Digital therapeutics maker Akili adds extra $13M to earlier $55M funding round

By Dave Muoio
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Boston-based digital therapeutics company Akili Interactive Labs announced this morning that it has added an extra $13 million to its previously announced Series C financing. Together, this brings the company’s 2018 funding to $68 million, and its total backing to just over $140 million.

The additional investment from CLSA, Omidyar Technology Ventures, Digital Garage Group, and Fearless Ventures will be used to support development and deployment Akili’s digital therapeutics, one of which is currently under review by the FDA.

“Both Akili and the broader field of digital medicine have been advancing at a significant pace,” Eddie Martucci, CEO of Akili, said in a statement. “This additional backing from investors will help us significantly drive forward the development and deployment of our technology platform toward our goal of having a major impact in millions of patients and toward fulfilling the immense promise of digital medicine.”

Akili develops prescription digital treatments that are delivered through video game experiences. For instance, AKL-T01 (also known as Project: Evo ADHD Treatment) has users navigate an alien avatar down a course by tilting a mobile device back and forth. While navigating the alien, the user must also respond to targets by tapping the screen. The app keeps track of movements and can therefore monitor the user’s behavior and quickly adapt to the player. All the while, sensory stimuli delivered through the game are engaging specific neural circuitry to treat the player’s cognitive condition.

In December, Akili announced positive results from the largest clinical trial of AKL-T01. These data are being used to support the company’s ongoing bid for FDA clearance. In today’s statement, the company also said that they expecting the results of a phase 2 study of their investigative digital treatment for major depressive disorder as well as those of pilot study for a multiple sclerosis intervention before the end of the year.

“CLSA’s investments are focused on transformative ideas and technologies that have the potential to disrupt sectors and practices. Validated digital medicine is one such area, with potential to change the industry, especially in treating cognitive dysfunction,” Jonathan Slone, CEO of CLSA, said in a statement. “Akili is a pioneer in the field, and we’re excited to support the company’s growth.”