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Sanofi is working with partner Happify Health to study a potential digital therapy for patients with depression and multiple sclerosis (MS), Bloomberg reported Wednesday.
"The regulatory pathway has really become much more amenable, and we know for certain diseases, a digital therapeutic can actually be very effective," said Sanofi's chief digital officer Ameet Nathwani, adding that "there's an opportunity in finding alternatives that are lower cost and can be delivered in a different way."
"If you look at the cycle times, clearly in digital therapeutics they’re disruptively shorter," he noted.
While Sanofi looks at combining software with drugs to improve treatment of different conditions, the company said the new study could open the door for it in the area of standalone digital treatments.
"We’re looking to see whether we cannot just improve the depression, but the question then is can you improve some of the underlying MS attributes," Nathwani said, adding that "digital therapeutics could be an interesting option for us."
The executive added that European regulators are not moving as quickly as those in the US in endorsing some of the new technologies and digital-health initiatives, adding that some of the delay may be due to Brexit and disruption caused by the European Medicines Agency’s move from London to Amsterdam.
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