Our Commercial Business
The first indication we pursued for TTFields was GBM, the most common form of primary brain cancer. We initially received FDA approval for Optune, our first TTFields delivery system, in 2011 for use as a monotherapy treatment for adult patients with GBM, following confirmed recurrence after chemotherapy. In October 2015, we received FDA approval of Optune for the treatment of adult patients with newly diagnosed GBM in combination with temozolomide, the standard of care chemotherapy.
Since these approvals, we have built a commercial organization to support the launch of Optune for the treatment of GBM in the United States, Germany, Switzerland and Japan. As of December 31, 2016, we had nearly 1,100 patients on treatment with Optune. We provide technical training for patients and caregivers, 24/7 technical support, compliance monitoring and assistance with all aspects of billing and reimbursement.optune.com
TTFields therapy is delivered using noninvasive, insulated transducer arrays that are placed directly on the skin in the region surrounding the tumor. The complete delivery system includes a portable electric field generator, transducer arrays, rechargeable batteries and accessories. It is designed to allow patients to go about their daily activities while receiving continuous cancer treatment.
active patient growth
quarters of active
of ef-14 data
low-intensity alternating electric fields
used alone or in combination to treat solid tumors
tumor treating fields (TTFields)
“This career takes patience and compassion. We are doing more than just telling a patient and their family what to expect or how to stop alarms on the device. We are giving them our full attention to ensure that they know that we are here for them, 100%, 24/7, to support their treatment with Optune.”
as of December 31, 2016
GENERAL MANAGER GERMANY
Tobias Weizel, Novocure’s General Manager Germany, leads the company’s commercial business in Germany and said he feels lucky to be a part of Novocure’s mission of bringing a profoundly different cancer treatment to patients worldwide.
What are some of the challenges you face in leading Novocure’s commercial team in Germany?
It’s getting physicians to buy into a different technology in order for it to hopefully become standard of care. We’ve made a great deal of advancement here, and we continue to increase education and exposure for key physicians.
How do you go about introducing Optune to patients and physicians?
The most important key player here is the physician. If physicians don’t believe in the therapy, German patients are still largely listening to what a doctor says, especially when you have such a devastating diagnosis of GBM. We have a lot of physicians who are excited by the opportunity of Optune and the EF-14 phase 3 pivotal trial data in newly diagnosed GBM. These are the ones who tell their patients about Optune. We continue to educate physicians on the survival benefits of the therapy and believe they will increasingly share this treatment option with their patients.
How is Novocure different from other companies where you’ve worked?
I believe that to be successful at Novocure, you have to have a passion for helping patients along with flexibility. Being a part of a growing organization, employees have a chance to help define the best processes to move the company forward.
It’s more than thinking outside of the box. There is no other company that does what we do–there’s no box we fit in, so we often have to create new ways of doing things.
What do you enjoy about working for Novocure?
If you have a chance to introduce a different therapy, to change mindsets and to change the way cancer is treated, then I believe I’m really lucky. The possibility to see what we can do with this therapy gives me a lot of energy. Many companies in this industry say they put their patients first. For me, this is the first time that I actually feel it’s true.
Tobias Weizel, Novocure’s General Manager Germany, joined the company in July 2016 and said he thrives off of the entrepreneurial, startup spirit inherent in Novocure. “The company has grown substantially in the last several years, but we’ve managed to preserve this.”