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May 31
Rhonda Peebles, Head of U.S. Dermatology
Empowering the Hidradenitis Suppurativa Community: UCB's Triple Approach

In recognition of Hidradenitis Suppurativa (HS) Awareness Week, we are highlighting the impact HS has on those living with this disease and the unmet needs that exist in this community. HS is more than a skin disease; it's a chronic, painful, inflammatory skin condition that can significantly impact many aspects of life. ,  Each day, I have the honor of working alongside colleagues, healthcare professionals (HCPs), and patient advocacy groups toward addressing these burdens. This week, more than ever, I’m eager to amplify our work at UCB in science, education, and advocacy that prioritizes HS awareness, patient experience, and clinical outcomes for this community.

Science: Innovating to Address Unmet Needs 

At UCB, we know it’s imperative to understand the patient journey to inform our scientific innovation. We recognize the physical, mental, and social impact of HS and the needs of this community.  

My colleague Dr. Jeff Stark, Head of Medical Immunology, shared, “Our approach to discovering, developing, and delivering highly differentiated medicines starts and ends with the people who need them the most. By working hand-in-hand with the HS medical and patient communities, we work toward scientific innovations that truly make a difference in the lives of those impacted – beyond just the science.”

The horizon is especially bright moving through 2024 as we continue to advance our clinical development program in HS. 

Education: Making HStory

Knowledge is power, and empowering patients and HCPs with comprehensive information and resources is crucial. Our recently expanded Make HStory campaign, tailored to both patients and HCPs, aims to help increase understanding of the disease and empower those living with HS to have conversations with their dermatologist about management options.

Read more in our recent blog post.

Advocacy: Amplifying Community Voices

Advocacy partnerships are key to ensure our work has the greatest possible impact and value for patients and HCPs. We strive to expand awareness and education to help people recognize signs and symptoms of HS early, seek care, and successfully navigate the care pathway. Some of our upcoming work in this space includes the soon-to-launch HS Connection Education Series, an exciting resource that features expert insights and patient experiences, offering valuable perspectives on navigating HS. 

Through science, education, and advocacy, we continue to prioritize offering support, fostering hope, and driving meaningful change for those impacted by HS. Let’s continue to work hand-in-hand to pave the way for a brighter future for the HS community.



  1.  Jemec GBE. Clinical practice. Hidradenitis suppurativa. N Engl J Med. 2012;366(2):158-164.
  2. Sabat R, Jemec GBE, Matusiak L, et al. Hidradenitis suppurativa. Nat Rev Dis Primers. 2020;6(1):18.
  3.  Koumaki D, Efthymiou O, Bozi E, et al. Perspectives on Perceived Stigma And Self-Stigma In Patients With Hidradenitis Suppurativa. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2019;12:785–90.
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