Proteus Biomedical tweaks branding, partners with Abilify-maker Otsuka

By: Brian Dolan | Jul 6, 2012        

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Proteus Biomedical's Raisin system

Proteus Biomedical's Raisin system

Intelligent medicine platform developer Proteus Biomedical has changed its name to Proteus Digital Health, to “better reflect” what the company does, Chief Product Officer David O’Reilly told MobiHealthNews in an email this week. Proteus also inked a deal with Japan-based Otsuka Pharmaceutical, which is known for its Abilify drug for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, that will bring technology based on Proteus Digital Health’s Raisin platform to that country.

No financial terms of the deal were closed and neither were the two therapeutic areas which the collaboration will address. Besides its Abilify brand, Otsuka is focused on oncology and nutraceuticals. Besides the two commercial products, Otsuka plans to make use of Proteus Digital Health’s feedback system in its clinical research and development.

Proteus Digital Health’s intelligent medicine offering is called Raisin, and the basic system includes sensor-enabled pills, a peel-and-stick sensor patch worn on the body, and a mobile health app. The patch records when a pill is ingested and also tracks other things like sleep patterns and physical activity levels.

As O’Reilly suggested, the name change from “Biomedical” to “Digital Health” is fitting. In addition to building its medication adherence system, which embeds intelligence into the pills themselves so that their ingestion can be precisely tracked, Proteus has also developed wireless peel-and-stick, bandaid-like medical sensor technology that the company licenses out to other digital health companies through its partnership with Avery Dennison. That is the same technology that BodyMedia is leveraging for its peel-and-stick, disposable sensor that it announced at the beginning of the year.

Proteus has previously partnered with or licensed its technology to Novartis (which invested tens of millions into the company a few years ago), Medtronic, ON Semiconductor, Kaiser Permanente and Lloydspharmacy (which launched a modified version of Proteus’ Raisin system in the UK in January).

In mid-2009, Proteus Biomedical CEO Andrew Thompson predicted that China would likely be the first market it launched its system in — not the US or UK. In early 2010 Novartis announced that it had invested $24 million in Proteus and that it had exclusive rights to use the technology with specific types of therapies, including those used for organ transplant patients. While Proteus has yet to launch Helius or a similar technology commercially in the US yet, it did receive FDA clearance for the peel-and-stick sensor patch in early 2010. Proteus first announced that the UK’s NHS began testing its system back in mid-2010. Last July the company secured a patent for the technology.

More on the Ostuka deal in the press release below:

PRESS RELEASE: REDWOOD CITY, Calif. & TOKYO — Proteus Digital Health, Inc. and Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., announced they have entered into an exclusive worldwide license and collaboration agreement to develop and commercialize a new category of medicines. These new medicines will be based on Otsuka’s pharmaceutical products and Proteus’s digital health feedback system incorporating Proteus’s novel sensor-based technologies. Under the agreement, Proteus and Otsuka have entered an exclusive collaboration to develop commercial products in two defined therapeutic areas of high unmet medical need. Otsuka has also been granted a non-exclusive license to utilize Proteus technology in its clinical research and development activities.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

The Proteus digital health feedback system combines wearable and ingestible sensor technologies that together are designed to help improve patients’ health habits. Detailed information, including when a medication has been taken as well as activity and rest patterns, is captured and delivered to a secure database. The information, accessible from a variety of platforms such as mobile phones with consent granted by the patient, is designed to help patients and their caregivers better manage their conditions and to help clinicians provide more effective care.

About Proteus Digital Health, Inc.

Proteus Digital Health, formally known as Proteus Biomedical, Inc., believes in better health, powered by you. Proteus’s wearable and ingestible sensor technology is used to deliver digital medications and other health and wellness products. Headquartered in Redwood City, CA, Proteus partners with and licenses to leading companies to commercialize digital health products, including Otsuka, Novartis, Avery Dennison, Medtronic, ON Semiconductor, Kaiser Permanente and Lloydspharmacy. For more information, please visit www.proteusdigitalhealth.com.

About Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.

Founded in 1964, Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. is a global healthcare company with the corporate philosophy: ‘Otsuka-people creating new products for better health worldwide.’ Otsuka researches, develops, manufactures and markets innovative and original products, with a focus on pharmaceutical products for the treatment of diseases and consumer products for the maintenance of everyday health. Otsuka is committed to being a corporation that creates global value, adhering to the high ethical standards required of a company involved in human health and life, maintaining a dynamic corporate culture, and working in harmony with local communities and the natural environment.

Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Otsuka Holdings Co., Ltd., the holding company for the Otsuka Group. The Otsuka Group has business operations in 24 countries and regions around the world, with consolidated sales of ¥1,154.6 billion for fiscal year 2011. For more information, visit www.otsuka.co.jp/en.