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Amgen finds a dance partner in Lance Bass, urging psoriatic arthritis patients to do a ‘Double Take’ on the disease

Amgen is using a musical theme in its new “Double Take” campaign, which aims to help people with psoriatic arthritis dance to diagnosis.

Amgen, which sells two blockbuster drugs for the condition, is tapping singer, dancer and former NSYNC band member Lance Bass to create what it calls a “fun and educational dance” to help patients recognize the early signs and symptoms of psoriatic arthritis (PsA).

Bass knows a lot about the condition, having lived with it for more than a decade. He was formally diagnosed five years ago.

PsA is a type of arthritis linked with psoriasis, a chronic skin and nail disease. It resembles rheumatoid arthritis in symptoms and joint swelling, though it tends to affect fewer joints than RA does. It affects around 1 million Americans.

“When I found out that the symptoms I was experiencing were a result of psoriatic arthritis, I was surprised and scared; I was only in my 30s,” said Bass in a release.

“I’ve learned the importance of understanding and recognizing the early symptoms of psoriatic arthritis. You don’t have to brush it off or deal with it. I teamed up with Amgen on the Double Take campaign to share my story and empower others to take action.”

Amgen is sharing the dance on social media and encouraging others to join in, using the hashtag #PsADoubleTake.

Amgen has two major brands for psoriatic arthritis, as well as for other immunology indications. The first is Enbrel, which made $862 million in the first quarter of 2022, and its new drug Otezla, which it bought from Celgene in 2019 for a massive $13.4 billion and made $451 million in Q1.

Amgen said in a release that Bass is not using Otezla personally for his condition, and the accompanying website for Double Take also makes that point with image captions saying “Not an Otezla patient.”

There are, however, direct details about Otezla, its uses and its potential side effects on the site.

Amgen competes with some of the biggest drug names in pharma, including AbbVie’s $20 billion-a-year Humira and its next-gen follow-ups in Skyrizi and Rinvoq, as well as Johnson & Johnson’s Stelara and Bristol Myers Squibb’s Orencia.