Thursday, May 23, 2024
Big Health acquires teen depression therapy maker.

Big Health acquires teen depression therapy maker.

A mental health-focused digital therapeutics company expands into adolescent depression market

Big Health, a San Francisco-based digital therapeutics company that has developed therapies for insomnia and generalized anxiety disorder, has acquired Limbix, a firm focused on the adolescent mental health market.

Addressing the mental health crisis among youth

Big Health CEO Arun Gupta, M.P.A./I.D., stated in a press release that the COVID-19 pandemic has worsened the existing mental health crisis among youth. Acquiring Limbix is seen as a strategic milestone for Big Health in advancing their mission to help millions achieve good mental health.

Expansion of Big Health’s product portfolio

Prior to the acquisition, Big Health marketed two products: Sleepio and Daylight. Sleepio provides digitally delivered cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for adults with insomnia, while Daylight offers CBT for generalized anxiety disorder. Both therapies have been made temporarily available to the public without a prescription due to the COVID-19 emergency. With the acquisition of Limbix, Big Health adds SparkRx, another CBT-based therapy for mental health, to their portfolio.

Limbix’s promising trial results

Although Limbix’s SparkRx has not yet received FDA clearance, a pivotal trial showed better outcomes for patients who used SparkRx in addition to usual care compared to those who received usual care alone, including higher rates of symptom remission.

Shared focus and culture

Ben Lewis, co-founder of Limbix, expressed that Big Health is a natural home for SparkRx, as both companies share a significant alignment in their cultures and focus on delivering first-line digital therapeutics for various mental health conditions.

Challenges in the digital therapeutics industry

The merger between Big Health and Limbix comes at a time of uncertainty within the digital therapeutics industry. Companies are facing challenges in securing funding and gaining buy-in from payers and providers. The bankruptcy of Pear Therapeutics earlier this year highlighted the difficulties in turning digital therapeutics into a viable business.

New strategies for digital therapeutics makers

Big Health’s CEO, Arun Gupta, emphasized the need for digital therapeutics makers to be flexible in their product rollout strategies. Relying solely on FDA clearance as a path to broad adoption is not sufficient. Instead, digital therapeutics makers must actively engage with payers and healthcare coverage entities, provide strong evidence of clinical efficacy and cost-effectiveness, and differentiate themselves from digital wellness products.

Significant patient enrollment and funding for Limbix

Big Health announced that over 300,000 patients have already enrolled in their digital therapeutics treatments through health plans and employers. Limbix has raised $30 million in Series A funding since its establishment in 2016.


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