Celgene launches fictional film, Millefeuille, to shed new light on complex psoriasis challenges
Celgene announced today the official release of Millefeuille (A Thousand Leaves) , a short, fictional film developed and produced in collaboration with the award-winning Bedrock Multimedia and Turtle Canyon Films, in a bid to expose the complex physical and social challenges that people living with psoriasis face.
Millefeuille tells the story of Élodie, a French woman living a solitary and lonesome existence in London, where she moved after having to give up on her career as a pastry chef due to worsening health issues. Struggling with the effects of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, Élodie one day meets Holly – the girl next door who, full of life and ambition, changes her outlook in life and her sense of belonging to a community.
Élodie is an example of many patients with psoriasis who also live with psoriatic arthritis and experience the multiple manifestations of both diseases. Symptoms like pain, fatigue, swelling/tenderness of the joints and a decrease in physical functioning are common, as well as the itch that can accompany psoriasis and its more commonly known skin lesions.1,2,3 Elodie is also a picture of the majority of patients with psoriasis, in that she suffers from both physical and emotional effects from the disease.3
The film was informed and inspired by both qualitative and quantitative research in this space. The Multinational Assessment of Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis (MAPP) was a first-of-its-kind survey of nearly 4,000 patients and healthcare professionals, to gain the perspective of people living with these conditions and physicians to further understand some of the unmet treatment needs. The survey identified that nearly half of patients had not seen a doctor in the past year and nearly 20% believed that their healthcare provider could not help them.4
However, building a true picture of the patient experience could not have been achieved through numbers and statistics alone. In a bid to pressure-test this large scale survey against a real-life, patient-level analysis, P.S.LIVE was created - a video ethnography project featuring patients recording themselves in their own home discussing the true impact of living with psoriasis and/or psoriatic arthritis. From nearly 2,000 minutes of footage, insights were gathered that confirmed the findings of MAPP but also deepened our understanding of the true disease burden, through patients’ own voices.
These initiatives clarified that there are a number of patients whose wellbeing is severely impacted and who are merely ‘coping’ rather than feeling empowered to address their disease(s):
“We believe that ‘coping’ is not good enough and that patients deserve more. The World Health Organization recently published its Global Report on psoriasis, advocating for further engagement in multi-stakeholder efforts to raise awareness of the impact of this multi-faceted disease,” said Lee Heeson, Vice-President, Inflammation & Immunology, Celgene EMEA. “Millefeuille has been launched to support these ongoing international efforts and it is our hope that using an approach which goes beyond the ‘standard’ definition of disease information – and uses fiction to bring the message to life – can help those who are less motivated or not seeking psoriasis education, to challenge the status quo and live better lives.”
To ensure the accurate portrayal of the patient experience within this fictional story, the Millefeuille script was reviewed by two expert consultants who assessed the content for medical-scientific accuracy, Professor Nikhil Yawalkar, Vice Head of Dermatology at the University Hospital Bern, Switzerland and Professor Ennio Lubrano, Aggregate Professor of Rheumatology and Professor of the PhD School in Health Sciences at the University of Molise, Italy.
Professor Yawalkar said: “Millefeuille is an accurate portrayal of the experiences that commonly affect those living with psoriasis; disease manifestations can span several areas, including visible symptoms including the nails and scalp as well as the more commonly recognised lesions on the elbows and joint areas. These can further exacerbate some of the complex emotional and social challenges that patients are known to face; many people with psoriasis isolate themselves because of such a deep sense of shame, embarrassment and low self-esteem, and Élodie’s experience is reflective of this.”
According to Professor Lubrano, “Up to 30% of patients with psoriasis develop psoriatic arthritis and it can take up to ten years before symptoms in the joints start. A substantial number of patients with psoriatic arthritis suffer from enthesitis and dactylitis, both of which cause soreness and pain, heavily impacting daily activities which we normally take for granted, like showering, bending, getting dressed or even chopping vegetables, like we see in the film”.
Christine Janus, CEO of the International Alliance of Dermatology Patient Organisations said: “We welcome Millefeuille with excitement. We are very familiar with the challenges, the shame, and the pain faced by people living with psoriasis and other visible and disfiguring skin conditions. Finding new ways of getting this message across is important, so that people can feel empowered to face their condition, seek help, support and eventually live their best possible lives. It’s fabulous to see psoriasis getting this type of creative exposure. The majority of people love cinema and a good story, and we’re delighted to see a story which shows us the value of looking beyond the disease and seeing the person. ”
Inspired by Élodie’s passion for baking, Celgene today is also launching a new campaign to help spread the word about the movie. The public are asked to get creative in the kitchen and upload their baking creations. More details are available on the website.
Anne Parillaud (The Man in the Iron Mask, La Femme Nikita ) plays Élodie alongside Rosie Day (All Roads Lead to Rome, The Seasoning House ) who plays Holly. The film’s international cast also includes Wolf Kahler (Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark, Sherlock Holmes).
The full Millefeuille movie can be found at www.MillefeuilleMovie.com , alongside a behind-the-scenes documentary and information about psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis as well as the baking campaign.
Notes to Editors
About psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis
Psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis are known to affect approximately 19 million people in Europe; psoriasis alone makes up over 14 million of these cases.3,5
Psoriasis is a chronic and systemic inflammatory skin disorder. It is immune-mediated, meaning it is caused by an immune reaction in the body. It is not contagious, and occurs nearly equally in men and women. The most common form of the disease is plaque psoriasis with approximately 80% of the overall patient population affected.3,6
Psoriasis lesions can often be found on areas close to the joints such as the elbows and knees but can also appear on the scalp.3 Scalp symptoms are known to persist in 84% of cases.7 Nail psoriasis affects up to 50% of people with psoriasis and up to 90% of people living with psoriatic arthritis.8,9 Up to 84% of people with psoriasis experience itching, and over a third of patients actually cite itch as the most important factor contributing to their disease.4,10
75% of people living with psoriasis believe it has a negative impact on their quality of life and 83% of patients with psoriasis actively conceal the visible signs of their disease.11,12 Over 80% of psoriasis patients experience self-consciousness, anger, frustration, helplessness or embarrassment.11,12,13
Around a third of people living with psoriasis may go on to develop psoriatic arthritis, which affects the body in different ways to psoriasis and often causes pain, as well as swelling and tenderness particularly around the joints. It is clear that the two conditions are closely connected, and if left untreated, psoriatic arthritis can have a severe impact on mobility and physical function.14
Two distinct physical symptoms of psoriatic arthritis are dactylitis (enlargement of the fingers, commonly referred to as “sausage fingers”) and enthesitis (inflammation at sites where tendons or ligaments insert into bone). A substantial number – 41% - of people living with psoriatic arthritis suffer from dactylitis in the fingers and also the toes, and enthesitis is known to affect up to 71% of patients.15 People with psoriatic arthritis can often experience skin symptoms for up to 10 years before the onset of joint symptoms.14
Diagnosing psoriatic arthritis can be a tricky process because its symptoms frequently mimic those of other forms of inflammatory arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and gout. It can also be confused with osteoarthritis (OA), the most common form of arthritis.16
Celgene International Sàrl, located in Boudry, in the Canton of Neuchâtel, Switzerland, is a wholly-owned subsidiary and International Headquarter of Celgene Corporation. Celgene Corporation, headquartered in Summit, New Jersey, is an integrated global pharmaceutical company engaged primarily in the discovery, development and commercialization of innovative therapies for the treatment of cancer and inflammatory diseases through gene and protein regulation. For more information, please visit the Company's website at www.celgene.com . Follow Celgene on Twitter @ Celgene.
About Turtle Canyon Films
Turtle Canyon Films is a multi-award winning film production company based at Pinewood Studios, Buckinghamshire, UK. A subsidiary of Turtle Canyon Media, Turtle Canyon Films was established to focus on producing dramatic entertainment in shorts, features and documentary content for a general audience. Since 2012, they have produced two dozen short films covering a wide range of subject matters and genres and have gone on to win multiple awards in Britain, USA, Switzerland, India and beyond. More information can be found at www.turtlecanyonfilms.com and at https://www.facebook.com/turtlecanyonfilms
About Bedrock Multimedia
Founded in 2010, Bedrock Healthcare Communications is a privately owned, award winning communications agency that creates and delivers highly effective, insight driven medical communication and education programmes. Working from its UK based offices, Bedrock works with national and international healthcare companies to gain a deep understanding of their audiences and deliver consistently effective and impactful communication programmes that ultimately improve the understanding of medical conditions and their treatments. For further information please visit www.bedrock-health.com .
This press release contains forward-looking statements, which are generally statements that are not historical facts. Forward-looking statements can be identified by the words "expects," "anticipates," "believes," "intends," "estimates," "plans," "will," "outlook" and similar expressions. Forward-looking statements are based on management's current plans, estimates, assumptions and projections, and speak only as of the date they are made. We undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statement in light of new information or future events, except as otherwise required by law. Forward-looking statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties, most of which are difficult to predict and are generally beyond our control. Actual results or outcomes may differ materially from those implied by the forward-looking statements as a result of the impact of a number of factors, many of which are discussed in more detail in our Annual Report on Form 10-K and other reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Gottlieb A, Korman NJ, Gordon KB, et al. Guidelines of care
for the management of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis: Section 2.
Psoriatic arthritis: overview and guidelines of care for treatment with
an emphasis on the biologics. J Am Acad Dermatol
. 2008;58:851 864.
2 Lee, S. et al. The Burden of Psoriatic Arthritis: A Literature Review from a Global Health Systems Perspective. P&T.
3 Augustin M and The European Expert Working Group for Healthcare in Psoriasis. A framework for improving the quality of care for people with psoriasis. JEADV 2012, 26 (Suppl. 4), 1–16
4 Lebwohl MG et al. Patient perspectives in the management of psoriasis: Results from the population-based Multinational Assessment of Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis Survey J Am Acad Dermatol 2014;70:871−81
5 World Psoriasis Day Consortium. Facts about Psoriasis. Accessed March 2015. ( http://www.worldpsoriasisday.com/web/page.aspx?refid=129 )
6 International Federation of Psoriasis Associations. Psoriasis is a serious disease deserving global attention. 2012.
7 van de Kerkhof et al. Scalp Psoriasis, Clinical Presentations and Therapeutic Management. Dermatology. 1998;197(4):326-34
8 De Vries AC et al. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013; 1:CD007633
9 Tan EST et al. Am J Clin Dermatol ; 2012; 13(6):375–388.
10 Yosipovitch et al. Br J Dermatol . 2000;143:969.
11 Bhosle M, Kulkarni A, Feldman S, Balkrishnan R. Quality of life in patients with psoriasis. Health Qual Life Outcomes. 2006;4(35)
12 Armstrong et al. PLOS One . 2012;12:e52935.
13 Colombo et al . Quality of life in psoriasis. InTech . Available at: http://cdn.intechopen.com/pdfs-wm/44203.pdf
14 Gladman, DD et al. Psoriatic arthritis: epidemiology, clinical features, course and outcome. Ann Rheum Dis. 2005;64(Suppl II):ii14–ii17. doi: 10.1136/ard.2004.032482
15 Ritchlin C et al. Ann Rheum Dis 2014; 73(6):990–999.
16 Arthritis Foundation. Psoriatic Arthritis Diagnosis. http://www.arthritis.org/about-arthritis/types/psoriatic-arthritis/diagnosing.php
For enquiries, please contact:
Patrick E. Flanigan III, +1-908-673-9969
Vice President, Investor Relations
Director, Corporate Affairs
Millefeuille Press Team
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