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Blue Note Therapeutics Partnering with Patient Advocacy Groups to Provide Digital Cancer-Related Mental Health Care During Pandemic

January 2021


San Francisco, CA – (January 8, 2021) – Nearly all cancer patients face fear, anxiety, and uncertainty following diagnosis and treatment. Cancer-related distress can impact a patient’s emotional and physical well-being, which for many has been further compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic. Founded by a team of biotech veterans, Blue Note Therapeutics, Inc., is leveraging deep scientific and clinical expertise, neuroscience, and digital innovation to make mental health care available to any cancer patient at any time. In 2020, the company launched COVID Cancer Care, a digital program intended to help adults with cancer cope with stress and anxiety related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Working closely with leading cancer centers, community oncology clinics, and teams of patients, Blue Note is developing clinically validated prescription digital therapeutics (PDTs) to help reduce anxiety, depression, and other forms of cancer-related distress. COVID Cancer Care is a stress management program which uses cognitive behavioral therapy and relaxation therapy. Since launch, nearly 12,000 people across the United States have accessed the program, which is currently available through more than 20 nonprofit and advocacy organizations, including Cancer Support Community.

“One of our main priorities this year is serving as the go-to resource for cancer patients and their caregivers navigating the logistical and emotional complexities created by the pandemic,” said Kim Thiboldeaux, CEO of Cancer Support Community, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to ensure that all people impacted by cancer are empowered by knowledge, strengthened by action, and sustained by community. “As the demand for our services continues to increase, the collaboration with Blue Note Therapeutics’ COVID Cancer Care program has been so valuable in helping to meet specific and immediate mental health needs of the community during this challenging time.”

The COVID Cancer Care program is a preview of the company’s lead PDT candidate, BNT001, which received Breakthrough Device Designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in June 2020 for the treatment of symptoms of anxiety and depression related to cancer in adult patients.

Blue Note previously entered into a licensing agreement with the University of Miami to develop and commercialize BNT001.


“Almost everyone with cancer experiences some form of psychological distress, and whether it’s anxiety, depression, or other symptoms, it can be harmful to the patient’s mental and physical health and impact their treatment progression,” said Geoffrey Eich, CEO of Blue Note Therapeutics. “FDA-approved digital therapeutics have the potential to play a key role in reducing cancer-related distress. Blue Note Therapeutics is committed to working through our strategic partnerships to advance innovation and bring cancer patients novel digital therapeutics specifically designed to address mental health.”

Blue Note also entered into several additional licensing agreements with other leading cancer centers and universities to provide clinically validated interventions for Blue Note’s product pipeline. For more details, visit www.bluenotetx.com.

BNT001 is not approved by the FDA for any indication. Early access to the COVID Cancer Care program was made possible under the FDA’s enforcement policy for digital health devices for treating psychiatric disorders during the COVID-19 public health emergency which was announced in April 2020.

 

About Cancer-Related Distress
There are about 18 million cancer patients and survivors in the United States today [1]. Nearly half of all cancer patients experience psychosocial distress, anxiety, or depression [2]. If left untreated, these feelings can lower a cancer survivors’ quality of life and may negatively affect survival [3]. The National Comprehensive Cancer Network has proposed guidelines for the delivery of mental health care services in oncology, which include screening patients for signs of distress and implementing a treatment plan to address these needs with a mental health care specialist [4]. Unfortunately, fewer than half of patients who experience cancer-related distress, which can be defined as any unpleasant feeling, emotion, or experience that affects a patient’s quality of life or ability to cope with cancer diagnosis and treatment, are referred to mental health care specialists [5,6]. Prescription digital therapeutics that help to treat cancer-related distress have the potential to help close this cancer treatment gap.

 

About Blue Note Therapeutics
Blue Note Therapeutics is a prescription digital therapeutics company singularly dedicated to transforming mental health care for cancer patients. We aim to make mental health care available to any cancer patient at any time by merging deep scientific and clinical expertise, neuroscience, and digital innovation. Working closely with leading cancer centers, community oncology clinics, and teams of patients, Blue Note is developing clinically validated prescription digital therapeutics to help reduce anxiety, depression, and other distress related to cancer. For more information, visit us at www.bluenotetx.com.

Media Contact
Porter Novelli
Stefanie Tuck
stefanie.tuck@porternovelli.com
(978) 390-1394

 


References
  1. American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts & Figures 2020. Source
  2. Mehnert A, Hartung TJ, Friedrich M, et al. One in two cancer patients is significantly distressed: Prevalence and indicators of distress. Psychooncology. 2018;27:75-82.
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Anxiety and Depression Medicine Use Among Cancer Survivors. Source
  4. National Comprehensive Cancer Network. Distress Management, Version 3.2019, NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology. Source
  5. OncoLink. What is Cancer Related Distress? Source
  6. American Cancer Society. Cancer Treatment & Survivorship Facts & Figures 2019-2021. Source