Idorsia mulls use of contract sales teams to support insomnia drug launch

By Nick Taylor

- Last updated on GMT

(Image: Getty/Anyaberkut)
(Image: Getty/Anyaberkut)

Related tags: Idorsia, Japan, Insomnia

Idorsia considers using contract sales organizations to retain control of late-phase insomnia drug.

Having spun out of Actelion as part of a $30bn (€27bn) takeover by Johnson & Johnson​, Idorsia has sought to use its considerable resources, relative to its size, to retain a significant stake in important pipeline programs. That thinking has shaped Idorsia’s approach to daridorexant, a dual orexin receptor antagonist that is due to deliver Phase III data in insomnia in the second quarter.

Jean-Paul Clozel, CEO of Idorsia, used a recent fourth quarter results conference call with analysts to set out the role he wants his company to play in the commercialization and further development of daridorexant.

Clozel said, “We want to keep control, meaning to have the regulatory responsibility, the drug safety pharmacovigilance, the production responsibility and also the medical marketing role to choose the next studies that we should do and how we should profile the drug​.”

Idorsia is working with a local partner, Mochida Pharmaceutical, to access the Japanese market, reflecting Clozel’s belief that the number of medical representatives needed to sell daridorexant in the country means there is “no way​” the company could promote the drug itself in that territory.

Clozel is more open to going solo in other markets, despite Idorsia currently having more experience in drug development than commercialization. That openness is, in part, a consequence of the potential for Idorsia to access commercialization capabilities without investing in in-house capacity or ceding rights to, and control of, daridorexant to a biopharma partner.

The CEO said, “There are many possibilities. We can have medical representatives from clinical sales organizations. We can rent these contract sales organizations​.”

Idorsia’s access to sales capabilities on an outsourced basis has enabled Clozel to rule out the prospect of his company hiring hundreds of internal medical representatives, while also committing fully to staying in control of daridorexant.

Idorsia is also outsourcing production of daridorexant, although, as Clozel explained to investors, the company is “checking the quality and we are responsible of this production​.”

Further details of how Idorsia plans to commercialize daridorexant outside of Japan should emerge after the publication of Phase III data. Beyond that point, Idorsia plans to reveal more about its launch strategy and plans for further development of the asset.

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