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.