Sunovion hires former BI exec as VP of marketing

Denise Strauss most recently served as VP of cardiovascular marketing at Boehringer Ingelheim, where she worked across therapeutic areas including cardiology, neurology, and respiratory.

Sunovion Pharmaceuticals hired Denise Strauss as VP of marketing, overseeing all marketing activities for the drugmaker's portfolio of products, which include neurology, psychiatric, and respiratory therapies.  

Strauss most recently served as VP of cardiovascular marketing at Boehringer Ingelheim, where she worked across therapeutic areas including cardiology, neurology, and respiratory, overseeing the marketing of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease drug Spiriva and Mirapex to treat Parkinson's disease and restless legs syndrome. Prior to BI, Strauss was director of urology marketing at Bayer, where she oversaw the launch of erectile dysfunction treatment Levitra and led the first industry partnership with the NFL.

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Strauss said she will be working on a multichannel marketing strategy for Sunovion, which includes digital initiatives, to communicate the drugmaker's brands as well as information about diseases.

“We'll be looking at how we are investing in our promotional spending and ensuring we know where our patients are, where their caregivers are, where their healthcare professionals are, and tapping into all the channels that they tap into to learn and become educated,” said Strauss. “The company has many other compounds in stage one and two across neurology, psychiatry, and respiratory, and it's always looking at opportunities for acquisitions of both compounds and companies that appropriately complement our portfolio.”

Sunovion works with a number of agencies, including Dudnyk, Concentric Health Experience, and Heartbeat Ideas, which worked on developing the Sunovion ProFile website. The website was a finalist for Best Branded Website for Healthcare Professionals at the MM&M Awards this year.

A company spokesperson declined to say who Strauss replaced, but said her predecessor has moved to another position outside Sunovion.  

The appointment comes at a time when Sunovion is in the process of expanding its portfolio. On Friday it closed its $635 million acquisition of specialty pharmaceutical company Cynapsus Therapeutics, which has a late-stage product for the treatment of OFF episodes in patients with Parkinson's disease.

“What's especially exciting about this product is not just the molecule, but how it's delivered,” Strauss said. “It's delivered in a sublingual strip using Listerine strip technology so not only do we believe that, if approved, it will be highly effective, but that it will really meet unmet needs in terms of the ease of use and delivery for patients as well.”

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The FDA accepted the drugmaker's application for Sun-101 as a  treatment of COPD on October 13. If approved, it will be the first nebulized long-acting muscarinic antagonist, according to the drugmaker. The product uses eFlow, a technology being developed by PARI Pharma. It's a closed system delivery device for the treatment of moderate to severe COPD.

“It will be a nebulizer that can be carried in a container the size of a small lunch box, really meeting some unique unmet needs of patients and caregivers,” said Strauss.

Strauss said she is excited to join the company in a leadership role at a time when it is evolving and experiencing growth.

“Assuming all goes as planned, these will be the next two products that Sunovion hopes and expects to bring to market,” said Strauss. “The Cynapsus product is fast-tracked, which is exciting, but it's all up to the FDA at the end of the day.”

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