Novartis and Pear Therapeutics collaborate on digital therapeutics

Novartis has partnered with Pear Therapeutics, a Boston, Massachusetts-based prescription digital therapeutics company, to develop prescription digital therapeutics using software applications designed to treat disease and improve clinical outcomes for patients. The collaboration combines Novartis’ experience in biomedical research and clinical development with Pear’s experience in digital therapeutics design and implementation.

Novartis and Pear will work together towards developing new treatments for patients with schizophrenia and multiple sclerosis. Pear’s prescription digital therapeutics are designed to deliver treatments, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, to patients through mobile and desktop applications. Once approved, they may be prescribed alongside drug therapies and have the potential to be developed to treat a range of diseases, according to Novartis.

Novartis will work with Pear to advance clinical development of its digital therapeutic, Thrive, for patients with schizophrenia. Novartis says Thrive has demonstrated potential usability, retention, and preliminary efficacy in patients with schizophrenia in early clinical studies. The companies will also collaborate to design and develop a new therapeutic application to address mental health burdens in patients with multiple sclerosis.

Novartis says this collaboration is part of its strategic effort to work with digital-health companies. Novartis is collaborating to develop technologies to monitor patient data in real-time, detect day-to-day behavioural and biological changes in condition, and improve patient adherence. In September 2017, Pear gained clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration for a software application with a safety and efficacy label to treat patients. Novartis invested in Pear’s Series B round of financing announced in January 2018.