USA – Limbix, the creator of a prescription digital therapeutic aimed at treating adolescent depression, has raised US$15 million in Series A2 funding.
GSR Ventures led the round, with Digital Garage, Storm Ventures, Bixink, DN Capital, Korean Investment Partners, E& Investment, Gaingels, MVP, Operator Partners, Mana Ventures, and Pacific Health Ventures also participating.
Limbix launched its US$9 million Series A round in May 2020. According to the company, its A2 raises its total value to US$31 million.
Limbix is the creator of SparkRx, a prescription digital therapeutic that uses cognitive behavioral therapy principles to treat depression in adolescents and young adults aged 13 to 22.
It was made available in October as part of the FDA’s relaxation of regulatory requirements for digital health devices used to treat psychiatric disorders during the pandemic.
“We are incredibly grateful to our investors for their support as we work to build evidence-based prescription digital therapeutics to address the mental health crisis head-on, improving access to treatment for adolescents and ensuring care is delivered when it is needed most,” CEO Ben Lewis said in a statement.
“The mental health crisis for children and young adults has reached an emergency level, exacerbated by the challenges and disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. As the need for mental health treatment continues to grow, we aim to provide physicians with safe, effective technology-based resources that can immediately address their patient’s mental health needs across an array of adolescent conditions,” he added.
The funds will be used to commercialize SparkRx and to increase the company’s workforce to around 60 people by the middle of next year.
Limbix’s larger staff will allow it to accelerate the development and testing of new digital therapeutics for other mental health disorders that are common among teenagers.
Digital mental health market potential
In the field of digital health, mental and behavioral healthcare is a hot topic. According to Rock Health’s third-quarter analysis published by Mobihealthnews.com, mental health has remained the most popular clinical area for investors, bringing in US$3.1 billion this year.
BeMe Health, which recently raised US$7 million in seed funding; Brightline, which is planning a program for children with autism spectrum disorder; and DotCom Therapy and Goodside Health, which recently partnered to increase access to mental healthcare in schools, are among the other players in pediatric and adolescent behavioral health.
In other related news, the government of South Korea’s Chungnam Province has entered into a collaboration agreement with one of the country’s largest telecommunications firms, KT Corporation, to pilot artificial intelligence-based care robots that will help communicate with residents who live alone and have mental health issues.
The pilot project with KT, which runs from March to October this year, involves ten AI care robots that have been deployed in Cheongyang County, just south of Seoul.