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SMA: A Race Against Time

by Havas Life Medicom for Novartis Gene Therapies

Summary of work

SMA is a rare, devastating genetic disease affecting babies from birth, leading to progressive muscle weakness and, without urgent treatment, can cause death by the age of two. Despite this, the infrastructure for urgent diagnosis is not yet in place across Europe. The responsibility of spotting the complex signs of disease falls to the caregivers and PCPs.
With no EMEA campaigns, Novartis Gene Therapies identified an unmet need to educate caregivers and HCPs on the signs and symptoms and drive the accelerated identification of SMA. Given the complex nature of symptoms, an innovative approach was required to educate with compelling and accurate content.
‘SMA: A Race against Time’ is the first of its kind, CGI-based multichannel campaign. An insight-driven approach was instrumental in crafting the multidimensional creative story to empower caregivers and drive HCP urgency. Since launch (Nov 2020), the campaign has reached over 10.5M and achieved >52K website visits – 20% revisited, 10% viewed CGI symptom videos and 8% downloaded the discussion guide to aid referral discussions.
The success so far has allowed us to build and expand the campaign objectives to ultimately decrease time to diagnosis for babies with SMA.

Judges' comments

SMA: A Race Against Time is a campaign that was very direct in its thinking. It did the job that it was designed to do and has the potential to help a lot of parents who have babies living with this rare and devastating disease. An excellent, well-structured and well delivered piece of work.


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SMA: A Race Against Time - by Havas Life Medicom for Novartis Gene Therapies

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Category Sponsors

Key dates

Entry deadline 10th March 2023
Extended entry deadline 17th March 2023
(additional fee applies)
Judging days 4th, 5th and 19th
May 2023
Awards Ceremony 6th July 2023

Contact information:

For sponsorship opportunities:
Sales Team
Tel: +44 (0)1372 414200

General event enquiries:
Debbie Tuesley
Tel: +44 (0)1372 414243

Entry and dinner booking enquiries:
Charlotte Garnade
Tel: 01372 414253