Leader in Digital Therapeutics Adds to Existing Insomnia and Anxiety Treatments to Address the Youth Mental Health Crisis

SAN FRANCISCOJuly 14, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Big Health, the leading provider of non-drug digital treatments for mental health, has acquired Limbix, creators of the first, evidence-based digital therapeutic for teens and young adults with symptoms of depression. Since its founding in 2016, Limbix has raised $30 million through its Series A funding round and has built a research-based pipeline of adolescent products. As a result of the transaction, Big Health’s therapeutic portfolio expands to include SparkRx for adolescent depression and an adolescent anxiety product in development, alongside its flagship programs for patients aged 18+: Sleepio, for insomnia, and Daylight, for anxiety.

The pandemic exacerbated the youth mental health crisis, more than doubling depression and anxiety rates[1] — and the latest figures show up to 80% of young people don’t receive adequate treatment.[2] Working parents are shouldering the burden, as 71% report that issues with their child’s mental and emotional wellbeing made coping with workplace stresses more difficult.[3]

“We must continue to rise to the challenge of the mental health crisis – our acquisition of Limbix is a strategic milestone in advancing our mission to help millions back to good mental health,” Arun Gupta, CEO and Executive Chairman of Big Health, said. “Our portfolio of evidence-based, clinically validated digital treatments will enable a record number of adult and adolescent patients to get immediate access to safe and effective non-drug options,” he added.

SparkRx is designed to overcome common barriers to mental health care access, meeting young people on their smartphones, and is supported by trial data demonstrating a clinically meaningful reduction in depression symptoms.[4],[5],[6] The self-guided, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) based treatment for those aged 13+ teaches skills such as mood tracking, behavioral activation, problem solving and mindfulness. An interdisciplinary team, including experts in adolescent psychology, engineered SparkRx with the scientific rigor, clinical expertise and digital innovation needed to serve this gap in youth mental health care.

“Limbix and Big Health share significant alignment in our cultures and in our focus on delivering first-line digital therapeutics for a range of mental health conditions,” Ben Lewis, co-founder and CEO of Limbix, said. “As the industry leader, Big Health is a natural home for SparkRx, our upcoming product pipeline and our team to accelerate giving young people tools they can use themselves to meaningfully benefit from clinically-proven digital depression treatments,” he added.

The addition of SparkRx also enables the company to deliver on a critical customer need, as employers and health plans increasingly seek ways to provide effective treatments across a broader age range. In addition to health care providers, SparkRx will be made available to Big Health’s employer, public sector, health systems and health plan customers, and through the company’s strategic distribution agreements with pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), significantly increasing nationwide access. To date, more than 300,000 patients have enrolled in treatment through one of Big Health’s digital therapeutics.

About Big Health

Big Health’s mission is to help millions back to good mental health by providing safe and effective non-drug treatments for the most common mental health conditions, including insomnia, anxiety and depression. Designed by leading clinical experts, Big Health’s digital therapeutics expand access to gold standard care, including behavioral medicine, and are backed by over 80 industry-leading research and 15 randomized controlled trials. By seamlessly integrating across the care pathway, from member engagement to billing via pharmacy benefit managers, Big Health simplifies adoption for employers, payers and patients, providing an inclusive, scalable, and affordable approach without serious side effects. For more information, please visit www.bighealth.com or follow Big Health on LinkedIn and Twitter.

In accordance with FDA’s Current Enforcement Discretion Policy for Digital Health Devices for Psychiatric Disorders, for patients who are followed by and diagnosed with insomnia disorder, generalized anxiety disorder or depression by a medical provider, Sleepio, Daylight and SparkRx can be made available as an adjunct to their usual medical care for insomnia disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, or depression, respectively. Sleepio, Daylight and SparkRx do not replace the care of a medical provider or a patient’s medication. Sleepio, Daylight and SparkRx have not been cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for these indications.

[1] Racine N, McArthur BA, Cooke JE, Eirich R, Zhu J, Madigan S. Global Prevalence of Depressive and Anxiety Symptoms in Children and Adolescents During COVID-19: A Meta-analysis. JAMA Pediatr. 2021;175(11):1142–1150. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2021.2482

[2] Beth A. Stroul, MEd, Gary M. Blau, PhD, and Justine Larson, MD, The Evolution of the System of Care Approach for Children, Youth, and Young Adults with Mental Health Conditions and Their Families, The Institute for Innovation and Implementation, School of Social Work, University of Maryland, 2021.

[3] Marti Bledsoe Post, The Great Collide: The Impact of Children’s Mental Health on the Workplace, On Our Sleeves, Spring 2021.

[4] Kulikov VN, Crosthwaite PC, Hall SA, Flannery JE, Strauss GS, Vierra EM, Koepsell XL, Lake JI, Padmanabhan A. A CBT-based mobile intervention as an adjunct treatment for adolescents with symptoms of depression: a virtual randomized controlled feasibility trial. Front Digit Health. 2023 May 23;5:1062471. doi: 10.3389/fdgth.2023.1062471. PMID: 37323125; PMCID: PMC10262850.

[5] Lake et al., Feasibility, Acceptability, and Preliminary Evidence of Efficacy of a Digital Intervention for Adolescent Depression. Under review.

[6] Padmanabhan et al., Preliminary Efficacy of a Digital Intervention for Adolescent Depression: A Randomized Clinical Trial. Under review.

SOURCE Big Health