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Novartis steps up digital therapy development
The Basel-based pharmaceutical company Novartis has entered into a collaboration with the U.S. firm Pear Therapeutics. The aim is to develop digital therapies to treat patients with schizophrenia and multiple sclerosis.
Pear Therapeutics develops software that can be prescribed to treat a range of diseases. In September, the company was granted approval by the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a mobile application to treat substance abuse. It was the first FDA clearance for a digital therapy.
Novartis brings its experience in the field of biomedical research to the collaboration, which will see the two companies develop digital therapies for schizophrenia and multiple sclerosis that can be prescribed alongside drug therapies.
"Psychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases place a heavy physical, mental and economic burden on patients and their families," commented Jay Bradner, President of the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research.
"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."
Novartis will work with Pear to advance the clinical development of the U.S. company’s THRIVE platform, which is designed for the digital treatment of schizophrenia. The companies will also partner to develop a new digital therapy for the mental aspects of multiple sclerosis.
The collaboration is part of Novartis' strategic effort to work with digital health companies to drive the next generation of medical innovation. The Basel-based company’s involvement comprises technologies to monitor patient data or to enhance treatment outcomes.