Click buys Better assets to speed its digital obesity drive

Click buys Better assets to speed its digital obesity drive

Click Therapeutics has snapped up the assets of troubled digital health company Better Therapeutics, including its FDA-approved prescription digital therapeutic (PDT) for type 2 diabetes.

The dismantling of Better comes less than three years after its Nasdaq IPO, a few months after its request to maintain a listing had been denied by the exchange, and a few weeks after the company opted to wind down its operations and lay off the remainder of its staff.

It’s the latest example of the steep challenges facing companies trying to build a viable business in the digital health sector, even after clearing the hurdle of getting FDA approval for a PDT. Better’s demise has followed a similar path to that seen with Pear Therapeutics, another digital health company that went down the IPO route, but filed for bankruptcy last year.

Others have been forced to refocus their business operations, such as Akili, which has retreated from the prescription business in favour of a direct-to-consumer (DTC) model.

Click – one of a group of companies that eventually bought up Pear’s assets – has now taken control of Better’s diabetes PDT AspyreRx, as well as follow-up candidates for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and metabolic dysfunction-associated steatohepatitis (MASH). The financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

There are no plans to keep selling AspyreRx in its current form, according to Click. Rather, the company intends to adapt it for the treatment of obesity and look at how it may fit alongside its own artificial intelligence-powered digital therapeutic, CT-181.

The hope is to draw from both platforms to create a digital health platform for obesity that will be tailored for people also getting pharmacologic treatment for weight loss with the new generation of GLP-1-based therapies like Novo Nordisk’s Wegovy (semaglutide) and Eli Lilly’s Zepbound (tirzepatide), which are now dominating the category.

The project will combine AspyreRx’s “therapeutic core” of digital behavioural therapy with Click’s user engagement technology.

“There is immense potential in the cardiometabolic space for next-generation ‘smart’ therapeutics that enhance patient care and provider capabilities,” commented Rich DeNunzio, Click’s chief commercial officer.

“The current one-size-fits-all approach to obesity management can be improved with innovative digital therapeutics that tailor treatments to individual needs, leading to improved patient outcomes and the opportunity to create data-driven contracting models with payers,” he added.

“By collaborating with pharma, payers, providers, and patients to layer these capabilities onto the latest drugs, we can transform obesity care and enable our partners to succeed in what is soon to be a highly competitive market.”

Click and partner Otsuka recently claimed the first FDA approval for a PDT for people with major depressive disorder, and it is also working with Boehringer Ingelheim on candidates for schizophrenia, and with Indivior on software to support people with substance use disorders. Its in-house pipeline is led by a DTx candidate for migraine.