Eisai launches digital dementia specialist company
Eisai has been steadily building up expertise in the use of digital health systems to support people with dementia but has now gone one step further – launching a dedicated subsidiary company to extend and accelerate its efforts.
The new business – dubbed Theoria Technologies – has been tasked with building a "digital ecosystem" that can help people with dementia to "live their fullest lives", regardless of the stage of their illness, said the Japanese pharma company.
Eisai is an established developer of medicines to treat Alzheimer's dementia, most recently claiming approval for its Biogen-partnered anti-amyloid therapy Leqembi (lecanemab), but has also long been a proponent of a broader approach that supports patients in other ways.
A collaboration with NTT IT several years ago led to the development of a cloud-based system to allow doctors and caregivers to share treatment plans and medical and lifestyle information for elderly patients being treated at home, and it has introduced a smart device-based app in Japan, called NouKNOW, that allows people to self-assess their cognitive performance and spot declines that may signal the onset of dementia.
Last year, it partnered with Tokyo-based Lifenet Insurance Co. to develop a series of insurance products specifically for people with dementia and other ageing-related diseases, and in June, Eisai announced it was taking part in a two-year research project in the UK to develop digital tools that could be used alongside approved therapies for people with dementia.
Those elements could eventually all contribute to Eisai's vision of a "highly transparent and neutral" dementia platform that will aim to relieve the anxieties of patients and their families and address the social issues posed by dementia.
Theoria will draw on clinical study data that Eisai has accumulated over many years – as well as cohort study data, health records and other sources of information - to "develop various prediction algorithms, create digital solutions and provide data," said the Japanese drugmaker.
The new company is due to start operations next April, initially focusing on a risk prediction algorithm for early detection of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and dementia, and an app called Sasaeru that records the daily living activities of people with dementia and can share the data with carers and healthcare professionals.
"Eisai is aiming to create social impact by realising a dementia-inclusive society where people with dementia and the people in the daily living domain can live their lives how they would like," said the company.