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The companies will work together to develop prescription digital therapeutics for patients with schizophrenia and multiple sclerosis.
On Mar. 1, 2018, Novartis announced a collaboration with Pear Therapeutics, a prescription digital therapeutics company, to develop prescription digital therapeutics using software applications designed to treat disease and improve clinical outcomes for patients.
Under the alliance, the companies will collaborate to design and develop a new therapeutic application to address underserved mental health burden in patients with multiple sclerosis. Novartis will also help Pear to advance clinical development of Thrive, a prescription digital therapeutic for treating schizophrenia.
Pear's prescription digital therapeutics are designed to deliver clinically proven treatments, including cognitive behavioral therapy, to patients through mobile and desktop applications. Once approved, the digital therapeutics may be prescribed in partnership with drug therapies and have the potential to be developed to treat a range of diseases.
The collaboration merges Novartis’ expertise in biomedical research and clinical development with Pear's experience in digital therapeutics design and implementation. Pear first gained FDA approval of prescription digital therapeutics in September 2017 for a software application with a safety and efficacy label to treat patients. In addition, the alliance supports Novartis' strategy to enable digital technology to drive medical innovation and advance R&D efforts, as stated by Novartis.
"Psychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases place a heavy physical, mental, and economic burden on patients and their families," said Jay Bradner, MD, president of the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research, in a company press release. "With widespread adoption of digital devices, prescription digital therapeutics could potentially play an important role in future treatment models for a range of diseases with high unmet medical need."