from March 2017 to January 2018
kansas, United states
Our first core strategic priority is to drive commercial adoption of Optune for the treatment of GBM. We ended 2017 with 12 consecutive quarters of active patient and revenue growth and more than 1,800 patients on therapy. Active patient growth is our principal revenue driver, and we delivered $177 million in net revenues in 2017.
We have established commercial operations in six markets across three regions – the United States, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Israel and Japan – and have certified prescribers at more than 1,100 centers globally to treat patients with Optune. Within each of our active markets, we focus first on generating awareness of Optune and our unprecedented five-year survival data in newly diagnosed GBM. Once awareness is established, our focus shifts to increasing the percentage of physicians who routinely discuss Optune with their patients and who confidently position Optune plus temozolomide as the treatment for newly diagnosed GBM that offers the best chance to live longer compared to temozolomide alone.
We believe approximately 14,000 people are eligible for treatment with Optune in our currently active markets and we estimate our penetration rate was 20 percent in 2017. Optune is the first treatment in more than 10 years to increase median overall survival in newly diagnosed GBM, and we believe there are many more patients who could benefit from treatment with Optune than are currently on therapy.
We provide Optune directly to patients following receipt of a prescription order and a signed patient service agreement. We bill payers a single fee each month for therapy, and we bear the financial risk of securing payment from patients and third-party payers in all markets except for Japan. In Japan, we distribute our product through hospitals. We made significant strides in 2017 to secure formal coverage and consistent reimbursement from payers in all three regions in which we operate.
As of December 31, 2017, more than 210 million Americans had coverage of Optune for newly diagnosed and/or recurrent GBM, representing more than 96 percent of privately insured lives in the United States. In August 2017, we secured reimbursement for Optune in Austria for patients with newly diagnosed GBM. In December 2017, the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare approved national reimbursement for Optune for the treatment of newly diagnosed GBM in Japan.
We continue to work on expanding access to Optune in our active markets and to define pathways to reimbursement in additional markets. In the United States, we remain engaged in active discussions with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services administration regarding Medicare fee-for-service reimbursement for Optune. In Germany, we are able to bill healthcare payers for individual cases and have started the formal process to secure national reimbursement through a clinical trial. We are pursuing reimbursement for Optune in Switzerland and Israel.
We believe there is an opportunity to increase the average reimbursement per patient in our currently active markets and expect future reimbursement decisions to drive revenue growth.
annually in the
annually in Japan
annually in Switzerland
annually in Germany
annually in Austria
annually in Israel
Kansas, United States
After her second son was born, Nikki Woolfolk began experiencing panic-like anxiety. Despite medical care and therapy, her symptoms persisted. Her primary care physician referred her to a neurologist, who ordered an MRI. The results showed a tumor in her brain.
After having surgery to remove the tumor, Nikki learned she had GBM. Despite the severity of her diagnosis, she felt relieved to know the cause of her anxiety, which turned out to be minor seizures.
Nikki, 32, of Lawrence, Kansas, felt helpless when she didn’t know what was causing her anxiety — having a diagnosis gave her a sense of control.
“Now we can take action,” she said, recalling the moment she received the diagnosis. “I was in go mode. Keep going, take action and do what my doctors tell us to do.”
“The scariest part of my whole experience thus far was when I didn’t know what was going on,” she said.
Nikki doesn’t view herself as a patient. After she was diagnosed, she started dressing up more to improve her confidence.
“I need to face this anyway,” she said. “I can try to make it a little bit better.”
Nikki works part time at a local hospital as a physician recruiter. She decided to work part time before her diagnosis to spend more time with her children, Eli, 5, and Beau, 2. On her days off, Nikki sometimes takes her boys to take gymnastics classes. The Woolfolks also enjoy bicycling and boating. Her husband, Chess, runs his own business and has some flexibility, which helps him prioritize time with his family as well.
Nikki is grateful that her part-time work schedule affords her more time with her children.
“I want my kids to remember this time, no matter what happens long term,” she said. “We have a really close family, and we’re going to take care of each other no matter what.”
senior device support specialist
Texas, United States
Prior to joining Novocure in 2012, Matt Lozano worked as a project manager in clinical trials and cancer research. In that role, he often observed the life-altering side effects cancer patients endured when receiving chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
“When I learned about the mechanism of action, technology and mild side effect profile of Tumor Treating Fields, I knew right away that I wanted to be a part of Novocure,” he said.
In his role as a device support specialist at Novocure, Matt works with cancer patients and their caregivers every day. Novocure’s device support specialists (DSSs) provide technical training on Optune to GBM patients and their caregivers. They start new patients on therapy and follow up with them often in the first month of treatment as patients learn to incorporate the treatment into their lives. DSSs then connect with patients monthly to create a treatment compliance report for the patient and their health care provider, and to provide technical tips or address any concerns.
Working with patients is one of Matt’s favorite parts of his job.
“You have to be patient and understanding of where they’re coming from,” Matt said. “I always walk in with a big smile on my face. When you create a welcoming environment for the patients, they often better understand the device and become more accepting of the treatment.”
When interacting with patients, he enjoys being supportive and seeing GBM patients who are able to continue with their daily activities while on Optune. He recalled working with a patient who drove the entire Route 66 and another who continued his hobby of hunting. Seeing patients accomplish their goals gives Matt a sense of meaning from his job.
“I feel like my face is glowing,” he said. “I feel so incredible that our company is able to provide this treatment to them.”