Chrono Therapeutics nets Rock Health investment for smoking cessation wearable

Rock Health entered the arena of digital health tools for smoking cessation with an investment in Chrono Therapeutics, according to a company statement. The pharmaceutical company produces a wearable drug delivery tool and companion app called SmartStop, which functions as a digital health coach to help smokers quit. The investment follows a $32 million Series […]

Rock Health entered the arena of digital health tools for smoking cessation with an investment in Chrono Therapeutics, according to a company statement. The pharmaceutical company produces a wearable drug delivery tool and companion app called SmartStop, which functions as a digital health coach to help smokers quit. The investment follows a $32 million Series A round in June.

The device is worn on the arm or body and delivers nicotine in doses through disposable cartridges. It is automatically times to release nicotine when each smoker experiences spikes in cravings. It transmits messages to a companion app through Bluetooth that let users know how much nicotine they’ve had, provides alerts and encouraging messages. It is aimed at the majority of the 45 million smokers who want to quit. About 23 million try to quit smoking each year, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control.

In an interview with Wired magazine, CEO Dr Alan Levy compared its device to Fitbit but one that provides therapy. The device initially gives high doses of nicotine and gradually reduces that dose over a 10-week period. It also sees applications for technology for asthma, depression and ADHD.

Rock Health is investing $100,000 in Chrono, which is using the funding to support clinical trials of SmartStop, according to an emailed statement. Other investors include Canaan Partners, 5AM Ventures, Fountain Healthcare Partners, Mayo Clinic and GE Ventures. The company, which got its start in 2004, is hoping to get FDA approval for its device by 2017.

Rock Health Managing Director Malay Gandhi said its investment was spurred by an interest in supporting next generation product technology “Chrono’s SmartStop drug delivery system represents the type of next-generation product technology that Rock Health is seeking to identify and advance in order to significantly impact the future of healthcare. By adopting digital technology to deliver and target treatment along with guided coaching, SmartStop is designed to help smokers quit their addictive, life-threatening habit with a reliable, convenient and effective wearable device.”