So how did Mandy Moore get involved in an effort by Incyte Corporation to combat eczema?

Earlier this fall, Incyte launched its Moments of Clarity program, an initiative highlighting the stories of people living with mild to moderate atopic dermatitis (AD) and their search for relief from its symptoms. 

Incyte is the developer of Opzelura, a topical cream indicated for short-term and non-continuous chronic treatment of mild to moderate atopic dermatitis in patients 12 years or older.

Timed to coincide with National Eczema Awareness Month in October, the drugmaker targeted a large audience that have some form of eczema, which comprises an estimated 31.6 million Americans. 

While the Moments of Clarity program is focused on the stories of real-life people like you and me, the campaign enlisted some serious star power in the form of Moore — a singer, songwriter and star of the NBC drama, This Is Us

Moore is also one of the millions of Americans who lives with AD, which made her an ideal ambassador for the campaign.

Thus far, Moore’s role has been to interview people living with AD for candid conversations featured in the effort.

However, Incyte’s EVP of business development and strategic planning Barry Flannelly says that she will facilitate additional conversations and contribute in other ways to the Moments of Clarity effort going forward.

Mandy Moore
Mandy Moore. Courtesy Jim Wright Photography. Photo used with permission.

Mandy Moore meet Morgan Freeman

While Moore is a major get for Incyte, she isn’t the first A-lister the company has enlisted to communicate Opzelura’s benefits. 

In March, the company rolled out ads narrated by Academy Award-winner Morgan Freeman, focused on the use of Opzelura to treat another skin condition, vitiligo. 

The positive response to those commercials, which captured people’s attention with Freeman’s well-known “voice of God” vibrato, inspired Incyte to lean further into celebrities for the Moments of Clarity.

“What we learned from Morgan Freeman is that having a recognizable celebrity brings people in. He’ll continue as the voice of the vitiligo commercials into the future,” Flannelly says. “We’re always searching for another way to break through and, quite honestly, the media environment that we currently live in is difficult. We’re trying to get people’s attention when they’re distracted in so many ways and figuring out where the patients are is important. Then we have to get them to follow up on the messages that we’re delivering.”

Even though Moore and Freeman may grab consumers’ attention, Flannelly indicates that patients’ first-person stories produce the follow-through that he and the company are looking for. He says too many people view eczema as a minimized annoyance rather than as the serious and treatable condition that it is.

“With lots of diseases of the skin, people don’t always take them seriously,” he explains. “It’s not just that you have this inflammation and you have a little itching. It can keep you up at night, it can create stress around how other people perceive you — some people might think it’s contagious. Also, you can certainly end up scratching yourself until you’re bleeding, getting scars and infections, which often happen.”

Mandy Moore
Image used with permisison.

Raising awareness, promoting hope

For those living with eczema, it can seem like a condition that is embarrassing and untreatable, though Flannelly says Incyte is seeking to set the record straight and let patients know there are a variety of treatment options available.

“Opzelura is one of the best new products on the market, but other people who have severe eczema might go to some other drugs — typically injectables for the most part,” he says. 

There is a process to incorporate Opzelura into a treatment plan, he notes, as a patient must see a dermatologist before any solution can be prescribed.

Understanding that process is one of the main goals of the campaign, he says, so that consumers realize there are more powerful solutions than over-the-counter treatments and products that don’t have the limitations of steroids, which typically cannot be used over extended periods. Permanent relief may be out there, waiting to be prescribed, he says. 

A downloadable discussion guide consisting of eight questions and designed to facilitate conversations with a dermatologist is among the resources provided on the Moment of Clarity  campaign website. 

In addition to the stories that Moore facilitates, the campaign site also includes a page where people can share their own experiences with AD and how they were able to find an effective treatment. 

Flannelly hopes all these various testimonials will deliver one simple message in the end: “You don’t have to suffer with eczema, and there are newer treatments available that can help in a big way.”