cancer”
Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) is a rare form of blood cancer, with approximately 8,500 people diagnosed annually. Fortunately, many of these patients will respond well to initial treatment and can potentially stay on that treatment indefinitely. This success has left healthcare professionals satisfied with their options, with some even referring to CML as the “good cancer.”
Novartis was instrumental in making CML treatment the success it is today—with the development of treatments which serve as the backbone of treatment today. But Novartis also realized that work was still to be done. Some patients can struggle to respond to or tolerate existing treatments. Those patients end up needing later lines of treatment, which can deliver dwindling results and a poorer prognosis.
The SCEMBLIX (asciminib) team was determined to advocate for those patients and make sure they were not left behind. In 2021, the team prepared to launch SCEMBLIX, a treatment with a unique combination of benefits to help patients with later-line CML. But the ongoing COVID pandemic made for a difficult environment to navigate in pursuit of a timely launch.
“We had to prepare for two distinct scenarios that required completely different sets of materials,” Susanna Liu says. “It required incredible coordination, cooperation, and effort among many different cross-functional team members. It was a challenge, but I think what drove all of us was hearing feedback from doctors and patients about the need for a different option.”
Their efforts paid off. On Halloween weekend 2021, SCEMBLIX launched with a unique combination of benefits to help patients with later lines of CML. The results exceeded projections due to great coordination from all and even with the launch behind them, the SCEMBLIX team is not through pursuing better care for patients. Because there really is no such thing as a the “good cancer.”