Eisai doubles down on Cogstate digital cognitive tool pact

Japanese pharma Eisai is boosting its 2019 pact with Australian medtech firm Cogstate and its cognitive function test.

The original pact, penned last August,  was a development and sales deal centered on the medtech company’s cognitive function test known as Cogstate Brief Battery (CBB) in Eisai's native Japan. This test works as a digital tool for self-assessment of cognitive function.

The CBB is made up of four tests, each measuring different cognitive areas: psychomotor function, attention, working memory and learning. One of the key areas it can be used for is dementia, with Eisai marketing its own drug for Alzheimer’s as well as working on R&D for new meds for the memory-wasting disease.

The test has been approved as a medical device in the U.S., Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Canada under the name Cognigram.

Under the new pact, Eisai is going beyond the original Japanese market and has nabbed all the global development rights and exclusive sales rights of all cognitive function tests developed by Cogstate, including CBB.

For Eisai, this boosted deal also forms part of its medium-term business plan, called EWAY2025, where it is aiming to become a "Medico Societal Innovator"—a philosophy the company sees as helping “change society through creating medicines and providing solutions.”

This is what every life science company is setting out to achieve, but the nuance here is that Eisai wants to specifically build up or collaborate on digital solutions for early diagnosis and early treatment, which could help get some of its drugs used at earlier stages in both neurology and cancer.

In the last year, Eisai has also developed and launched a new digital tool using the CBB named "NouKNOW."

This is a nonmedical device but set up for self-assessment of “brain performance,” the company said, and it's “currently investigating the possibility of developing a medical device using the CBB in Japan.”