AppliedVR, a pioneer advancing the next generation of digital medicine, today announced $29 million in series A funding, bringing its total funds raised to date to $35 million. The round, which includes key investors F-Prime Capital, JAZZ Venture Partners, Sway Ventures, GSR Ventures, Magnetic Ventures and Cedars-Sinai, will fuel the company’s growth as it pursues full FDA approval over the next year.
AppliedVR provides virtual reality-based treatments aimed at comprehensively treating chronic pain. Combining well-established cognitive behavioral therapies with mindfulness exercises, the company’s EaseVRx solution recently became the first virtual reality (VR) prescription therapeutic to receive Breakthrough Device Designation from the FDA for treatment-resistant fibromyalgia and chronic intractable lower back pain. The company also just released results from its pivotal eight-week randomized clinical trial, finding that the EaseVRx device produced “clinically meaningful” improvement in multiple pain outcomes, and had high participant satisfaction and engagement.
“Chronic pain is one of the most common medical conditions in the world, yet it still is incredibly debilitating to patients, costly to the system and complex to treat. While our mission has always been to demonstrate that VR can be a powerful analgesic in any setting, the COVID-19 pandemic has created a surge in demand for digital medicines like VR that can be delivered safely to patients in their own homes,” said Matthew Stoudt, co-founder and CEO of AppliedVR. “As a leading evidence-backed VR therapeutics provider in healthcare, we’re committed to meaningfully improving the lives of people suffering from chronic pain by making VR the standard of care for treating chronic pain in a provider-prescribed, payer-reimbursed model.”
Affecting approximately one-third of all Americans1, chronic pain is estimated2 to cost as much as $635 billion each year, making it more expensive than cancer, heart disease and diabetes combined. While most people, especially seniors, have relied on pharmacological interventions to treat their pain, digital therapeutics like VR have emerged as an effective, safe, and potentially cost-saving solution. Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the need for more digital therapeutic treatments that can be delivered safely in patients’ homes.
“We’re big believers in the potential for digital therapeutics to transform outcomes for patients with challenging conditions, and we have been closely evaluating the market for solutions for some time. AppliedVR stood out as a great choice for our first prescription digital therapeutics investment,” said Jon Lim, partner at F-Prime. “With its market potential, solid executive team, and commitment to providing evidence-based therapies, we’re confident that AppliedVR will become a leader in digital medicine.”
AppliedVR’s technology is already trusted by more than 200 of the top healthcare provider organizations in the world, including Geisinger and Cleveland Clinic, who are advancing separate NIDA-funding clinical trials to study VR as an opioid-sparing tool for acute and chronic pain. The company also has partnered with University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) to study how digital therapeutic platforms, including virtual and augmented reality, can be used to improve care access for underserved populations. AppliedVR also is engaged with multiple payers, testing VR as a cost-effective solution for treating chronic pain.
AppliedVR’s program has been used to help more than 60,000 patients to manage their expectations of pain. With today’s investment, the company plans to continue EaseVRx’s FDA approval pathway, conduct more payer pilots, develop its product pipeline, and build out its clinical, marketing and sales teams. AppliedVR also was just named as a 2021 Fast Company Most Innovative Company in the augmented and virtual reality category.
AppliedVR is a leader in digital therapeutics, pioneering virtual reality-based treatments that address the complexity of chronic pain. Our mission is to empower patients with the tools to live life, beyond chronic pain. Rooted in cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness, AppliedVR’s EaseVRx is the first VR-based prescription therapeutic to receive Breakthrough Device Designation by the FDA. Offering a comprehensive approach that encompasses the biological, psychological and social factors that influence how people experience chronic pain, EaseVRx enables patients to change the way they process pain and develop new, positive habits and coping skills that improve quality of life. Patients can easily self-administer EaseVRx3 in the comfort of their own homes, at any time, without restrictions tied to a healthcare professional’s schedule — advancing remote care as well as quality, equity and efficiency in chronic pain management.
About F-Prime Capital
F-Prime Capital is a global venture capital firm investing in healthcare and technology. For the past 50 years, our independent venture capital group has had the privilege of backing great entrepreneurs building groundbreaking companies. With over two billion dollars under management and a global portfolio of more than 200 companies, we champion those dedicated to creating positive change in the world.
1 Institute of Medicine. Relieving Pain in America: A Blueprint for Transforming Prevention, Care, Education, and Research. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press; 2011.
2 Darrell J. Gaskin, Patrick Richard. The Economic Costs of Pain in the United States. The Journal of Pain, 2012; 13 (8): 715 DOI: 10.1016/j.jpain.2012.03.009
3 EaseVRx is an investigational device, limited by federal law for investigational use. AppliedVR is seeking market authorization from the FDA.