Tryggvi Thorgeirsson, Sidekick Health co-founder and CEO

Pfiz­er's dig­i­tal ther­a­peu­tics part­ner is back, this time in a new col­lab with Eli Lil­ly

On the heels of a com­mer­cial launch with Pfiz­er, an Ice­landic dig­i­tal ther­a­peu­tics biotech is back with an­oth­er Big Phar­ma col­lab­o­ra­tion.

Side­kick Health, less than a month af­ter an­nounc­ing a deal with Pfiz­er for atopic der­mati­tis, re­vealed Thurs­day it’s adding an­oth­er dig­i­tal ther­a­peu­tics project to its ar­se­nal in con­junc­tion with a Big Phar­ma: Eli Lil­ly, for pa­tients with breast can­cer. Pfiz­er and Side­kick had re­cent­ly launched their fourth of five planned dig­i­tal ther­a­peu­tics prod­ucts af­ter al­ready start­ing pro­grams in ul­cer­a­tive col­i­tis, Crohn’s dis­ease and rheuma­toid arthri­tis.

Side­kick CEO and co-founder Tryg­gvi Thorgeirs­son did not com­ment on the fi­nan­cial terms of the deal.

Thorgeirs­son tells End­points News that Side­kick and Lil­ly first got con­nect­ed af­ter be­ing in­tro­duced to each oth­er at a med­ical con­fer­ence, and while Thorgeirs­son didn’t spec­i­fy the ex­act time­line, he said the deal has been in the mak­ing for a while.

The col­lab­o­ra­tion will mark the first phase of Side­kick and Lil­ly’s part­ner­ship, ini­tial­ly fo­cus­ing on Ger­many and then po­ten­tial­ly look­ing at oth­er in­ter­na­tion­al mar­kets and oth­er ther­a­peu­tic ar­eas. Side­kick said in a state­ment that the ex­pan­sion in­to breast can­cer will be tai­lored to sup­port the needs of pa­tients with­in Lil­ly’s “on­col­o­gy treat­ment pro­grams.” Side­kick al­so said the ex­pan­sion is al­so not on­ly for breast can­cer pa­tients, but for pa­tients on an as yet-un­spec­i­fied, “brand­ed Lil­ly med­ica­tion.”

Side­kick’s plat­form is de­signed to tar­get lifestyle man­age­ment, uti­liz­ing games and be­hav­ioral mod­i­fiers to dri­ve en­gage­ment and en­cour­age pa­tients to make bet­ter health­care de­ci­sions. The plat­form is built off of “cod­ed be­hav­ioral fre­quen­cy da­ta an­a­lyt­ics” — with al­go­rithms tak­ing in da­ta from user be­hav­ior, pref­er­ences, pa­tient-re­port­ed out­comes and care man­ag­er da­ta to self-im­prove and bet­ter per­son­al­ize the sup­port the plat­form pro­vides.

How that plays out in breast can­cer, ac­cord­ing to Thorgeirs­son, is look­ing at “key pain points” that peo­ple with breast can­cer deal with on a reg­u­lar or even dai­ly ba­sis.

“And that’s, of course, a whole range of things. So I mean, in breast can­cer, it can be pain, or nau­sea, or anx­i­ety, or lack of un­der­stand­ing of your treat­ment, and lack of ad­her­ence to your treat­ment. Al­so, very of­ten, kind of this feel­ing be­ing alone, not be­ing ful­ly con­nect­ed with your care team,” the CEO said.

He added that be­yond these sorts of pain points, it’s an over­all fo­cus on phys­i­cal and men­tal health along­side lifestyle fac­tors, such as phys­i­cal ac­tiv­i­ty, di­et, sleep and med­ica­tion ad­her­ence.

Lil­ly’s chief dig­i­tal of­fi­cer Rich Carter said in a state­ment that the col­lab­o­ra­tion will com­bine “Lil­ly’s ex­per­tise in dig­i­tal health and med­i­cine de­vel­op­ment with Side­kick’s deep knowl­edge in be­hav­ioral re­search and dig­i­tal ther­a­peu­tics to work to­wards bet­ter out­comes for peo­ple with breast can­cer. This plat­form will al­low us to ex­tend the reach of our dig­i­tal so­lu­tions and bring on-de­mand and in-the-home so­lu­tions to pa­tients when and where they need them most.”

The launch is sched­uled for next month, and while “next steps for col­lab­o­ra­tion are be­ing con­sid­ered,” specifics re­main undis­closed.

2023 Spot­light on the Fu­ture of Drug De­vel­op­ment for Small and Mid-Sized Biotechs

In the context of today’s global economic environment, there is an increasing need to work smarter, faster and leaner across all facets of the life sciences industry.  This is particularly true for small and mid-sized biotech companies, many of which are facing declining valuations and competing for increasingly limited funding to propel their science forward.  It is important to recognize that within this framework, many of these smaller companies already find themselves resource-challenged to design and manage clinical studies themselves because they don’t have large teams or in-house experts in navigating the various aspects of the drug development journey. This can be particularly challenging for the most complex and difficult to treat diseases where no previous pathway exists and patients are urgently awaiting breakthroughs.

Spe­cial re­port 2022: Meet 20 women blaz­ing trails in bio­phar­ma R&D

When you run a special report for a fourth year, it can start feeling a little bit like a ritual. You go through the motions — in our case opening up nominations for top women in biopharma R&D and reviewing more than 500 entries — you make your choices of inclusion and exclusion. You host a ceremony.

But then things happen that remind you why you do it in the first place. Perhaps a Supreme Court rules to overturn the constitutional right to abortion and a group of women biotech leaders makes it clear they strongly dissent; perhaps new data on gender diversity in the industry come out that look all too similar to the old ones, suggesting women are still dramatically underrepresented at the top; perhaps protests and conflicts around the world put in stark terms the struggles that many women still face in earning the most basic recognition.

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Kristen Hege, Bristol Myers Squibb SVP, early clinical development, oncology/hematology and cell therapy (Illustration: Assistant Editor Kathy Wong for Endpoints News)

Q&A: Bris­tol My­er­s' Kris­ten Hege on cell ther­a­py, can­cer pa­tients and men­tor­ing the next gen­er­a­tion

Kristen Hege leads Bristol Myers Squibb’s early oncology discovery program carrying on from the same work at Celgene, which was acquired by BMS in 2019. She’s known for her early work in CAR-T, having pioneered the first CAR-T cell trial for solid tumors more than 25 years ago.

However, the eminent physician-scientist is more than just a drug developer mastermind. She’s also a practicing physician, mother to two young women, an avid backpacker and intersecting all those interests — a champion of young women and people of color in STEM and life sciences.

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Gossamer Bio CEO Faheem Hasnain at Endpoints' #BIO22 panel (J.T. MacMillan Photography for Endpoints News)

Gos­samer’s Fa­heem Has­nain de­fends a round of pos­i­tive PAH da­ta as a clear win. But can these PhII re­sults stand up to scruti­ny?

Gossamer Bio $GOSS posted a statistically significant improvement for its primary endpoint in the key Phase II TORREY trial for lead drug seralutinib on Tuesday morning. But CEO Faheem Hasnain has some explaining to do on the important secondary of the crucial six-minute walk distance test — which will be the primary endpoint in Phase III — as the data on both endpoints fell short of expectations, missing one analyst’s bar on even modest success.

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Vikram Sheel Kumar, Clear Creek Bio CEO

In search for next-gen Covid treat­ment, Pfiz­er taps tiny biotech for re­search deal

Pfizer has inked a deal to develop a new Covid therapy with Clear Creek Bio — a 10-person biotech out of RA Capital with an office in Cambridge, MA, but one that operates fully remotely.

Paxlovid has become a big moneymaker for Pfizer this year, projecting $22 billion in sales on the year. But the Big Pharma has begun its search for a next-generation Covid antiviral and potential combination therapies as supply of Paxlovid greatly eclipses actual use of the antiviral.

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Prometheus moves to raise cash hours af­ter PhII da­ta leads to stock surge

After releasing better-than-anticipated data on two mid-stage studies Wednesday morning, Prometheus Biosciences’ CEO said the company would “take some time to assess” its next financing options.

It only needed about seven hours. Wednesday afternoon after the market closed, the biotech announced it would seek $250 million through an equity offering as the company looks to edge out anti-TL1A competitor Pfizer and its new partner Roivant.

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Piper Trelstad, head of CMC, Bill & Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute

Q&A with Gates leader: Women tak­ing on more roles in phar­ma man­u­fac­tur­ing, but still work to do

More and more women are driving innovation and taking leadership roles in biotech – as evidenced today in the release of Endpoints News’ list of the top 20 women in the R&D world – but those gains are beginning to extend across pharma sectors.

In pharma manufacturing in the US today, around 46% of all roles are occupied by women, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics for 2021. And according to a Bloomberg report, women’s roles across manufacturing roles had a massive boost after the start of the pandemic.

Phar­ma rep­u­ta­tion re­tains 'halo' even as pan­dem­ic me­dia cov­er­age re­cedes — sur­vey

The Covid-19 halo effect on the pharma industry is continuing, according to a new global study from Ipsos. The annual survey for the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) finds considerable goodwill from consumers across measures of trust, cooperation with governments, and advancing research and drug development.

“Despite the pandemic in many countries no longer being the top of mind concern generally – although it does remain the top concern as a health issue – the industry’s reputation has remained positive,” said Ipsos research director Thomas Fife-Schaw.

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FDA commissioner Robert Califf (Jose Luis Magana/AP Images)

FDA pulls On­copep­tides' Pepax­to in­di­ca­tion, open­ing the door for dan­gling ac­cel­er­at­ed ap­proval en­force­ment

In a move all but ensured after an overwhelmingly negative adcomm vote this September, the FDA is yanking Oncopeptides’ dangling accelerated approval. And there may be more to come.

In recent months, US regulators have honed in on reforming the accelerated approval pathway and preventing drugmakers from continuing to sell their medicines in the event of a confirmatory study flop. The moves come after commissioner Rob Califf has called for companies to do more to produce post-marketing evidence quickly earlier this year.

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