- Nordic digital therapeutics company SidekickHealth announced a deal with Pfizer to launch a disease management platform in Europe in its second collaboration with the pharma giant unveiled in less than a year. Financial terms were not disclosed.
- The partnership between the 6-year-old startup and the drugmaker will initially roll out in Finland with a focus on a handful of chronic conditions, including ulcerative colitis and rheumatoid arthritis, before expanding to additional countries later this year.
- The two companies paired in October to develop a digital therapeutic smoking cessation program.
Digital therapeutic applications are gaining traction as a tool for patients in their efforts in the areas of behavior modification and medication adherence.
Underscoring the key role the treatment approach can play in addressing substance use disorders, a coalition of addiction and mental health advocacy groups recently issued a call to action to improve access to FDA-authorized digital therapeutics.
Calling the impact of digital technologies "potentially life-saving," the group will push for broader coverage by Medicare, Medicaid and commercial insurers. Pear Therapeutics is among the sponsors of the initiative, whose members include Advocates for Opioid Recovery, Global Recovery Initiatives Foundation, the Kennedy Forum, the National Council for Behavioral Health, Shatterproof, and Young People in Recovery.
Sidekick's latest collaboration with Pfizer looks to help patients better manage chronic diseases while also improving communication with their healthcare providers. The aim is to motivate patients to manage their nutrition, exercise, sleep, stress and medication adherence. Patients also information on their conditions and are connected to others with whom they can share their experiences.
The partnership initially will focus on Finland, where the therapeutic will be introduced to patients with ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, rheumatoid arthritis, atopic dermatitis and psoriatic arthritis. The companies will offer the platform in Sweden, Belgium, Netherlands, Ireland, Switzerland and Austria later this year for patients with ulcerative colitis and rheumatoid arthritis.
The deal with Pfizer is not Sidekick's first partnership with a major pharma. The young company in December said it joined with Bayer to provide a digital medication management and lifestyle change platform to patients with peripheral artery disease.
Sidekick also is working with Iceland’s national emergency services on a nationwide COVID-19 support program to remotely triage and manage infected individuals in home isolation.
Pear last week took a step toward expanding the reach of its prescription digital therapeutics reSET and reSET-O for people with substance and opioid use disorders, announcing that pharmacy benefit manager RemedyOne will administer benefit coverage to its 2.5 million customers. Those two are the first two prescription digital therapeutics to gain FDA authorization to treat disease.
The field of digital therapeutics notched a milestone earlier this month when FDA granted De Novo authorization to the first game-based digital therapeutic. The product, from Akili Interactive Labs, targets symptoms in children with certain forms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.