ViroPharma profiles orphan disease HAE in new film

ViroPharma profiles orphan disease HAE in new film
ViroPharma profiles orphan disease HAE in new film

ViroPharma's new film, Swell, chronicles the trials of living with the rare disease hereditary angioedema, PRWeek reports (subscription required).

The genetic disorder, which is potentially fatal, is marked by attacks of uncontrolled swelling in various parts of the body. Kristina Broadbelt, a spokeswoman for the company, told PRWeek that the goal was to roll out a product that stood out from typical informational pharma videos.

“We didn't want to do a boring patient video. We wanted a film that could stand on its own,” said Broadbelt. “We wanted to bring a different perspective, not a pharmaceutical company perspective.”

ViroPharma hired the documentary film company Woodshop Films in Philadelphia to make Swell; its filmmaker was Marc Brodzik.

ViroPharma did not use Weisscom Global, its AOR, for the effort, rather it handled the outreach in-house. Broadbelt declined to give the cost of the project, but said the company saved money by using digital platforms to promote the 25-minute film. The film has its own website, lives also on a microsite, and will have a YouTube channel soon. The filmmakers are also looking to submit it to various film festivals.

ViroPharma makes an FDA-approved drug to treat HAE, Cinryze, which posted $439 million in revenue in 2010.

To read more about the role of specialty pharma in developing online communities for people with HAE, see the June issue of MM&M.