Blue Note Therapeutics Enters Licensing Agreement with University of Sydney for ConquerFear, a Cancer Survivorship Intervention
San Francisco, CA – (February 03, 2022) – Blue Note Therapeutics, a prescription digital therapeutics company dedicated to easing the burden of cancer and improving outcomes, today announced that the company has entered into an agreement with the University of Sydney for the exclusive licensing of ConquerFear, a metacognitive intervention to teach patients effective ways to cope with the fears associated with the potential for cancer recurrence.
Effective immediately, Blue Note has licensing rights to ConquerFear for the purposes of creating a digital technology for the treatment of psychological distress related to fear of cancer recurrence (FCR).
“There is significant investment placed in the health of those living with cancer during diagnosis and treatment. However, through the experiences and insights of our patients and advisors, we learned that survivorship also presents many challenges, including the fear of cancer recurring,” said Geoffrey Eich, CEO of Blue Note Therapeutics. “Blue Note is committed to providing solutions that serve people beyond active treatment and into survivorship. We are excited for this opportunity to create innovative tools to ease the burden of cancer and improve outcomes.”
“With many people living long after a cancer diagnosis and treatment, it is critically important they receive evidence-based support to recover from and cope with the disease. Fear of cancer recurrence is a challenge experienced by many,” said Phyllis Butow, Associate Professor, Pscyho-Oncology Co-operative Research Group (PoCoG), University of Sydney. “Our team from the PoCoG is excited to be working with Blue Note to ensure more people access treatment we know can help them get back to the best quality of life possible.”
Blue Note’s plans comprise product research and design, engineering, user testing, including clinical trials, and commercialization. The territory for this licensing agreement includes the United States and Canada.
ConquerFear is a manualized psychological intervention developed by a team of psychosocial clinicians and researchers from the Psycho-Oncology Co-operative Research Group, a centre of the University of Sydney.1 The intervention aims to teach patients more effective ways to respond to FCR. Through the development of skills such as detached mindfulness and worry postponement, ConquerFear encourages patients to reexamine the ways they approach the very real and rational fear of cancer recurrence. The intervention teaches patients strategies to prevent fear from controlling their lives.
“ConquerFear has been proven to be effective in a rigorously conducted randomised controlled trial,” said Professor Butow. “Oncology staff around the world have requested access to ConquerFear to deliver in their own institutions.”
About Cancer-Related Distress
There are about 18 million cancer patients and survivors in the United States today.2 Nearly half of all cancer patients experience psychosocial distress, anxiety, or depression.3 If left untreated, these feelings can lower a cancer survivor’s quality of life and may negatively affect survival.4 The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) has established 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.5 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.6.7 Prescription digital therapeutics designed to treat cancer-related distress can help close this cancer treatment gap.
About Blue Note Therapeutics
Blue Note Therapeutics is a prescription digital therapeutics company singularly dedicated to serving patients suffering from cancer. We aim to make treatment accessible to any cancer patient, at any time, by merging deep scientific and clinical expertise, neuroscience, and digital innovation. Working closely with cancer research and patient communities, we are developing a pipeline of clinically validated prescription digital therapeutics to help reduce anxiety, depression, and other forms of cancer-related distress. For more information, visit www.bluenotetherapeutics.com.
About Prescription Digital Therapeutics (PDTs)
Prescription digital therapeutics (PDTs) are a therapeutic class of medical devices that use U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approvable software to treat diseases and conditions, such as anxiety and depression related to cancer diagnosis and treatment. Similar to prescription medicines, PDTs must demonstrate safety and efficacy in randomized clinical trials prior to their approval by the FDA.
1 Shih ST-F, Butow P, Bowe SJ, et al. Cost-effectiveness of an intervention to reduce fear of cancer recurrence: The ConquerFear randomized controlled trial. Psycho-Oncology. 2019;28:1071-1079. https://doi.org/10.1002/pon.5056
2 American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts & Figures 2020. https://www.cancer.org/content/dam/cancer-org/research/cancer-facts-and-statistics/annual-cancer-facts-and-figures/2020/cancer-facts-and-figures-2020.pdf.
3 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.
4 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Anxiety and Depression Medicine Use Among Cancer Survivors. https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/dcpc/research/articles/anxiety_dep_med_survivors.htm.
5 National Comprehensive Cancer Network. Distress Management, Version 3.2019, NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology. https://jnccn.org/view/journals/jnccn/17/10/article-p1229.xml.
6 OncoLink. What is Cancer Related Distress? https://www.oncolink.org/support/practical-and-emotional/coping-communication-concerns/what-is-cancer-related-distress.
7 American Cancer Society. Cancer Treatment & Survivorship Facts & Figures 2019-2021. https://www.cancer.org/content/dam/cancer-org/research/cancer-facts-and-statistics/cancer-treatment-and-survivorship-facts-and-figures/cancer-treatment-and-survivorship-facts-and-figures-2019-2021.pdf.