Daily, BioPharma, Health Tech

Otsuka Launches New Company to Commercialize Rejoyn, the First Digital Therapeutic for Depression

Otsuka Pharmaceutical is launching a subsidiary that will commercialize its digital therapeutic Rejoyn — as well as other digital therapeutics and connected health products down the line. Last month, Rejoyn became the first FDA-cleared digital therapeutic for patients with depression.

Last month, an app named Rejoyn became the first FDA-cleared prescription digital therapeutic for patients with major depressive disorder. The app, which changes users’ behavior through various lessons and exercises, was developed by Otsuka Pharmaceutical and Click Therapeutics

On Monday, Otsuka announced that it is launching a new data and technology-focused subsidiary that will commercialize Rejoyn — as well as other digital therapeutics and connected health products down the line. The new company — named Otsuka Precision Health — is a subsidiary of Otsuka America, which is a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Otsuka Pharmaceutical.

Rejoyn is a six-week program intended to be used alongside antidepressants. The app leverages clinically validated cognitive emotional training to target parts of the brain affected by depression in order to reduce symptoms over time, explained Otsuka Precision Health President Sanket Shah. 

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Once Rejoyn becomes available to download this summer, people can follow instructions for a virtual consultation. Their prescription will then be filled, and they will receive an access code from a pharmacy, Shah explained. Once they receive the code, they can enter it directly into the app and access the program immediately. 

Shah and the rest of the team at Otsuka Precision Health are currently working to ensure that Rejoyn will be both accessible and affordable for patients  — steps that other digital therapeutics companies often fail to complete, he noted.

“Our current focus is bringing Rejoyn to the U.S. market and expanding our patient experience services,” he declared. “We believe in the meaningful role technology can play in the lives of patients to better understand their unique condition and the care teams that surround them through the course of the healthcare experience. Based on that understanding, we are designing our programs to better connect, engage and personalize care wherever possible.”

From Shah’s point of view, the market has seen an outpaced demand in recent years for alternative therapies and treatments. Patients are seeking ways to overcome common and often-overlooked barriers to care, he pointed out.

Better connected treatment plans pose the opportunity to address this need through care that is more personalized and data-driven, Shah added. 

“With Rejoyn’s approval serving as a proof-point for OPH’s capabilities on the market, it is an exciting time for the company to continue pursuing advanced technologies and more precise approaches to revolutionize an industry that needs to acclimate to accelerating change,” he said.

Photo credit: Zhuyufang, Getty Images