Driving Clinical Trial Recruitment for Inner Ear Disease

The situation: Otonomy, a biopharmaceutical company specializing in targeted medicines for the ear, was relying heavily on online advertising to drive recruitment of its Phase 2b clinical trial for a drug treating Ménière’s disease—but to little avail. With the recruitment deadline looming, and recruitment lagging, CanaleComm recommended a proactive regional media relations campaign to increase awareness and drive enrollment in markets where clinical sites needed patients.

The plan: The CanaleComm team identified eight “super sites” with highly engaged clinicians, where an influx of patient inquiries could be screened quickly for rapid enrollment. The team developed a template press release with details about the study and disease, customizing with information about each local site. The team then distributed this along with a personalized pitch to print and broadcast media outlets in each market, positioning the opportunity as a local health story. We assembled interviews with doctors and patient who could share perspective on the seriousness of the inner ear disorder and talk about the hope of a clinical trial.

The results: CanaleComm secured more than a dozen media opportunities in the targeted clinical trial site markets. The resulting stories were so impactful that Otonomy’s clinical team had to increase staffing on publication dates to handle the influx of calls. At one site, a single news segment generated more qualified inquiries than several weeks of online advertising. The significant uptick in enrollment as a result of the media campaign helped the trial meet its enrollment deadline.