Dip seen in shortlisted U.S. pharma work at Lions Health

Sixteen entries from U.S. agencies made the shortlist in the pharma segment of the Lions Health creativity festival. That's down from 19 last year but still ahead of the 11 entries that jurors advanced in 2014's inaugural competition.

The shortlists for both the pharma and health and wellness categories of Lions Health were released earlier today, after jurors spent the week poring over a record number of entries in both areas. Winners are set to be revealed Saturday.

See also: Cannes Lions sees record 43,000 award submissions

Out of 103 total shortlisted entries from pharma, the 16 U.S. entries span campaigns for brands including Galderma's Restylane Silk and Pfizer's Lyrica, as well as disease awareness efforts like one that Insmed backed for a rare disease, nontuberculous mycobacteria. Also represented are drugs that treat both specialty and primary care ailments, such as Pfizer's oncology drug Ibrance and Boehringer Ingelheim's blood thinner Pradaxa, respectively.

The U.S. agency Area 23, part of IPG's FCB Health network, garnered an impressive six entries on the shortlist, including five for the aforementioned NTM awareness effort, which includes digital and print components. Omnicom's CDM New York boasts two, for digital creative on behalf of Xifaxan, a drug which Salix markets for hepatic encephalopathy, and the network's TBWA\WorldHealth agency has another two, for its photography on the Restylane Silk campaign.

Other U.S. agencies with a shortlisted entry include: Harrison and Star (New York), GSW (New York), Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness (New York), Sudler & Hennessey (New York), Neon (New York), and Y&R (San Francisco).

See also: Pharma's complexity calls for a closer look at creativity

The two-day health event, officially under way Saturday, signals the start of the 63rd Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in Cannes, France. Lions Health is in its third year. The festival showcases global work that has had significant impact as a result of creativity.

The pharma industry has been challenged to reach the Grand Prix level. Although last year's jury bestowed a Grand Prix, the highest award, the digital campaign was subsequently removed from the web.

In the health and wellness category, there are 201 shortlisted entries, with 48 entries from U.S. agencies.

To see what entries will win the Gold Lion and Grand Prix awards for health and pharma, check back here for the results. Saturday's big awards ceremony starts at 3 pm EST.