Pfizer and its Sidekick snare a new approval

Several big pharma groups have signed up to work with developers of prescription apps, but these partnerships have a way of dissolving before – or sometimes just after – the software reaches market. Not so for Sidekick Health and Pfizer: the deal the two entered in the summer of 2020 yesterday yielded its fourth launched product, an app to aid the management of atopic dermatitis. The Icelandic group specialises in gamified apps, using computer game-style interactions to encourage patients to make better healthcare decisions, such as improving adherence to medication. Sidekick’s atopic dermatitis app is being released in the UK first, with launches across Europe and in Japan later this year. One Drop is another successful big pharma-backed group here; its partnership with Bayer has generated two marketed apps. Pear Therapeutics has had less luck with its team-ups, though it has the consolation that several of its products are on sale. Investors in Dario Health and the VCs behind Welldoc and Click Therapeutics will be watching with interest.

Selected prescription apps with big pharma involvement
Digital Tx company Big pharma partner Purpose of project Date partnership agreed Status
Sidekick Health Pfizer Several, including atopic dermatitis and ulcerative colitis/Crohn's disease Jun 2020 Atopic dermatitis app launched May 2022; UC and Crohn's apps launched Jun 2020
Smoking cessation Oct 2019 In development
One Drop Bayer Several, including diabetes and CV disease Sep 2019 Diabetes app launched in Europe May 2021; CV app launched Oct 2021
Onduo* Sanofi Diabetes, hypertension and mental wellness Sep 2016 Launched Feb 2021; Sanofi stepped away Dec 2019
Pear Therapeutics Sandoz (Novartis) Reset; substance use Apr 2018 Launched Sep 2017; partnership lapsed Oct 2019
Reset-O; opioid use Launched Dec 2018; partnership lapsed Oct 2019
Dario Health Sanofi Several, including diabetes, hypertension and weight management Mar 2022 In development
Welldoc Lilly Diabetes Feb 2021 In development
Click Therapeutics Boehringer Ingelheim CT-155; schizophrenia Sep 2020 In development
Otsuka CT-152; depression Feb 2021 In development
*Not a partnership; Onduo started as a joint venture between Sanofi and Verily. Source: company websites. 

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