Does CBG offer hope against antimicrobial resistance?

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According to a recent WHO press release, a lack of innovation in the development of new antibiotics, allied with declining private investment, is undermining efforts to combat drug-resistant infections. The breaking news from China of a sharp rise in diagnoses of an emergent strain of coronavirus, and new reported cases in Japan and Thailand, has raised fears of another outbreak similar to SARS in 2003, which infected more than 8,000 people and killed more than 700.

WHO has raised concerns about a weak pipeline for antibiotic agents, with 60 products in development (50 antibiotics and 10 biologics) that it deems bring little benefit over existing treatments and very few that target the most critical resistant bacteria (Gram-negative bacteria). However, some positive news came from an unlikely quarter over the weekend – an as yet unpublished study that found that CBG (cannabigerol) cured mice of MRSA infections as effectively as vancomycin, a drug widely considered to be the last line of defence against drug-resistant microbes.

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One of our recent blogs looked at the potential of a new emerging class of cannabinoids beyond CBD – including CBG, CBN (cannabinol) and CBC (cannabichromene) – and this new study boosts the attractiveness of the cannabinoid industry even further. Eric Brown, the microbiologist who led the research at McMaster University said cannabinoids were “clearly great drug-like compounds”, but noted it was early days in assessing the compounds for use in the clinic.

Brown found that CBG and other cannabinoids did not work well against gram negative multi-drug resistant bugs. However, the study shows that when CBG is used along with small quantities of polymyxin B, an existing antibiotic that targets “the cytoplasmic membrane of Gram-positive bacteria”, the cannabis compound wiped out the drug-resistant pathogens. “We are now pursuing the required paperwork to work with a wide variety of cannabinoids,” Brown said.

What is the current regulatory status of CBD in global markets? Find out in Nicholas Hall’s upcoming report, CBD 2020: The 20 Most Important Questions about CBD in the Future of CHC! You can also read about the main challenges faced by CBD players, the current and forecast size of the market, and much more! Pre-order your copy before 30 January to save with the pre-publication discounted rate! To find out more, or purchase your copy, please contact melissa.lee@NicholasHall.com.

GSK and Sanofi seek to stand alone

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Structural reorganisation is on the agenda of two of the world’s leading CHC marketers in 2020. GSK’s consumer health tie-up with Pfizer in August 2019 was last year’s major M&A development and now the company’s next ambition is to list the new CHC business on the London Stock Exchange. As for Sanofi, the company unveiled a new strategy just before Christmas, including making Sanofi Consumer Healthcare a standalone business. In the meantime, both companies continue to trim their CHC portfolios.

In December 2019, Pfizer agreed to divest its topical pain management business, ThermaCare, to Italian-based Angelini for an undisclosed sum, reports apotheke.adhoc.de. In July 2019, the European Commission approved the consumer healthcare merger of GSK and Pfizer, conditional upon the global divestment of ThermaCare. The agreement follows Angelini’s acquisition of BoxaGrippal systemic cold & flu remedy and the Heumann herbal medicinal tea range from Sanofi in August 2019.

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Meanwhile, it was announced this month that BI is to sell Buscopan antispasmodic and Buscofem menstrual pain analgesic to Hypera Pharma in Brazil for Rs1.3bn (US$329mn). The deal, which is subject to approval by Administrative Council for Economic Defence (CADE), is in line with Hypera’s strategy of strengthening its portfolio with “established brands with high growth potential”. Under the terms of its 2017 business swap with BI, Sanofi has acquisition preference for the brands and could still pose a counteroffer. However, industry sources suggest that the company is unlikely to exercise this right.

In December 2019, Sanofi unveiled a new strategy to drive innovation and growth, focusing on three core global business units: Specialty Care, Vaccines and General Medicines. Consumer Healthcare will be a standalone business unit with integrated R&D and manufacturing functions. CEO Paul Hudson explained: “Our objective for the CH business is to unlock value and entrepreneurial energy by growing faster than the market over the mid-term. We believe the new standalone structure, coupled with plans to accelerate the OTC switches for Cialis and Tamiflu, will position the business well to accomplish this ambition.” Hudson added that the Rx erectile dysfunction treatment and flu remedy are expected to switch by 2026, adding around US$1bn to Sanofi’s top line.

Are you looking to make a strategic or bolt-on acquisition? If so, our Consultancy team would be happy to have a confidential discussion with you. Our specialist team can negotiate the successful acquisition of companies and brands, asset swaps, fostering and financing. We work with a number of strategic and financial partners to evaluate potential opportunities – for buyers and sellers – in the M&A, licensing and fundraising space. To find out more, please contact ekaterina.panteleeva@NicholasHall.com.

CHC trends in 2020

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In Nicholas Hall’s recent signature New Paradigms report, there were 15 Infinity Zones identified as offering substantial growth opportunities for the consumer healthcare market over the next decade, against a backdrop of uncertainty in the industry caused by the recent wave of mega-mergers. These include the development of new CHC products for diabetes and food intolerance, as well as a further uptick in activity for probiotics, MedTech and e-Commerce. In this week’s blog, we look at three trends that may boost the consumer healthcare market in 2020.

CBD and beyond

2019 was the year of CBD, as evidenced by our CHC New Products Tracker service, which logged over 300 new CBD products in the US market alone last year. A recent article in US pharmacy trade publication, Drug Store News, suggests that CBD is just the tip of the cannabinoid iceberg, with various other cannabinoids set to take off over the coming year. These include cannabigerol (CBG), which is said to produce a stimulant effect, cannabinol (CBN), claimed to show benefits as a sleep aid, and cannabichromene (CBC), claimed to be an effective pain reliever.

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Veganism on the rise

A UK-based campaign that has received a lot of celebrity endorsements, Veganuary, is encouraging people to try veganism in the month of January. One of the benefits of the rise in veganism for VMS marketers is increased awareness of the nutrients we require, many of which can be lacking in a vegan diet. For instance, several leading proponents of veganism like The Vegan Society recommend taking vitamin B12 supplements while adopting a vegan diet. Our CHC New Products Tracker service has also recorded a strong rise in vegan-friendly supplements in the past two years, a trend that looks set to accelerate in 2020.

Uptick in switch activity?

One of the trends responsible for the slowdown in global CHC market growth these past 3-4 years is the drop-off in Rx-to-OTC switch activity, especially in the world’s No.1 market, USA. There are signs this is about to change – for example, Viagra is due to lose its final patents in the USA in 2020. In Japan, the world’s No.3 CHC market, there has been a similar falling off in switch activity, with just two ingredients approved for reclassification in 2018 and 2019. However, 2019 saw the first ingredient to be switched under a new system set up by Japan’s drugs agency, MHLW, which has nominated over 30 ingredients as eligible for switch. With the Tokyo Olympics also on the horizon in summer 2020, this year could see a revival in Japan’s sluggish CHC market.

With options available for complete access to all 20 markets covered by CHC New Products Tracker, or a subscription for selected categories or countries, contact waisan.lee-gabell@NicholasHall.com today to find out more or set up a free trial!

Global CHC market up 3.7% in MAT Q3 2019 period

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Figures released by Nicholas Hall’s sales database DB6 show that in the 12 months to end-September 2019 (MAT Q3 2019) the global CHC market increased by 3.7%, a slight improvement on its MAT Q2 2019 performance (+3.6%). Global CHC sales now total US$139.5bn.

USA maintained its growth rate (+2.7%) with slight improvements in CCA and analgesics being offset by slower performances in other major categories. Canada continued to perform poorly with sales up by just 1.9%, and the country has fallen to No. 12 position in the global rankings, behind Poland, which saw growth accelerate to 8.7%. Also contributing to an improved performance in Europe (+2.6%) were strong upturns for key markets Germany, UK and Italy, though Russia, France and Switzerland continued to decline.

Asia-Pacific remained weak (+4.0%) with China and India both slowing upon their MAT Q2 performances and all other leading Asian markets growing by under 3%. Japan reported consistent growth of 0.9%, while Australia (+1.8%) and South Korea (+2.2%) recorded modest upturns in Q3. Latin America (+9.1%) maintained its high growth trend with both Brazil and Mexico advancing by high single digits. Turkey also posted a strong performance (+18.0%), primarily driven by price inflation.

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Nicholas Hall’s Christmas Card: The global CHC market will struggle to reach 4% growth in 2019, at least in the Retail sector. By next March we will have 2019 data for all three channels, including Direct and Internet, and it will be interesting to see whether the industry matches the 5% growth achieved in 2018. Looking at the market very simply, there are three short-term drivers: a strong cold & flu season, and it does seem as though we will be sneezing a lot more in the months ahead; Rx-to-Switch, but 2019 is the second year of no significant switches, although Sanofi’s statement about Cialis and Tamiflu is welcome for the future; and the Emerging Markets, all growing significantly less than in the past as proved by our Q3 data.

Explore the Emerging Markets, Industry Consolidation and many other pressing issues in Nicholas Hall’s New Paradigms for CHC 2019: Over the Horizon! Nicholas also unveils his 15 ”Infinity Zones” that are crucial to the future growth of the industry in this essential report. You can upgrade your purchase to include a customised in-house presentation or webinar with Nicholas for an additional GB£10,000. For more information, or to order your copy, currently available with a 15% discount until 31 December only, please contact melissa.lee@NicholasHall.com

CHC Adjacencies Fuelling Digital Marketing Innovation

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A new report from Nicholas Hall examines effective digital marketing strategies for consumer health players and the fast-growing online channel for OTCs. In this week’s blog, we examine which consumer healthcare categories, brands and companies most fully embraced social media marketing in 2019, and summarise the report’s findings.

Given the tight regulations surrounding the promotion of registered OTC medicines on social media, it’s no surprise that the subcategories where we’ve recorded the most digital marketing activity in 2019 – using our OTC New Products Tracker tool – were adjacent categories in Lifestyle OTCs, VMS and dermatologicals. Cannabis / CBD recorded the highest number of innovations backed by social media promotion in 2019, followed by lip care and probiotics.

Of the Top 20 brands that recorded the highest number of innovations in 2019 backed by social media promotion, lip care products Eos (Eos) and ChapStick (formerly Pfizer, now GSK) were at the top of the tree. For example, Eos Vampire Kiss was supported by an Instagram campaign in the run-up to Halloween. CBD companies such as Hilo, CBDfx and Ignite – the latter backed by professional poker player and social media celebrity Dan Bilzerian – have also used digital marketing in 2019 to support their new products. Among VMS brands, Irwin Naturals, Zarbee’s Naturals (J&J) and Olly (Unilever) were all well-supported on social media, especially Facebook.

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Below are some of the findings from the new Nicholas Hall report:

  • It is vital that approaches to digital marketing are differentiated across digital and social media channels
  • Most consumers trust social media for healthcare advice, making an engaging social media strategy critical
  • Rapid adoption of digital technologies and evolving shopping behaviours are transforming e-Commerce into a key channel in consumer healthcare
  • Consumers will generally shop where it is most convenient, so understanding where they are shopping online is vital
  • Mobile is consumers’ constant companion so all content should be accessible on mobile devices
  • Since the virtual shelf is infinite, standing out from competitors online requires orchestrated brand communication

Comment from Ian Crook, Managing Editor, Nicholas Hall’s Reports: When considering how to target consumers via digital channels, marketers must note that different demographic groups use different social media platforms, and in diverse ways. Content consumption is diversifying just as audiences are broadening; the modern consumer leads a very busy life and can be easily distracted, posing challenges to effective engagement. Fostering consumer connections is vital, and whichever means of communication is used – live streaming, chatbots, social media messaging, etc – interacting with consumers is essential. Marketers cannot win everywhere or invest in all platforms, so choosing the appropriate medium is an important step in planning an effective digital campaign.

The new report features many more findings, backed by relevant case studies, including a look at consumer influencers, the benefits of a direct-to-consumer strategy, the digital strategies of the OTC Top 10, as well as the differing regulatory situation for online sale of medicines across markets, plus much more. To purchase your copy of Digital Marketing & e-Commerce, or for more details, please contact melissa.lee@NicholasHall.com.

Latin America a ray of CHC light

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As reported in our MAT Q2 2019 update, the Emerging Markets have produced mixed performances in recent quarters, with consumer healthcare growth in both China and India impeded by a relatively low-key cough & cold season and weakening economies. Over the weekend, it was reported that India’s economic growth slowed further in the third quarter, highlighting the depth of the downturn afflicting a nation that was only recently revelling in its status as the world’s fastest-growing large economy. 

One region that continues to produce above-average consumer growth, however, is Latin America – CHC sales grew by 8.3% in the MAT Q2 2019 period – and Nicholas Hall recently returned to São Paulo for our 5th Latin American Consumer Healthcare Conference. Reflecting on his trip, which also included a workshop in Mexico City, Nicholas Hall said “the topics that aroused most curiosity at these meetings were e-commerce, cannabis, probiotics, industry consolidation and, inevitably, regulations, with Brazil travelling in one direction (liberalisation) and Mexico the other.

Strong growth in Brazil has been also been fuelled by higher levels of launch activity, with our OTC New Products Tracker service showing a strong spike in the number of innovations recorded in 2018, totalling just over 250.

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Below is a summary of some of the Key Learnings from our Latin American CHC Conferences:

• As we enter the 4th industrial revolution, it is important to question traditional business models & sales strategies

• Innovation is not limited to NPD (new product development); within an increasingly saturated market with tough regulatory obstacles, we should explore new business models & sales strategies

• Traditional market research methods are deeply flawed but the wealth of consumer data that advancing technologies (such as wearables) provide could be a goldmine of opportunities

• LatAm lags behind other global regions in eCommerce owing to regulatory hurdles, high levels of fraud & a lack of consumer trust in online platforms

• Precision marketing – using online influencers & product placement – can help connect with more clustered consumers

• While HCPs might be interested in features, consumers want benefits!

• Content marketing – particularly focusing on preventive healthcare – could be key to improving low levels of health literacy and the burden this places on national healthcare services

A detailed write-up of both our São Paulo & Mexico City conferences will be included in the next issue of Insight Latin America. To receive a copy of this article, contact Melissa

Time’s 100 Best Inventions of 2019

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Time magazine has just published its annual round-up of the 100 best innovations – based on key factors such as originality, creativity, influence, ambition and effectiveness – and healthcare was the best represented category with 10 innovations in 2019. Most have been designed for use in primary care settings, such as GE Healthcare’s new Senographe Pristina with Dueta mammogram, but there were several innovations designed for consumer use.

One of these is Tivic Health’s ClearUp, which was added to our OTC New Products Tracker database following its launch in September 2019. Positioned as a drug-free handheld device to treat sinus pain owing to allergic rhinitis, ClearUp delivers microcurrent waveforms to sinus nerves under the cheek, nose and brow bone. The medical device provides three intensity levels for personalised usage, and each treatment takes five minutes to perform and lasts for up to six hours.

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Tivic Health’s ClearUp for sinus pain

Also on the Time Best 100 Innovations of 2019 list were portable ultrasound device Butterfly iQ, Theranica’s drug-free migraine treatment Nerivio and handheld doctor examination kit TytoCare. The latter retails for US$299 and has been designed to eliminate the need for a doctor visit by examining the lungs, ears, skin and throat with special adapters and then video­conferencing a doctor to monitor the metrics in real time. According to TytoCare CEO Dedi Gilad: “It transforms primary care by putting health in the hands of consumers.”

As for Nerivio, it was described as the “first smartphone-controlled acute migraine-relief wearable device” when it gained de novo FDA approval in May 2019. The medical device, which is not suitable for people with chronic migraine, is placed on the upper arm and uses smartphone-controlled electronic pulses to create a Conditioned Pain Modulation (CPM) response. Alon Ironi, CEO and co-founder of Theranica, has said the product will be launched at an “affordable price” when it comes to market in 2020.

Don’t miss out on the chance to save 30% on a subscription to the ultimate tool for tracking consumer healthcare innovation, OTC New Products Tracker! We’ve recently hit over 20K entries and made some innovative improvements within the past year, including powerful new graphs, additional filter options, PowerPoint export, Save & Search options and monthly customised innovations reports. Until the end of 2019 we are offering an exclusive 30% discount off list price — please contact waisan.lee-gabell@nicholashall.com to find out more!