NEW YORK: Biopharma company Scioderm has named Clearpath Health Communications as its agency partner for corporate comms, proving integrated media, investor, patient, and professional PR.
Clearpath, an integrated health communications service, was launched last year by Cooney/Waters Group and Russo Partners.
Scioderm is a late-stage clinical pharmaceutical company developing a treatment for epidermolysis bullosa, also known as "butterfly skin." The treatment, SD-101, is a topical cream that has demonstrated the potential to treat patients’ severe skin effects, according to a statement from Clearpath. About 50,000 Americans suffer from epidermolysis bullosa, it said.
Scioderm received a breakthrough therapy designation and an orphan drug designation from the FDA, and it is in pursuit of approval.
Clearpath will help Scioderm communicate its scientific data, once it is completed, as well as work with physicians and on patient-facing communications, helping consumers understand how their lives could be improved if the drug is approved, said Tim Bird, president and COO of Cooney/Waters. It will also employ social media where appropriate, Bird added, as many patients use various Internet channels to seek out information relevant to their condition.
Russo Partners will work on the corporate investor-facing communications side of the business, said Bird.
"This medicine is certainly something that shows great promise, helping patients improve their standard of living," said Bird. "It’s a rare condition – it’s one that’s really terrible for those who have it."
According to Clearpath, epidermolysis bullosa is a rare genetic connective tissue condition that, in all forms, results in extremely fragile skin that blisters or tears at the slightest friction or trauma.
Clearpath’s various services, its expertise in life sciences, and its ability to meet Scioderm’s needs were all drivers in the healthcare specialty agency winning the account, said Scioderm COO Robert Coull, who also praised Clearpath’s reputation across the industry.
The Durham, NC-based company spoke with two other agencies prior to selecting Clearpath, he added, resulting in the process taking "a couple of months."
Scioderm and Clearpath are set to work together for at least the next four to six months, said Coull. Further work would depend on what direction the company takes, either toward an IPO or partnering with a pharmaceutical company.
Should Scioderm decide to go public, it will likely continue the relationship with Clearpath, said Coull.
"The need for more services and more support evolved as well," he said. "At one point we were writing our own press releases."