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Almirall, ramping up its Klisyri launch, wants patients to ‘listen to what your marks whisper to you’

As Almirall looks to ramp up its Klisyri launch, the pharma is organizing an inaugural awareness day for the skin condition it treats.

Actinic Keratosis Global Day has been launched by Almirall in partnership with Euromelanoma and AEDV Fundación Piel Sana and coincides with Skin Cancer Awareness Month this May. The tagline? “Listen to what your marks whisper to you.”

With this, Almirall aims to “highlight the importance of paying attention to the appearance and progression of any mark in order to have it checked and treated appropriately,” it said in a statement.

Within the campaign, the Spanish pharma also created the documentary “AK Stories,” which includes testimonials from dermatology experts across Europe and their patients. They share facts about AK and emphasize the importance of prevention and diagnosis.

“One in four Northern Europeans over the age of 65 will have actinic keratosis. In our discussions with patients we try to introduce the concept of self-examination and empower the patient to take charge of their skin,” said Bav Shergill, a consultant dermatologist and dermatological surgeon at Queen Victoria Hospital, East Grinstead, in one of the campaign’s testimonial videos.

Actinic keratosis (AK) is a rough, scaly patch on the skin that develops from years of sun exposure.

“On the south coast of England, most of my patients are very active outdoors, so there is a lot of chronic exposure to the sun. Their skin tells the story of their life. Having a collaborative approach to skin health care allows me to spread the message to their friends, family and work colleagues and means that, from one interaction, I can treat many patients,” he added.

The AK global day is focusing on the importance of early detection. It will now run each year on May 24 and is specific to Europe.

If AK is left untreated, it can in some cases turn into a type of skin cancer called squamous cell carcinoma. This is not as deadly as melanoma, which has higher fatality rates and is much more likely to spread to the rest of the body more quickly.

The appearance of AK can vary greatly, from looking like a patch of eczema to a wart, making it hard to pinpoint and diagnose. But the earlier the diagnosis, the lower the risk of it turning into skin cancer, hence why Almirall wants us to “listen to our marks.”

The FDA approved Almirall’s Klisyri, a topical treatment, in December 2020 specifically for AK of the face or scalp. The drug launched in the first quarter of 2021. And last July, Almirall also nabbed a European approval, with rollout across the continent ramping up this year, hence the European focus on the AK Global Day. 

“Actinic Keratosis is relatively easily treated when caught early, but it should be treated as a warning sign, as it is a marker for an increased rate of non-melanoma skin cancer, even in the absence of specific lesion progression,” said Veronique del Marmol, European chair of Euromelanoma, in a statement sent to Fierce Pharma Marketing.

“Initiatives like the AK Global Day promote awareness on this very common condition and the importance of recognising the lesions and consulting a dermatologist.”