Sanofi, Happify Health to develop prescription digital mental health therapeutics for MS

Sanofi signed an agreement with Happify Health to advance the application of digital therapeutics to address key co-morbidities for patients with multiple sclerosis, including depression and anxiety, the latter company announced Tuesday. Happify Health noted that it will develop a version of its digital platform specifically for patients with MS and plans to submit the co-developed digital therapy to the FDA for clearance as a medical device. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Chris Wasden, head of digital therapeutics at Happify Health, said "our platform provides a potential alternative or complement to current therapies," adding that what sets their platform apart is that it is "highly configurable…[and] delivers proven, highly-engaging digital therapies for anxiety and depression, and enables users to take a greater role in managing aspects of their conditions." Sanofi chief medical and digital officer Ameet Nathwani commented that "Happify Health's ability to address mental health issues so effectively in a digital environment provides an ideal complement to [our] traditional therapies."

Happify Health cited data published last year in the International Journal of Wellbeing, which showed that in the general population, the company's non-MS-specific platform was associated with an almost 25% reduction in anxiety symptoms and a more than 25% reduction in depression symptoms when used at the recommended level of a minimum of 16 activities completed over eight weeks. "Additionally, research demonstrates industry-leading engagement rates for Happify Health users, with over 40% still active on the platform after 12 months," the company noted.

Ofer Leidner, president of Happify Health, commented that "our experience as a successful direct-to-consumer application with nearly 4 million users and our commercial relationships with some of the nation's largest health plans…has allowed us to develop some highly differentiated capabilities." Leidner indicated that these capabilities, "along with Sanofi's demonstrated commitment to digital transformation, made for an ideal collaboration rooted in exploring innovative, safe and effective therapies aiming to improve the lives of individuals with MS."  

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