Akili Interactive, which creates personalized digital therapeutics engineered to improve cognitive impairments, is expected to go public in a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) deal sponsored by Chamath Palihapitiya, according to Forbes.
The Boston-based company develops EndeavorRx, an FDA-approved prescription video game to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms in children.
The SPAC deal is expected to close in mid-2022, which values the 10-year old company around $1 billion. The deal will make Akili go public via a merger with the “blank check company” Social Capital Suvretta Holdings.
Akili is the second target company known for a series of four biotechnology-focused SPACs launched in June 2021 by “SPAC King” Palihapitiya and Kishen Mehta, a portfolio manager at Suvretta Capital Management.
Akili was launched in 2011. The company received FDA approval for EndeavorRx, which is the first-and-only prescription treatment delivered through a video game. It is developed to “improve attention function” and symptoms in ADHD-diagnosed children between the ages of 8 and 12.
The company has conducted clinical trials with more than 600 patients so far for EndeavorRx. It hopes to have pivotal data that could expand the indication to EndeavorRx in teenagers and adults by the next year.
Akili CEO Eddie Martucci said in a statement, “This transaction represents the next step in our journey to become the world’s leading digital medicine company directly targeting neurological function.”
One of the biggest challenges will be convincing insurers to cover the cost of the prescription video game.
The current list price for a 90-day prescription is $450 and $295 for patients who pay cash out-of-pocket, according to Forbes. The investor presentation does not disclose current revenue but says Akili expects $500 million in the U.S.
Julie DiCarlo, SVP, Head of Communications at Akili, said, “We have not disclosed any payor relationships at this time. We expect our treatments will be covered by commercial and government payers in time, and our approach prioritizes expanded access for families to EndeavorRx through our work with payers while ensuring a path is available for the unique self-pay characteristic of the market.”
Akili is also conducting studies to test its new software to improve cognitive function for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), major depressive disorder, and multiple sclerosis. It is hoping to progress to pivotal trials for these indications over the next two years.
The SPAC deal could deliver up to $390 million in cash to Akili to “fund EndeavorRx’s commercialization, pipeline progression, and new platform technology development.” The story was published Wednesday in Forbes.