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Horizon Therapeutics CEO Tim Walbert runs a rare disease company, but he’s also a patient. While his condition is no secret, Walbert first presents himself as the face of a rare disease in Horizon’s new corporate campaign, “It’s Personal”.

Or rather, as one of the faces of a rare disease – other Horizon employees will also share their stories as patients and caregivers as part of the effort.

Walbert knows the typical long journey of rare disease patients. He was first diagnosed with an autoimmune disease similar to rheumatoid arthritis while a college student, but it was another 10 years before he was diagnosed with a second rare disease. More recently, he unfortunately added the role of caregiver to a child with a rare disease when his 13-year-old son was diagnosed with two autoimmune diseases last year.

Walbert joined Horizon as CEO in 2008 after working at Abbott – now AbbVie – in immunology on the launch of the anti-inflammatory biologic Humira. Prior to that, he worked at Searle, now part of Pfizer, on Celebrex pain medication. The then booming Horizon had only a handful of employees and no office space, literally working from Walbert’s living room.

Lately Horizon has been in tears. Despite a pair of major setbacks with the closure of infusion centers in the event of a pandemic just weeks after its key approval for Tepezza’s thyroid eye disease, and then later when Catalent canceled Tepezza’s manufacturing slots to prioritize production of Covid-19 vaccines, the company reported $ 820 million in Tepezza sales in 2020. This was about 40% of pharma’s record $ 2.2 billion sales in 2020, surpassing 1.3 billion dollars in 2019 sales.

Although “It’s Personal” is Horizon’s first corporate branding effort, the growing pharmaceutical company has long relied on direct-to-consumer advertising as a key part of its go-to-market strategy. He’s also invested heavily in unbranded awareness campaigns, including RareIs, which started as a social media awareness campaign that has grown into a resource and community of support for rare diseases. Platform.

Walbert recently spoke to MarketingRx endpoints editor-in-chief Beth Snyder Bulik on Horizon’s new campaign and the rare personal journey that has helped shape her career.

How did the new “It’s Personal” campaign come about? Can you talk about your personal connection and why you wanted to?

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