Digital treatments may be cutting-edge, but Pear Therapeutics plans to stick to pharma's traditional go-to-market model with its burgeoning portfolio. And it could test those tactics with a new launch soon enough.
Pear's latest offering, Somryst for chronic insomnia and depression, went to the FDA for review last week—the first product submitted under the agency's new software precertification pathway.
And Pear has started laying the groundwork for a Somryst rollout. Its first step is a familiar one: raising awareness with clinicians through its direct sales force.
In this case, that means detailing the product itself, but also focusing on Somryst’s “active ingredient”—Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for insomnia (CBTi). That type of therapy is built on changing thinking patterns, habits and behavior around sleep.
“The messaging is relatively simple, which is that many clinicians are aware of CBTi and know that it’s first-line care, but they just don’t have the resources to get it to patients," said Corey McCann, M.D., Pear's president and CEO. "With the efficacy we’ve demonstrated, we’re able to connect the dots from current guidelines through to access.”
Somryst is Pear’s third prescription digital therapeutic. If approved, it will follow reSET and reSET-O—approved to treat substance use disorder and opioid use disorder, respectively—onto the market.
But it'll be Pear's first solo marketing effort. Novartis’ Sandoz markets reSET and reSET-O through its own sales force. Pear and Novartis also struck a deal last year for future digital therapies in multiple sclerosis and schizophrenia.
Pear's plans for tried-and-true pharma tactics have one caveat, though, McCann said. Because of its products' digital delivery and the potential for high-tech prescribing, direct-to-patient marketing will likely be even more important.
“These are digital prescriptions, and so that means this is the only therapeutic modality that can be prescribed directly from something like a tele-encounter," he said. "It’s very early days, but I believe digital means of direct-to-patient will be even more valuable than in the traditional pharma space."