Edward Cox is CEO of Dthera™ Sciences, the leading digital therapeutic company focusing on the elderly and individuals with neurodegenerative diseases, based in San Diego, CA. This summer they gained FDA breakthrough designation for their development-stage product, DTHR-ALZ for the symptoms of Alzheimer’s. We sat down with Ed to find out what this means and where he thinks things are headed for the rapidly advancing digital therapeutic products sector.
Q: What does receiving FDA breakthrough status mean for not just your company but the Digital Therapeutic sector as a whole?
A: I think this is another step forward for the entire industry. To our knowledge, this is the first time a non-drug has been given breakthrough designation targeting Alzheimer’s therapy so that means we’re breaking new ground. Similar to what Pear did last year with their breakthrough status and FDA clearance our breakthrough we hope continues to advance the role of digital therapeutics in the future of patient care.
Q: What are your thoughts on digital therapeutic companies commercializing through Pharma Partnerships vs other routes?
A: Each product and company are different so not all products are well-suited to be sold through the typical pharma channel, however, for a product like ours, that is in a disease state of the scale of Alzheimer’s, I think a pharma partner makes a lot of sense. Pharma partnerships can give products like ours a wide commercialization footprint to get the product in the hands of all the caregivers and patients that need it on a truly global scale.
Q: How do you see digital therapeutics impacting the pharmaceutical industry?
A: I believe Digital Therapeutics offers them new opportunities. As an example, some of the primary cost drivers around Alzheimer's and dementia are not actually the disease itself, It's the behavioral symptoms: agitation, depression, and anxiety. These can take the greatest toll on the caregivers and frequently precipitates the significant declines in the patient’s and expedites the transition from the home to institutional care. If you can impact the behavioral symptoms, you may be able to unlock new opportunities for pharmaceutical solutions or for them to come alongside and be more effective in combination.
We look forward to seeing you in New York City for CBI's Digital Therapeutics, taking place December 3-4, 2018. Please download the brochure for more information and register today with the faculty code DTC300 to save $300*.
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