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Its first products are treatments for fibromyalgia, but it wants to tackle other conditions as well
Fibromyalgia isn't a disease that gets talked about much, but there are roughly 10 million people in the US who suffer from it, with the vast majority of cases occurring in women. It's a chronic disease that causes widespread pain, along with symptoms such as fatigue, disrupted sleep, reduced physical function, memory problems, and difficulty concentrating.
The current treatment for fibromyalgia has traditionally been a combination of medications, such as pain relievers, antidepressants and anti-seizure drugs, along with physical, occupational and counseling therapies, and self-care strategies but Swing Therapeutics wants to change that: the digital therapeutics company, which develops treatments for autoimmune and chronic pain conditions, has designed therapies for the disease that don't have to involve medication.
Swing's treatments are accessible through a smartphone app, which is typically used for 20 minutes a day, and include self-management skills, mindfulness activities, symptom tracking, and disease education. The platform provides lessons and interactive exercises that help patients apply Digital Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) principles to their unique circumstances and improve their ability to manage their condition over time.
"Studies indicate that non-pharmacologic therapies can lower pain levels, reduce the prevalence of depression and anxiety, improve sleep quality, and improve overall quality of life. However, people with fibromyalgia already have much higher healthcare costs than the average person, making these therapies difficult to access," Mike Rosenbluth, Ph.D., founder and CEO of Swing Therapeutics, told VatorNews.
"Swing was founded after identifying critical areas of patient need that could potentially be addressed through digital therapeutics to enable them to thrive."
Its solution has attracted the attention of investors, and on Thursday the company announced a $10.3 million Series A funding round led by JAZZ Venture Partners, with participation from Alumni Ventures, AME Cloud Ventures, Asahi Kasei Corporate Ventures, Gaingels, Kicker Ventures, Mana Ventures, and Metrodora Ventures. This brings its total raised to $19 million.
Along with the new funding, the company also announced the commencement of its Phase 3 trial for PROSPER-FM, its digital therapeutic for the treatment of fibromyalgia, which has received Breakthrough Device Designation from the FDA.
The study on PROSPER-FM, which stands for "Prospective Study to Evaluate a Digital Regimen for Fibromyalgia Management," will investigate the effectiveness of two treatments for fibromyalgia, Rosenbluth explained.
"The first, Digital Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, is a daily-use digital therapeutic that uses engaging lessons and interactive exercises to help patients apply ACT principles to their unique circumstances and improve their ability to manage their condition over time," he said.
"The second, Swing’s Digital Symptom Tracker, is a daily-use digital therapeutic that includes common pain management approaches including monitoring daily symptoms over time and fibromyalgia/general health education. This study is testing whether one or both of these interventions is effective in improving the management of fibromyalgia."
The company expect to complete the study in the Spring of 2023, and will use the results to submit an application to the FDA for marketing Swing’s smartphone-based digital therapy as a commercial product to help people manage their fibromyalgia.
Swing also has a second product in development called the REACT-FM, which stands for "Real-World Evidence from Smartphone-Based Acceptance and Commitment Therapy in Fibromyalgia." That product is also currently in a virtual, single-arm trial with over 100 patients currently enrolled.
"This study is assessing the impact of 12 weeks of Digital ACT therapy in addition to patients’ standard care for fibromyalgia," said Rosenbluth.
Along with using its Series A funding to support the execution of the clinical trial, Swing also plans to use it to launch an affiliated telemedicine clinic, which will help providers be better equipped to manage fibromyalgia patients.
Fibromyalgia, however, is only the beginning, and the company is looking to eventually tackle a series of chronic conditions.
"We hope to continue developing evidence-backed digital therapeutics for conditions where patients are underserved by available treatment options and where digital therapies may be effective – including other chronic overlapping pain conditions (COPCs), autoimmune conditions and other conditions where central pain sensitization plays a role," said Rosenbluth.
"We believe people should be able to choose the best treatment for their unique experiences with chronic illness, and our goal is to make it easier for people to access effective treatments currently not available to them."
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