Proteus has prematurely ended its high profile $88 million deal with Otsuka, reports MobiHealthNews. Proteus’ CEO, Andrew Thompson, told STAT News that the company and Otsuka Pharmaceutical have ended a deal in which Otsuka had been paying Proteus to help it develop a portfolio of digital medicines for serious mental health conditions.
Otsuka, the Japanese drug maker, has now acquired the full license for Proteus’ mental health treatment adherence technology, and will be independently pursuing development for these types of therapies, a representative from Otsuka told MobiHealthNews in an email statement.
On the other hand, Proteus will now abandon its work in mental health treatment and cardiovascular conditions. The Silicon Valley company will try to focus on getting insurers to pay for its technology in patients with cancer and infectious diseases. The company has also notified an unspecified number of employees that they are being laid off, Thompson told STAT News.
“Rather than a premature end to the agreement, it’s more of an evolution of the original agreement that allows each company to independently advance the development and commercialization of digital medicine offerings,” said Otsuka spokesperson Robert Murphy. “Our digital medicine businesses have evolved to a point where we can maximize success by pursuing future opportunities independently and we are excited for both organizations moving forward.”
In October, 2018, Otsuka paid $88 million to Proteus Digital Health for a collaboration on the development of digital meds. They were working on the Abilify Mycite System and “joint development of an expanded portfolio of digital medicines consisting of other therapies such as atypical antipsychotics used in the treatment of serious mental illness integrated with Proteus sensors.
Since then, Proteus’ digital has been enjoying support from investors and pharmaceuticals alike. But last month, investors cast doubt into the company’s future following reports of a failed $100 million funding round that led Proteus to furlough the majority of its employees.