Digital therapeutics firm Kaia Health is partnering with Italian pharma firm Chiesi Group to commercialise its chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) rehabilitation app in Europe.
The Kaia COPD solution consists of a mobile app and an interface for motivational support that aims to deliver a personalised pulmonary rehabilitation experience through education, daily training sessions and stress relief exercises, augmented with human coaching support and individualised therapy.
The app is CE marked in Europe as a Class 1 medical device. It has been investigated in one pilot trial and is the subject of an ongoing randomised control trial in Europe.
WHY IT MATTERS
COPD is an enormous cost for healthcare systems in Europe. The British Lung Foundation estimates that lung conditions in the UK cost the NHS and patients around £9.9 billion each year.
According to NHS England, respiratory conditions affect one in five people in England, and are the third biggest cause of death. However, pulmonary rehabilitation is currently only offered to 13% of eligible COPD patients in England.
This partnership claims it is one of the first collaborations between a digital therapeutics company and pharma to support COPD treatment outcomes through behavioural change, rather than relying on pharmacology.
THE LARGER CONTEXT
Earlier this year, Kaia Health announced a $28 million Series B funding round led by Optum Ventures, Idinvest and capital300, to drive growth of its core digital therapy platforms for musculoskeletal conditions and to fund its expansion into COPD.
Meanwhile, Propeller Health teamed with Novartis in July to co-package its digital health platform with the pharma giant’s asthma medication.
AptarPharma recently acquired Cohero Health’s digital platform, BreathSmart Connected and its corresponding app.
ON THE RECORD
Konstantin Mehl, Kaia Health founder and president, said: “Our strategic partnership with Chiesi, a growing global company with an established European commercial presence, brings a wealth of experience in navigating the respiratory health landscape in Europe, while expanding patient access to evidence-based, digital physical pulmonary rehabilitation.”
Ugo Di Francesco, Chiesi Group CEO, said: “This agreement embodies Chiesi’s commitment to providing the highest level of care and quality of life possible for people living with COPD and other respiratory diseases, going beyond merely those issues addressable through medication.”
Stephan Huber, Kaia Health chief medical officer, said: “Our goal is to offer a solution that is patient-centric first, digital second. Our COPD solution is a truly digitised version of key self-management elements of physical pulmonary rehabilitation that aims to improve access to a proven, behavioural COPD intervention in a rapidly scalable, patient-focused digital programme.”
Giovanna Amadori, Chiesi Group head of global strategy and corporate development, said: “Rather than partnering around a digital intervention that may help patients as a side benefit, our collaboration with Kaia Health emphasises a patient-focused intervention that uses digital to maximise access for patients.”