By JESSICA DaMASSA, WTF HEALTH
Otsuka Pharmaceuticals is expanding its mental health formulary – going beyond traditional medications to psychedelics, and to “the intersection of technology and psychiatry” with digital therapies currently in clinical trial for major depressive disorder. Kabir Nath, Senior Managing Director of Otsuka’s Global Pharmaceuticals Business, shares the thinking behind these bold moves, why the pharmaceutical company is even innovating to expand the spectrum of treatments available for mental illness in the first place, and in how long these new therapies will reach patients.
“Follow the science” is a key undercurrent of this conversation, especially when we talk about Otsuka’s investments in psychedelic medicine start-ups Compass Pathways and, more recently, Mindset. Kabir says the body of clinical evidence for these therapies is building and we get his prediction of when they might become more mainstream and readily available.
We also have his perspective on digital therapy (DTx) and the work Otsuka is doing with Click Therapeutics in major depressive disorder. Their clinical trial, done in partnership with Verily, is the first-ever fully remote clinical trial conducted in this space, and the hope is that it not only generates evidence to support the emerging category of DTx, but creates also a precedent for a new technological way to conduct clinical trials.
This is just the beginning. There’s a lot more about the innovations that are changing the pharmaceutical industry and the future of mental health care in it. Look now!