Akili lays off 30% of staff to focus cash on growing prescription video game sales

Dive Brief:

  • Akili, the developer of the first prescription video game to treat ADHD, is laying off 46 people, or 30% of its employees, and putting multiple programs on hold to extend its cash runway out to 2025.
  • Akili has yet to turn its first product, which received De Novo clearance in 2020, into a big seller. Sales of the recently launched EndeavorRx device hit $82,000 in the third quarter as Akili lost $53.2 million over the same three months.
  • Akili’s ability to raise money to fund its work has been limited by the collapse of its stock price in recent months, as shares fell from $14 in August to just over $1.40 this week.

Dive Insight:

Akili is at the forefront of efforts to create prescription treatments that are experienced like entertainment. Patients play video games that present specific sensory stimuli and simultaneous motor challenges designed to act on neural processes that play a key role in attention function. Akili validated the approach by linking its program to improved attention in children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

The company has high hopes for the product, putting the U.S. revenue potential in ADHD at $500 million in a presentation last year, and prescriptions increased quarter-on-quarter in 2022 as it scaled up its sales force. However, with losses mounting, Akili has decided to cut back in certain areas. 

Akili is laying off 46 people and pausing work on treatments for attention in autism spectrum disorder, and cognitive dysfunction in multiple sclerosis and depression. Management previously disclosed a pullback from indications beyond ADHD but has now gone further by dropping plans to meet with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration “in order to conserve capital and focus.”  

The changes are intended to reduce spending and narrow Akili’s focus onto “the key adoption, coverage and engagement initiatives” that could support the growth of EndeavorRx, CEO Eddie Martucci said. The goal is to “establish a sustainable operating model” and put the company “on a path to profitability.”

This news is republished from another source. You can check the original article here

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