Pear raises $50M to market digital substance abuse therapy

Pear Therapeutics patient-facing Reset app (Pear Therapeutics)

Pear Therapeutics has pulled in a $50 million investment. The series B round sets Pear up to market its recently approved substance-use disorder app while working to bring follow-up digital therapies to market.

Bicoastal startup Pear established itself at the forefront of the nascent digital therapy sector last year when its substance-use disorder app Reset won FDA approval. That approval dialed up Pear’s need for money and its attractiveness to investors, who have responded by putting together a round more than twice the size of the company’s previous financing.

New investor Temasek—Singapore’s wealth fund—led the round with support from new and existing investors. 5AM Ventures, Arboretum Ventures and Jazz Venture Partners—the trio that led Pear’s $20 million round in 2016—returned for the series B. And backers including Novartis have now also put money into the company.

Pear will use the $50 million to commercialize its lead programs while advancing other prospects down the pipeline. The commercialization of Reset, the FDA-approved substance-use disorder app, will swallow up a chunk of the cash. Another tranche will enable Pear to advance Reset-O, an opioid use disorder therapeutic that picked up an FDA expedited access pathway designation last year.

RELATED: FDA approves mobile app to help treat substance abuse

The apps and other, earlier-stage products Pear is developing for use in schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder and other conditions seek to improve outcomes by supporting patients. In the case of Reset, this entails rewarding people for not abusing substances and for completing modules intended to help with craving management, life skills and other tasks.

Pear has turned the model from an interesting idea into a validated treatment approach over the past year, positioning it to raise its biggest round yet and broaden its R&D horizons. 

“This latest financing recognizes the strides we’ve made in proving the clinical utility and commercial viability of prescription digital therapeutics,” Pear CEO Corey McCann, M.D., Ph.D., said in a statement. “We plan to use this additional capital to substantiate the clinical efficacy of our therapeutics across a variety of indications.”