Akili: Big Pharm Backs Games as Drugs

Jul
21

Akili: Big Pharm Backs Games as Drugs

Akili, the company behind Project Evo has received more funding recently. However this funding is not just from bigwig businessmen, but is actually from two pharmaceutical companies. This is a pretty big deal, as Akili is trying to push a video game as legitimate medical treatment.

Akili made a game called Project Evo (more info on Project Evo here), which captures data, and changes its difficulty 30 times a second. This helps it constantly challenge a person’s brain without overloading them with information. The game also uses multitasking and other features to measure how well someone’s brain can handle various things. This has a lot of potential, and Akili is definitely using that to their advantage. Currently they are doing final clinical trials to get approval from the FDA as a medical treatment. It isn’t just going to treat ADHD either, although that is one of its major focuses. Project Evo is planned as a treatment, and an improved way to track the progression of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, major depressive disorder, autism, and multiple sclerosis.

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“We’re excited to see M Ventures and Amgen Ventures commit to the development of digital medicine, and we’re proud to be M Ventures’ first investment in the space. There exists a tremendous opportunity to deliver medicine that is efficacious and addresses the needs for safe, non-pharmacological treatments in many neurological and mental health patient populations. M Ventures’ and Amgen Ventures’ support, combined with that of our existing investors, will help us continue to advance our projects toward commercialization,” said Eddie Martucci, Ph.D., Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Akili.

After this newest round of series B fundraising, the company has raised a total of $42.4 million (American). Along with this money, they now have a partnership with a total of four pharmaceutical companies. Akili is partnered with the pharmaceutical company Pfizer inc. Now it also has financial support from Amgen Ventures, Shire Pharmaceuticals, and Merck Ventures BV. With big names supporting a video game used as a medical treatment, it certainly adds validity to the idea. Along with that it has shown great promise in its various trials, and so far is doing very well in its clinical testing.

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Conclusion

Akili is pushing the use of a specialized video game as a medical treatment. Now it has the support of four different pharmaceutical companies that see their potential. They are currently on track to finish trials and seek FDA approval in late 2017. This may seem a long way off, but getting anything into the medical market takes a very long time. So, what do you think about a video game being used as a medical treatment? Let me know in the comments below.

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Written by Spencer Havens

About Spencer Havens

Spencer is a writer and a gamer always looking for that next game to envelop his life.

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