Lilly enlists Sidekick for breast cancer digital therapeutic

By Nick Taylor

- Last updated on GMT

(FatCamera/iStock via Getty Images Plus)
(FatCamera/iStock via Getty Images Plus)

Related tags: Eli lilly, Lilly, Breast cancer, Cancer, Digital therapeutic, Patient centricity, patient engagement

The pharmaceutical firm will work with the health tech company to create a digital therapeutic intended for patients dealing with a breast cancer diagnosis.

Eli Lilly has partnered with Sidekick Health to roll out an integrated digital therapeutic offering for breast cancer patients. Sidekick has previously partnered with Pfizer, landing a deal to deliver a digital care platform in 2020 and following up with an agreement focused on atopic dermatitis two years later. The Lilly alliance builds on evidence that lifestyle changes can affect outcomes in cancer patients, as Gulli Arnason, chief marketing and communications officer at Sidekick, explained.

Research shows that various lifestyle factors can have a positive impact on health outcomes as part of holistic cancer treatment, especially on adherence to treatment. Sidekick’s solution focuses on five main areas: physical activity, tailored diet, sleep, stress management, and medication adherence, the latter representing a significant obstacle to recovery in patients undergoing cancer treatment​,” said Arnason.

The digital treatment plan will provide patients with tasks intended to promote behavior modification and help them overcome barriers to change. Patients will also receive educational content developed in collaboration with clinical experts and patient advocacy groups to give them insights into living with cancer.

Academic researchers have shown that adherence to treatment regimens is a notable problem in breast cancer. Rates of adherence can fall over time, particularly for long-term adjuvant therapies, and declines in medication use are associated with the worsening of health outcomes.

According to Arnason, Sidekick’s “independent feasibility studies demonstrate that our digital approach is delivering solid results​.” However, the data to support that claim is still under wraps, with Sidekick unable to share more information because it is submitting some of its findings to peer-reviewed publications. In the absence of publicly available cancer data, Arnason cited results in other indications.

We have multiple studies in the pipeline across multiple therapeutic areas, with 13 published or accepted for publication last year, at conferences and in medical journals - including RCTs showing significantly increased weight loss compared to standard of care, improved blood glucose control in T2D, disease-specific distress, and anxiety and depression scores; as well as medication adherence improvements, and improvements in diseases ranging from inflammatory diseases to heart failure​,” said Arnason.

The Lilly project gives Sidekick a chance to show its technology helps cancer patients in the real world. The partners plan to introduce the solution for breast cancer patients and patients on a branded Lilly medication in Germany next month. Lilly and Sidekick are still considering their next steps, including a potential international expansion.

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