New York, NY – August 5, 2015 – GCI Health, a leading healthcare-focused global public relations agency, today announced that it is has begun working with InVivo Therapeutics and Neuraltus Pharmaceuticals, Inc., who are developing novel, breakthrough approaches to address two devastating conditions currently lacking therapeutic options. GCI Health is supporting both corporate and product communications for InVivo Therapeutics, which is pushing the boundaries of spinal cord injury (SCI) research and developing innovative products – including the investigational Neuro-Spinal Scaffold – that aim to heal spinal cord wounds and restore functions lost by people with SCIs. GCI Health is also working with Neuraltus Pharmaceuticals to support corporate communications activities surrounding the company’s lead product candidate, NP001, for the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
“We are extremely passionate about focusing our efforts on therapies that address significant unmet medical and patient needs, and supporting breakthrough companies like InVivo and Neuraltus who are doing truly cutting edge work,” said Wendy Lund, Chief Executive Officer, GCI Health. “We are so proud and humbled to be working with these two companies that are looking to make such a huge difference for patients and their loved ones, and we look forward to supporting them from clinical development through commercialization.”
InVivo Therapeutics’ Mission to Redefine the Life of the Spinal Cord Injury Patient
Working with InVivo Therapeutics, GCI Health is creating a long-term communications strategy and platform surrounding the company’s development of their Neuro-Spinal Scaffold, the first biomaterial device (i.e., the material degrades over several weeks and is resorbed into the body) implanted directly into the spinal cord to stimulate healing for people with SCIs. Given the devastating nature of these injuries and the many needs of people with SCIs, InVivo Therapeutics and GCI Health aim to offer new hope to patients while responsibly communicating about the technology and scientific study of the Neuro-Spinal Scaffold to a broad range of media outlets. One key area of focus is building media interest and securing coverage in the business press. Most recently, GCI Health supported the media surrounding the company’s uplisting to the Nasdaq Capital Market in April. Across all other media outlets, GCI Health focuses on communications that highlight the scientific advances and the clinical progress of patients enrolled in the Neuro-Spinal Scaffold pilot study. Recently the TODAY show featured InVivo’s technology and the inspiring stories of the first two patients (which can be viewed at http://on.today.com/1deb3jG). In addition to ongoing media outreach on various milestones, GCI Health is working with InVivo to prepare for the anticipated launch of a pivotal trial next year.
“The GCI Health team has ingrained themselves in our mission during this incredibly exciting time for InVivo Therapeutics,” said Mark Perrin, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman, InVivo Therapeutics. “We sought communications partners who shared our understanding of the promise of our innovative technologies, as well as the realities of the long path to offering new treatments for patients suffering from the impact of spinal cord injuries. I’m pleased that we found partners at GCI Health who believe so deeply in our mission and vision.”
Transparent and Informative Communications for Promising ALS Therapy
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) – more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease – is a progressive, fatal neurodegenerative disease, characterized by the degeneration of motor neurons in the spinal cord and brain, that can be devastating to those affected by it, as well as to their families and loved ones. Thanks, in large part, to the “ice bucket challenge,” ALS received unprecedented attention in 2014. However, effective treatment for patients has proven elusive. Neuraltus Pharmaceuticals, which is developing a breakthrough therapy, NP001, to prevent the degeneration of these motor neurons, is looking to greatly increase its level of engagement and interaction with members of the ALS community as the company prepares for some upcoming clinical and regulatory milestones. The company intends to apply rigorous scientific principles to its research and product development while at the same time maintaining an open and empathetic engagement with ALS physicians, patients and the families of those afflicted by ALS.
GCI Health has been charged with helping the management team clearly articulate the path forward with NP001, recognizing the unmet need for ALS patients, the community’s demand for new treatments, and the regulatory requirements surrounding investigative programs. GCI Health will leverage its knowledge of the ALS community and experience working with other promising ALS therapies to help Neuraltus successfully communicate with its stakeholders about milestone achievements and upcoming clinical studies.
“As a small company facing intense patient demands for accelerated therapeutic development, identifying an agency that had direct experience in working with investigational drugs for complex conditions, such as ALS, is paramount,” said Rich Casey, President and Chief Executive Officer, Neuraltus Pharmaceuticals, Inc. “We needed an informed, dynamic and engaged agency to help us successfully navigate the unique communications needs of our diverse stakeholders. GCI Health’s deep expertise in ALS and CNS diseases, coupled with their extensive scientific, patient advocacy, regulatory acumen and intense passion, was the perfect complement to meet our needs. The team has quickly integrated themselves as a vital part of our team.”
About GCI Health
GCI Health is a forward-thinking healthcare public relations agency powered by best-in-the-business professionals and is the only WPP company that specializes in healthcare public relations. With communications professionals across the U.S., Canada and Europe, GCI Health’s client roster spans broadly across all sectors in healthcare, including pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical technology, consumer health, provider groups (hospitals and managed care), health IT, beauty and aesthetics and non-profit. GCI Health offers clients an accessible senior level leadership team, A-to-Z healthcare experience, a commitment to beating client expectations, and an obsession with anticipating the challenges of an increasingly complex and transforming healthcare communications environment. With insider’s knowledge of health media, high science, digital health strategy, consumer activation, crisis management, reputation building, patient advocacy and health education, GCI Health’s focus on delivering results is unrelenting. GCI Health was recently named the 2015 Healthcare PR Agency of the Year by The Holmes Report and the agency also won a SABRE Award for Pharmaceutical Campaign of the Year (for the third time in five years). For more information, visit our website at www.gcihealth.com.
GCI Health forged a partnership with Hearst women’s title Redbook and online health information source HealthyWomen.org. The HealthiHER Project is an attempt to better understand the health habits of women 30-60 years of age. As a first step in the project, there will be a survey of women in that demographic, addressing their healthcare decisions and needs. The goal of the research is to give these women the information and inspiration they need to make healthier choices. “We’re excited to be working with Redbook and HealthyWomen to uncover some key insights that will help us better communicate with this important population,” said GCI Health CEO Wendy Lund.