Chugai Pharmaceutical, one of Japan’s leading research-based pharmaceutical companies and Biofourmis, a Boston-based digital therapeutics company, announced that they have partnered to develop a digital solution for the objective assessment of pain associated with endometriosis.
Endometriosis is the repeated proliferation and shedding of endometrial tissue outside the uterus, accompanied by dysmenorrhea (pain with menstruation) and chronic lower abdominal pain. It is also a cause of infertility. This disease affects one out of 10 women in their 20s to 40s. The only existing medications are hormonal agents. Moreover, if the pain cannot be controlled by drugs, the only treatment is surgical removal of the endometriotic tissue, says a press release.
Pain is one of the main symptoms of endometriosis and therapeutically important. The severity of pain may vary from day to day, and it can be a major issue that affects patients’ quality of life.
The Chugai-Biofourmis partnership will leverage Biofourmis’ Biovitals platform to co-develop a novel digital technology for the objective assessment of pain using biosensors and artificial intelligence (AI)-based algorithms. The solution will be validated in a global, multi-center observational study enrolling more than 120 endometriosis patients.
The digital solution for managing patients with endometriosis in an ambulatory setting will include a wearable, clinical-grade biosensor to capture physiology biomarkers and a patient-facing mobile app to monitor symptoms, with a gamification engine for patient engagement. The AI-based technology will provide a continuous quantification of pain by applying analytics to physiology biomarkers. The platform will also include a clinician-facing web dashboard for remote review and intervention.
“Through the partnership with Biofourmis, a leading company in research, development and commercialization of digital therapeutics, Chugai will set out to objectively assess pain associated with endometriosis and better understand its pathology,” said Satoko Shisai, Chugai’s Vice President, Head of Digital & IT Supervisory Division. “Through this partnership, Chugai is demonstrating its commitment to applying the most advanced digital technologies to better understand the real-life needs of patients and to develop innovative solutions for society, as outlined in the CHUGAI DIGITAL VISION 2030.”
Kuldeep Singh Rajput, CEO and founder of Biofourmis, said: “Chugai aims to become a top innovator by utilizing digital technologies, and we are thrilled to partner with them.” He added: “This unique collaboration with Chugai is another indicator of the growing consensus in the healthcare industry that combining digital solutions with therapeutic developments—from discovery to patient care—is a powerful way to augment efficiency. Digital solutions can deliver faster, more reliable insights to clinicians to aid interventions, while increasing engagement and improving outcomes for patients and lowering healthcare costs for all stakeholders.”