If it’s developed like a drug, has endpoints like a drug’s, and is prescribed like a drug, it might be a drug. Or, lately, it might also be a smartphone application. The first prescription apps are about to arrive on the market, and major pharmaceutical companies are buying in.
Click Therapeutics, based in New York, announced Monday that Sanofi (SNY) Ventures would be providing $17 million in funding, in exchange for equity in the company and a seat on its board. In April, Pear Therapeutics and Sandoz, a division of Novartis (NVS), established a partnership to commercialize their prescription app for substance abuse, which received FDA clearance in September after going through the agency’s digital health pre-certification program. And Akili Interactive closed a $55 million Series C funding round that included Merck’s (MRK) corporate venture capital fund in May.