‘building for this moment’
Pritesh Shah, Chief Commercial Officer
‘building for this moment’

The initial presentation of EF-14 data also marked the beginning of a brand.

Pritesh Shah, Novocure’s Chief Commercial Officer, remembers the conference call when he and the team learned in November 2014 that the EF-14 phase 3 pivotal trial in newly diagnosed GBM was positive and met the statistical threshold at the interim analysis. As he digested the news, he tried to stay present to allow the accomplishment to sink in, yet could not help but allow his mind to propel into the future.

“We had been building for this moment for such a long time,” he said. “To be a part of it, to watch it unfold play-by-play in front of my eyes…as much as I wanted the time to stand still, I knew that we had so much to do to get our therapy in the hands of providers so that it can help patients.”

As Novocure worked toward obtaining FDA approval in newly diagnosed GBM, Pritesh and the commercial team kicked into gear to develop a brand for Novocure’s therapy and to prepare for launch.

Novocure’s device used to treat recurrent GBM was called the NovoTTF-100A System. When Pritesh joined in 2012 to lead Novocure’s U.S. marketing efforts, he knew the therapy needed a name that was easy to say and an identity. After conducting research and working through branding exercises, the team aligned on Optune. The prefix “op” signifies the opportunity to offer patients an innovative treatment optimized to target tumors that are difficult to treat. The suffix “tune” alludes to a tuning fork for a piano and evokes the idea of using the therapy as a tool.

“I really liked the simplicity of it,” Pritesh said. “It really resonated with us in terms of the functionality of what we wanted the product to do. It allowed us to capitalize on what we believe is really the essence of Tumor Treating Fields.”

The Optune brand also included a color palette of blue and orange—with blue representing innovation and the trailblazing nature of Novocure, and orange representing hope.

“We wanted to give patients the ability to think about a future, to think about another treatment, to have hope in an underserved disease,” Pritesh said.