Big Health’s new funding will accelerate the company’s commercial reimbursement model and product platform, including six new digital therapeutics by 2024
SAN FRANCISCO, January 19, 2022 – Big Health, a digital therapeutics company dedicated to helping millions back to good mental health, today announced that it has raised $75 million in a Series C funding round, led by new investor SoftBank Vision Fund 2, with participation from ArrowMark Partners and existing investors Octopus Ventures, Gilde Healthcare, Kaiser Permanente Ventures (KPV), and Morningside Ventures.
Having pioneered and scaled the industry-leading reimbursement model for digital therapeutics via the pharmacy benefit manager (PBM), the company will now use its Series C funding to further accelerate commercial growth and product strategy, and plans to launch six new digital therapeutics by 2024.
As the prevalence of mental health conditions continues to rise, mental health providers cannot meet the scale of demand through in-person or teletherapy alone. As a result, the only available treatment option for most people is mental health medications. In fact, 82% of patients being treated for mental health receive medication. Separate clinical research studies have shown that these medications are often associated with moderately severe side effects and/or adverse events, and minimal long-term benefits for many patients. In fact, hypnotics and benzodiazepines, commonly prescribed medications for sleep and anxiety disorders, have black box warnings, the United States Food and Drug Administration’s strongest warning, due to their potential safety risks.
Through robust clinical evaluation, Sleepio and Daylight¹ – Big Health’s first two digital therapeutics for insomnia and anxiety respectively – are proven to provide safe and effective non-drug alternatives for the most common mental health conditions, without requiring a prescription or intervention from coaches or clinicians. To ease adoption for payers and patients alike, Big Health pioneered the ability to bill through the PBM, enabling employers and health plans to add Big Health to their formulary and pay for their use via a drug claim, which is the same way they pay for medications.
Although studies show that three-quarters of people prefer a non-drug approach to mental health care, the vast majority of mental health patients today receive medications, often associated with substantial risk of harm or side effects, said Big Health Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer Peter Hames. Our digital therapeutics offer an equitable, safe, and effective non-drug alternative at a huge scale, and our products are backed by leading clinical evidence, with more than 28,000 participants across our clinical studies. With strong commercial partnerships, including the ability to bill through the PBM, we now have the rails in place to improve health outcomes at an enormous scale. We are proud to announce our Series C funding, which will further fuel our growth and the mass adoption of digital therapeutics.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light significant gaps in the current approach to mental health care and has accentuated the need for new and transformative treatment modalities,” said John Cassidy, Investment Director, Life Sciences & HealthTech at SoftBank Investment Advisers, who will join the Big Health Board of Directors. “We believe Big Health is leading the way in bringing evidence-based, effective, low-cost mental health care to millions via their smartphone. We’re excited to partner with Peter, Colin and the entire Big Health team in their vision to make non-drug alternative treatments commonplace across the care pathway.”
“Big Health is directly addressing the mental health crisis at scale using digital therapeutics,” said Big Health Executive Chairman Arun Gupta. “The company pioneered a commercial model that is rapidly scaling while consistently demonstrating that digital experiences can deliver world-class clinical outcomes. We welcome the addition of our new investors and thank our existing investors for their ongoing belief in Big Health’s mission and impact.”
With over 10 million covered lives globally, 13 randomized controlled trials evaluating its approach, and more than 28,000 participants across all evidence studies, Big Health continues to play a leading role in the global adoption of digital therapeutics. In October 2021, the company announced an expanded relationship with the Scottish Government to provide all Scottish adults access to Sleepio and Daylight through their NHS services, making Scotland the first country in the world to make digital therapeutics for anxiety and insomnia available nationally. The company has partnered with CVS Health since 2019 to simplify reimbursement for digital therapeutics.
Over the years, Big Health has furthered its digital therapeutics industry leadership through innovative reimbursement strategies and a world-class product, said George Braun, Principal & Investment Analyst at ArrowMark Partners. After witnessing Big Health’s growth and approach, we saw a great opportunity to serve as a long-term strategic investor to support their mission of helping millions back to good mental health.
¹ In accordance with FDA’s Current Enforcement Discretion Policy for Digital Health Devices for Psychiatric Disorders, for patients aged 18 years and older, who are followed by and diagnosed with Insomnia Disorder or Generalized Anxiety Disorder by a medical provider, Sleepio and Daylight can be made available as an adjunct to their usual medical care for Insomnia Disorder or Generalized Anxiety Disorder, respectively. Sleepio and Daylight do not replace the care of a medical provider or the patient’s medication. Sleepio and Daylight have not been cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for these indications.