- Novartis' Sandoz division is backing out of a co-promotion agreement to market Pear Therapeutics' prescription digital therapeutics, launched last year for treating substance and opioid abuse, respectively.
- In announcing the change Tuesday, the companies said Pear's current commercial infrastructure is sufficient to handle sole marketing for the digital medicines, known as reSET and reSET-O.
- Sandoz attributed its decision to shifting organizational and leadership, which "resulted in a reinforced focus on and capital allocation for Sandoz core business."
Sandoz is still committed to prescription digital therapeutics, said division spokeswoman Leslie Pott. The Swiss drugmaker remains "an active member" of the Digital Therapeutics Alliance, while the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research will continue a separate collaboration with Pear in schizophrenia and multiple sclerosis.
Sandoz will also work with Pear on a transition period to ensure continued access to reSET and reSET-O. "Pear is now well-suited to continue to bring these important digital therapeutics to patients, HCPs, and payers," Sandoz said in its Oct. 15 release.
Pear and Sandoz launched reSET, the first prescription digital therapeutic cleared by the Food and Drug Administration, in November last year. They won FDA authorization for reSET-O, for opioid use disorder, the following month.
Pear's digital therapeutics work in conjunction with outpatient care. With a smartphone or tablet, patients can use the application to get cognitive behavioral therapy lessons, track progress in battling their dependence, and report cravings, triggers and substance use. ReSET-O also includes reminders to take buprenorphine, a medication used to treat addiction.
Patients are rewarded with gift cards for completing lessons or getting a negative drug test. Therapists, in turn, can use the information shared by patients to better tailor their treatments.
Sandoz's step back from this set of Pear digital therapeutics comes as new division head Richard Saynor works to refocus the generic drug unit.
The company in March announced former CEO Richard Francis would step down from the post because he couldn’t commit to a "multi-year journey" to transform Sandoz and make it more autonomous. Novartis announced Saynor as his replacement in April.