Akili, maker of a video game-like digital therapeutic for children with ADHD, hit the public markets Monday after wrapping up a merger with special-purpose acquisition company Social Capital Suvretta Holdings Corp. I.
The newly public digital health firm said the deal brought in more than $163 million before paying transaction expenses and advisory fees. Akili plans to use the cash to launch EndeavorRx, its FDA-cleared therapeutic for kids ages 8 to 12 who have attention issues. It’s scheduled to become available in the U.S. in the fourth quarter of this year.
Akili said the funds should support at least two years of operations without any revenue from EndeavorRx.
“Today’s milestone reflects the combined efforts of the committed Akili team and SCS, who together made this defining moment possible. Millions of people worldwide live with cognitive impairment without effective treatments,” Eddie Martucci, CEO of Akili, said in a statement.
“I am proud of our talented employees – leaders in neuroscience, entertainment and consumer technology – who are propelling Akili’s innovative software-based therapeutics forward to deliver an engaging, immersive experience. I am extremely excited about what’s ahead as we begin to scale and serve patients in need.”
THE LARGER TREND
Founded more than a decade ago, Akili revealed plans to go public through a SPAC merger early this year. The company announced a $160 million equity and debt financing round in 2021, which boosted its total equity funding to $230 million.
Akili is working on expanding its product line, including offering its ADHD tools for adults and teens as well as testing new therapeutics for post-ICU or COVID-19 brain fog and multiple sclerosis-related cognitive impairment. It received FDA De Novo clearance for EndeavorRx in 2020.
SPACs, in which a shell company combines with a private company to take it public, were recently a popular path to the public markets for digital health companies, but the trend has slowed this year. Rock Health’s report on digital health funding noted zero companies went public during the first half of 2022 after 23 exits last year.
ON THE RECORD
“With this milestone completed, Akili has a number of others ahead, including its upcoming commercial launch of EndeavorRx and a strong clinical pipeline of breakthrough digital therapeutic candidates that have the potential to treat a host of cognitive impairments,” Chamath Palihapitiya, chairman and CEO of SCS, said in a statement. “I look forward to working with Eddie and the Akili team as they enter this new and exciting chapter.”