Biogen’s partnership with brain-computer interface company MedRhythms on the development of a digital therapeutic for multiple sclerosis expands the reach of both companies in terms of science and patient access and provides a model of commercialization for an emerging therapeutic category.
Digital therapeutics promise to close the gaps in patient care that exist beyond the office visit, the pill, and the medical device. The field is emerging and broad, offering many points of intervention to enhance outcomes and the patient’s experience, across the digital measurement of biomarkers, wearables for disease monitoring or therapy delivery, digital care for the patient’s journey through the healthcare system, and evidence-based stand-alone therapies.
In multiple sclerosis (MS), the neuroscience biopharmaceutical firm Biogen Inc.is wholeheartedly embracing many of these aspects of digital therapeutics. The agreement the pharma company signed with Happify Health Inc., announced in June 2022, tackles gaps in the patient care infrastructure. Happify offers the patient with MS an AI-enabled and personalized digital solution that provides education and interactions with providers and fellow patients; the goal is to engage patients with their own care. Biogen’s recent agreement with the brain-computer interface company MedRhythms Inc. demonstrates the power of combining a stand-alone device therapy with traditional drug therapies to address a wider swath of patient symptoms than is otherwise possible, without the risk of drug-to-drug interactions, one of the benefits of a digital therapy.