Date: Jun 12, 2014 Author: Joseph Keenan Source: Fierce Medical Devices (
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Only recently SBIR involved - receiving their first award from NIH in 2012 and Phase II in 2013 - Chrono Therapeutics is representative of an important segment of the SBIR community. These firms are (1) on the leading edge of major developments in important fields: in this case new forms of drug delivery and employment of wearable devices. They are (2) collaborating with major players in the space indicative of the growing shift towards these types of partnering arrangements as well as (3) tackling the critical issues of personal responsibility for making changes in unhealthy life styles. .. and finally, (4) they are an example of why, for the past several years, SBIR awardees are in receipt of one in every seven-eight dollars of VC investment in the US.
Chrono Therapeutics secured $32 million in Series A funding the company will use to complete the development and clinical studies of its wearable SmartStop smoking cessation system.
The financing round was led by Canaan Partners and 5AM Ventures with additional participation from Fountain Healthcare Partners, the Mayo Clinic and GE Ventures. Wende Hutton, general partner with Canaan Partners, Jim Young of 5AM Ventures and Aidan King of Fountain will join the board of directors, the Hayward, CA-based company said in a release.
The SmartStop smoking cessation system monitors peak craving times for smokers throughout the day and delivers nicotine to suppress the cravings. Additionally, Chrono Therapeutics offers real-time behavioral support for smokers to kick the habit. SmartStop uses Bluetooth technology that links smokers with a digital support program that gives guidance to help deal with cravings.
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Smoking kills more than 400,000 people in the U.S. every year, and is blamed for about one in 5 deaths in the country, the company said in a release, citing statistics from the Centers for Disease Control. Seventy percent of the 45 million smokers in America have said they want to quit, with the average smoker attempting to kick the habit between 8 and 10 times.
"Smoking costs people their health and eventually their lives, but current technologies like nicotine gums and patches are not effective in enabling smokers to quit permanently because they do not address the cyclical nature of nicotine cravings and offer behavioral support," Alan Levy, chief executive of Chrono, said in a release. "We believe we have a very compelling technology that will solve many of the problems that make smoking cessation so difficult."
Under the Affordable Care Act, smoking-cessation treatments are now reimbursable, making nicotine addiction treatment a potentially lucrative market for new technologies.