Boston- and San Francisco-based Pear Therapeutics, maker of a prescription digital therapeutic platform, announced today the closure of $50 million in Series B funding. The round was led by Singapore-based investment company Temasek, with participation from returning investors 5AM Ventures, Arboretum Ventures, and JAZZ Venture Partners, as well as new partners Novartis, EDBI, and the Bridge Builder’s Collaborative.
“At Pear, 2017 was a year filled with noteworthy achievements. Our team made significant strides in advancing our pipeline of prescription digital therapeutics. We plan to use this additional capital to substantiate the clinical efficacy of our therapeutics across a variety of indications,” Dr. Corey McCann, president and CEO of Pear, said in a statement. “This latest financing recognizes the strides we’ve made in proving the clinical utility and commercial viability of prescription digital therapeutics.”
Pear is best known for reSET, the first prescription digital therapeutic cleared by the FDA for substance use disorder, and reSET-O, an adjunct to pharmacotherapy for treatment of opioid use disorder that has received Expedited Access Pathway designation from the FDA. While a substantial portion of the most recent funding will be put toward commercializing these offerings, Chief Commercial Officer Alex Waldron said that it was the company’s larger platform that caught investors’ eyes.
“Pear is a company that has a digital platform with proprietary software and innovation that allows us to create therapeutic products … to treat numerous different disease classes,” he told MobiHealthNews. “Now that we have reSET and reSET-O and we’re moving towards commercializing those products, we’re going to be using the Series B money to move our pipeline forward; to bring additional prescription digital therapeutics to patients with an assortment of diseases where our platform can help them by providing efficacy-based outcomes.”
Pear currently has a number of additional software offerings currently at the pilot or pre-clinical prototype stage, according to their website. These products each target conditions that are often require both a chemical and neurobehavioral approach, such as schizophrenia, combat PTSD, general anxiety disorder, and others. The most recent investments are evidence of a growing interest in pairing pharmaceutical treatments of these conditions with complementary non-biologic approaches, Waldron said.
“What the investors are so excited about — and the FDA has been very keen on this as well — is that digital therapeutics, ones that are targeted at efficacy, actually have the ability to modify the behavior that is out of sync. So not only is there a chemical imbalance in some of these patients, there’s a behavioral imbalance, and we have a way through our digital technology and our platform to modify that behavior [and] to help correct that aspect of what’s wrong with these people.”
Delivering the intervention through a digital platform also comes with convenience and accessibility advantages that translate into improved outcomes, Waldron continued.
“We have found in the studies we have done, and in speaking with patients and physicians, that counseling is a major component to helping these people be better,” he said. “The ability to be counseled, or to provide that sort of modification on demand by way of their digital phone in the privacy of their own home and when they are experiencing some of these symptoms — I can’t tell you just how wonderfully and warmly they respond [with] the ability to actually deal with their disease on demand, effectively, with what’s going on.”
Pear’s previous round of funding came in early 2016 to the tune of $20 million, with a previous undisclosed round concluding in 2015.
Alongside nods from the FDA for its two premiere products, the company was also named among the agency’s picks for its unprecedented pre-certification program.