Akili Interactive, a startup that has developed a video game to help treat attention-deficit disorders in kids, has agreed to go public through a merger with one of Chamath Palihapitiya’s blank-check companies.
The deal, which confirms a Bloomberg News report, values the combined entity at about $1 billion, Akili and Social Capital Suvretta Holdings Corp. I said in a statement seen by Bloomberg. It will provide as much as $412 million in gross cash proceeds, the companies said.
Led by Chief Executive Officer Eddie Martucci, Akili has developed the video game that can be prescribed to improve the attention of children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, also known as ADHD. The FDA-cleared treatment known as EndeavorRx is set to launch later this year, the company said.
“Our type of medicine is pretty unique in that it’s developed as a rigorous medicine, taken through the FDA, prescribed by doctors, but it’s delivered as an entertainment product,” Martucci said in an interview. “It’s about a patient no longer feeling like a patient but actually enjoying what they’re doing and having fun.”
Cognitive impairments – including poor concentration, memory loss, difficulties learning new skills, and difficulties with decision making – are in aggregate among the largest unmet medical needs, and are increasingly recognized as contributing to or associated with dozens of chronic diseases and acute illnesses, including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), major depressive disorder (MDD), multiple sclerosis (MS), and autism spectrum disorder (ASD), as well as postoperative cognitive dysfunction and COVID-19 “brain fog.”
Despite the rapidly growing prevalence of these conditions, the acute exacerbation of these issues by the pandemic’s impact, and the chronic, escalating cognitive overload from the proliferation of on-demand attention-capturing technology, there has been limited innovation of novel treatment options … By harnessing advances in cognitive neuroscience and consumer technology, Akili is changing the neuropsychiatric treatment paradigm. Akili’s patented and clinically validated technology platform represents a new category of software-based medicine: advanced and proprietary digital therapeutics that are designed to directly target neural physiology to better serve the needs of patients and their families.
The transaction implies a post-money equity value of the combined company of up to approximately $1 billion and is expected to deliver up to $412 million in gross cash proceeds to the Company, including the contribution of up to $250 million of cash held in SCS’s trust account and $162 million from PIPE investors at $10 per share … The proposed business combination, which has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both Akili and SCS, is expected to close in mid-2022, subject to approval by SCS’s and Akili’s shareholders, regulatory approvals, and other customary closing conditions.
News in Context:
- Akili Interactive Labs raises $160M in equity and debt to transform cognitive healthcare via prescription videogame treatments
- Pear Therapeutics raises $175M and goes public via SPAC deal raising the profile of prescription digital therapeutics (Update: shares were priced at $10 on December 6th; they are $4.35 now January 26th)
- What are cognitive abilities and how to boost them?
- Does ADHD treatment enable long-term academic success? (Yes, especially when pharmacological and non-pharma treatments are combined)
- Survey of 2500 families finds what ADHD treatments seem to work/ not work as applied in the real world