The Quebec-based company has used a purely science-backed approach in promoting its whey derived product in this past, so the use of a well-known representative represents a shift in strategy.
However, Advitech said the announcement in fact signals a two-pronged approach - both science and testimonials - depending on the distribution partners involved, so that psoriasis sufferers can identify with the product.
"Market studies and tests have shown that many psoriasis patients (as much as 40 percent) are now outside of the 'traditional' medical system because they are not satisfied with the solutions provided," Advitech sales and marketing manager Christian Brouillette told NutraIngredient-USA.com.
Harvey, who Advitech said is a psoriasis sufferer, is best known as the first Canadian male athlete to compete in both the 1984 Summer Olympics (in cycling) and the 1984 Winter Olympics (in cross-country skiing). Advitech is currently discussing the campaign with Jamieson Laboratories, but said it will likely involve print advertising.
"We think it is important to build a testimonial base," said Brouillette. "That's why a whole section on Advitech's newly launched website for Dermylex is dedicated to that issue."
An estimated 6 million adults in North America suffer from the skin disease psoriasis, potentially opening-up a large market for a natural oral alternative to target the condition.
Psoriasis is an immune system disorder that has no cure. Until now those with mild to medium forms of the condition have had to resort to topical therapies or aggressive drug treatments with significant side effects.
Dermylex is a patented blend of naturally derived bioactive peptides that comes in the form of a tablet to be taken orally.
Quebec-based Advitech acquired the rights for Dermylex in 2003 and has since taken it through further clinical trials. The company has recently announced various distribution agreements, but the announcement of using a spokesperson comes as part of a further push into the Canadian market.
"Pierre knew Advitech and Dermylex from before the launch of the product, he tried it and was very satisfied with the results," said Brouillette. "That's when discussion began for a partnership."
As part of a market test program, Jamieson Laboratories has been distributing Dermylex in some drugstores and pharmacies in Quebec City and Toronto since April 2006.
Advitech also announced it has just signed an agreement in principle with Associated Medical Supplies Company from Hong Kong for distribution of Dermylex in the Hong Kong and Macao markets. And the company is still continuing negotiations with other partners in other countries to expand distribution and accelerate its sales program for 2007.