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Akili Interactive to cut 30% of its staff

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Akili Interactive, maker of a video game-like digital therapeutic for children with ADHD, announced last week it will cut about 30% of its staff.

The layoffs, which will affect 46 workers, are expected to be completed by the end of the first quarter, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission

Akili will also put some programs related to cognitive health outside of ADHD on hold to “conserve capital and focus.” Programs affected include tools in development for autism spectrum disorder, multiple sclerosis, major depressive disorder and a cognitive monitoring program that was slated to begin a trial.

In a message to staff, CEO and cofounder Eddie Martucci said the company will focus on increasing adoption and coverage of EndeavorRx, its digital therapeutic that received FDA De Novo clearance in 2020.

“To allow Akili to be as independent as possible from the current economic environment, I believe it is imperative for Akili to extend our runway to be able to push towards our vision of making EndeavorRx — and by extension, cognitive treatment — part of mainstream medical care. That means, we need to reduce our operating ‘footprint’ to a more sustainable level,” he wrote. “To achieve this, we are reducing both internal and external spending as we seek to establish a sustainable operating model and put us on a path to profitability.”

THE LARGER TREND

Akili went public through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company last summer. 

However, the company’s stock price collapsed after its public debut, and it reported a $53.2 million net loss in the third quarter. EndeavorRx generated only $82,000 in revenue in Q3.

In the SEC filing, Akili expects its non-GAAP total operating expenses to be between $55 and $60 million for 2023. The company said its cash runway currently extends into the first quarter of 2025.



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