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The Company Treating ADHD With a Video Game

September 14, 2023
x min read

Developing an FDA approved therapeutic for ADHD has been one of the most difficult tasks in medicine.

But Boston-based digital therapeutics company Akili Interactive has a unique approach to trying to solve it: video games.

The big idea:

  • Akili Interactive (NASDAQ: AKLI) has developed the world’s first FDA approved video game for children with ADHD called EndeavourRx
  • Created by neuroscientists and game developers, EndeavourRx targets select parts of the brain that are responsible for attention span
  • Through sensory stimulus, the game play challenges kids to multi task and block out distractions
  • Akili’s technology tracks the data as each child plays the game and creates customizations in real time

Why it matters:

  • Providing a non drug therapy for ADHD is an exciting breakthrough and lowers the risk of side effects
  • ADHD, especially in children, is notoriously difficult to treat effectively
  • In clinical trials for EndeavourRx there were zero reported serious adverse side effects

Going deeper:

  • For children to use EndeavourRx it needs to be prescribed by a doctor
  • However, Akili has recently released EndeavourOTC in the United States which is made for adults and can be used without a prescription
  • A multi site, 200+ person participant adult trial for EndeavourOTC showed very strong outcomes, with 83% of people experiencing a meaningful change in attention function

By the numbers:

  • Akili went public onto the NASDAQ via a SPAC deal which landed them roughly $163M USD in growth capital
  • Chamath Palihapitiya, founder of Social Capital and legendary venture capitalist, was a lead investor in Akili and is currently chairman of the board

The fine print:

  • Currently Akili’s technology is only available in the United States
  • While EndeavourRx has been authorized by the FDA for use in children, EndeavourOTC has not yet but approved by the FDA for use in adults

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