June 4, 2021

Alex Therapeutics recieves Vinnova funding to develop tobacco cessation product in India

Alex Therapeutics has received approval and funding from Vinnova to develop, optimise and clinically validate an AI-based tobacco cessation treatment tailored to India. 

Alex Therapeutics recieves Vinnova funding to develop tobacco cessation product in India

In May of 2021, Alex Therapeutics received application approval and funding from Vinnova (Sweden Government's Innovation Agency) to develop and clinically validate a tobacco cessation digital therapeutic (DTx) program in India. The project was in response to the European Call for Proposals for Joint R&D Projects with India in Health and AI launched in 2020 and will run from 2021 to 2024.

Purpose of the project

Together with the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), Alex Therapeutics will adapt and clinically validate its nicotine addiction DTx treatment, developed using the Alex Therapeutics DTx platform, to the Indian Market. The treatment utilizes AI to personalize Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT) treatment for us with tobacco cessation. Following the development of the new product, it will be clinically assessed and validated in India.

Why India?

India, with almost a billion mobile phone users, has the world's second-largest smartphone user base, and is thus a market where digital health solutions can have a tremendous impact. Simultaneously, more than 1.1 million deaths (11.24% of the total) were attributed to the use of tobacco in 2017. India is therefore a market that is in tremendous need of scalable digital tools that can help combat high levels of tobacco addiction.

How will Alex solve the problem?

Alex can provide autonomous personalized psychiatric help to nicotine addicts. Alex - Quit Smoking, the company's first smoking cessation product, has been available for use since 2018, and will now undergo adaptation for new markets and other tobacco related addictions such as bidi and chewing tobacco. The PHFI will lead a clinical research project and recruit test users using their network and connections. Alex Therapeutics will leverage its technical platform and AI expertise to develop an adapted DTx for this context. The program will allow for tobacco cessation assistance to be provided to a large number of Indians currently unable to access adequate healthcare and support.

We are honoured and excited to get the opportunity to further develop our Alex - Quit Smoking program in India together with the Public Health Foundation of India. India is a market with large unmet need in the field of tobacco cessation, and we see this  as a perfect opportunity to introduce a new way of treating patients

– John Drakenberg Renander, CEO of Alex Therapeutics

Read more about the project at the Vinnova website.

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