By Jof Enriquez,
Follow me on Twitter @jofenriq
Israel-based Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. has agreed to buy Gecko Health Innovations, maker of a metered-dose inhaler attachment to aid patients adhere to their drug delivery regimen, for an undisclosed amount.
Under the deal, Teva gets CareTRx, a respiratory care management product consisting of a device that attaches to metered-dose inhalers and paired with a mobile app-based program to store and manage data. Teva plans to integrate CareTRx technology into its portfolio of respiratory products with the goal of enhancing clinical outcomes.
“During the last three years, we have designed and built a system to support respiratory disease management by intuitively connecting caregivers, patients, and families,” said Dr. Yechiel Engelhard, CEO and founder of Gecko Health Innovations, in a press release. “In founding Gecko Health Innovations, our vision was to connect chronic medication management into one platform, leveraging this information to support and empower patients by partnering with leading players in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries. We are very excited to realize this vision as it aligns to Teva’s focus on innovative patient solutions.”
CareTRX is based on Gecko Health's initial product, GeckoCap, which was introduced in 2013. At the start of 2015, MobiHealthNews reports, the company expanded the product's focus from children to include adults with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Gecko has reportedly collaborated previously with the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, and is currently engaged in clinical trials with Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital and Boston Children’s Hospital in testing CareTRX.
More pharmaceutical companies have been inking agreements to acquire their own "smart" inhaler technology. According to MobiHealthNews, AstraZeneca has poured $3 million into Adherium Limited, a New Zealand-based company working on a smart inhaler that helps patients adhere to prescribed dose regimens. Last year, Boehringer Ingelheim announced a pilot study in collaboration with Propeller Health to test a sensor that attaches to the back of Boehringer Ingelheim’s Respimat inhaler.
Through acquisitions and partnerships with medtech companies, Teva is pushing to integrate its large portfolio of generic medications with drug delivery devices to help patients manage chronic conditions. Besides buying Gecko, Teva announced a deal in June with Microchips Biotech, Inc. to develop a microchip-based implant that delivers programmable medication doses. More recently, Teva announced the launch of its first e-health solution for chronic disease management using the Watson Health Cloud platform.
“By building on the Watson Health Cloud, we believe Teva will be in a unique position to put the best information and insights in the hands of physicians, care teams and patients, to empower treatment optimization for individuals and populations across the spectrum of acute and chronic conditions. Watson holds promise to provide Teva with better insights, real-time feedback and options for clinicians to consider to improve patient care," said Guy Hadari, SVP and CIO for Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., in a statement.