CAR-T. Fitness Acquirers. Pharma in Digital Health.
The last week brought a few major announcements centered around CAR T-cell therapies, which essentially re-engineer your immune system to fight diseases. Gilead bought Kite Pharmaceuticals, a developer of different CAR-T cell therapies for ~$12B in cash and Novartis received the green light for its CAR-T therapy, Kymriah, which targets pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
We conducted a research briefing last year on different startups attacking cancer and highlighted immunotherapy as one solution with a lot of momentum. You can see the full research briefing here and find companies on our platform using CAR-T via this company search.
Business not as usual
CAR-T is cutting edge, but here’s the thing that really caught my eye regarding the announcements: Novartis is using an outcomes based approach for its new Kymriah treatment — it’ll only be reimbursed for the leukemia treatment by the Center for Medicare and Medicad Services (CMS) if it works in the first month. While the entire healthcare system is moving towards value-based pricing, drug companies have mostly dodged that wave.
Traditional pharma’s business model might be slowly shifting towards an outcomes focus, but digital therapeutics companies have built their entire business models on outcomes. And those digital therapeutics companies will logically be in the M&A and partnership crosshairs if pharma starts prioritizing this business model. We’re already starting to see signs of this with Roche’s acquisition of diabetes management platform mySugr, but we mapped and analyzed all the other digital health investments by pharma companies for our expert research clients.