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Prescription digital therapeutics company Better Therapeutics announces layoffs

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Better Therapeutics, a prescription digital therapeutics platform, has laid off approximately 35% of its workforce due to a cost reduction initiative, according to a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing on Friday. 

The company provides cognitive behavioral therapy to address diabetes, hypertension and other cardiometabolic diseases.

Per the SEC filing, the company expects to incur approximately $400,000 in cash-related expenses due to severance and benefits in Q2 2023. CEO Frank Karbe emailed employees on Thursday, notifying them of the workforce reduction.

“We are also implementing other cost savings measures to further extend our financial runway so we can reach critical milestones over the next few months, including potential FDA marketing authorization and subsequent commercial launch of BT-001 in Type 2 diabetes,” Karbe said in the email. 

THE LARGER TREND

Better Therapeutics was among the many digital health platforms in 2021 that announced plans to go public by merging with a special purpose acquisition company. It debuted at a stock price around $10 per share, but the price has since dropped to around $0.85. 

Since then, the company has struggled to reach profitability. In its most recent filing for Q3 2022, the company reported a net loss of nearly $31 million for the first nine months of the year, and its accumulated deficit reached $102.7 million. It noted that under its current operating plan, it held sufficient capital to fund its operations through Q1 2023. 

Other companies in the prescription digital therapeutics space are Akili Interactive, maker of a video game-like digital therapeutic for children with ADHD, and Pear Therapeutics, maker of prescription digital therapeutics to help treat substance abuse disorder, opioid use disorder and insomnia.

Akili went public through a SPAC in August, but in January of this year announced plans to let go of 30% of its staff as it sought a path to profitability. 

Pear began trading on Nasdaq in 2021 with a SPAC. Earlier this month, the company announced it’s exploring “strategic alternatives,” including a possible company sale, merger or acquisition. Without a transaction, the company said it may need to reorganize, liquidate or pursue other forms of restructuring. 

Stephanie Chia, Russ Hinz and Susan Tolin will offer more detail in the HIMSS23 session “Equity on Chicago’s South Side: Connected Care Technology.” It is scheduled for Wednesday, April 19 at 1 p.m. – 2 p.m. CT at the South Building, Level 1, room S103.

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