PM360 2020 Trailblazer Awards Gastrointestinal Brand Champion James R. Berger

James R. Berger, Sr. Director, Gastroenterology, Takeda Pharmaceuticals USA

While steadily gaining market share in the highly competitive market of Ulcerative Colitis (UC) and Crohn’s Disease (CD), Takeda wanted to accelerate growth for Entyvio through the first head-to-head biologic trial in the Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) space by comparing its Entyvio to AbbVie’s Humira. The resulting VARSITY study showed Entyvio displayed superiority over Humira in long-term remission. This added to the Entyvio’s differentiation in this market and built upon the value of its gut-selective mechanism of action (MOA), which has been setting it apart from competition for years. Now, Takeda had to communicate a new and stronger story to further entrench Entyvio as standard of care. For that, James Berger and his team needed to get it right.

James led his team in creating an amplified promotional engine that built upon Entyvio’s key differentiators and screamed the results of this study throughout every channel. Starting with a congress unveiling at the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) meeting last October and continuing through sales force materials, journal ads, online publications, and much more, the message met it’s intended audience in a big way. The team also continued focusing on its gut-selective MOA for the bio-naïve segment of patients, since surveyed perceptions showed Entyvio is positioned well (and approved for) a patient that had never been on a biologic before.

As a result, Entyvio is now the most prescribed biologic for IBD in new patients for UC and CD, up from third place just a couple of years ago. And it’s not slowing down: Entyvio is the fastest growing first-line biologic for UC and CD combined—and Takeda’s top-selling product.

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