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Blue Note Therapeutics Enters Agreement to Create a Prescription Digital Therapeutic Medical Device for Cancer Patients

September 2020

Blue Note Therapeutics, Inc. has finalized a licensing agreement with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) to collaborate on creating a prescription digital therapeutic medical device from Meaning Centered Psychotherapy (MCP), a psychological intervention created specifically for patients with advanced cancer.

MCP is a brief, manualized psychotherapeutic intervention to help patients suffering with loss of meaning around illness. It is designed to help diminish feelings of despair associated with cancer by helping patients to focus on the importance of creating, reconnecting with, experiencing, and sustaining meaning in life.

“Our research has demonstrated that helping cancer patients sustain and/or enhance a sense of meaning during cancer illness and treatment is extraordinarily psychologically beneficial. We have empirically demonstrated that Meaning Centered Psychotherapy (MCP) is a highly effective intervention which both sustains and enhances a sense of meaning for cancer patients, resulting in improved quality of life, increased hope, and diminished physical symptom distress, anxiety, depression, and despair,” said William S. Breitbart, MD, Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at MSK. “We are thrilled to work with Blue Note Therapeutics to develop a prescribed digital therapeutic of MCP to allow the benefits of MCP to reach many more cancer patients struggling with issues of meaning and existential distress.”

The MCP approach is inspired primarily by the works of the late Viktor E. Frankl, MD, PhD, professor of Neurology and Psychiatry at the University of Vienna. The concepts were then adapted by Dr. Breitbart. Dr. Breitbart and team created the manualized seven to eight session MCP intervention, which has been empirically demonstrated to be highly effective in multiple, large NIH/NCI funded Randomized Controlled Trials in both group (MCGP) and individual (IMCP) formats.

Dr. Breitbart is a board-certified psychiatrist whose expertise focuses on depression, anxiety, pain, symptom control, existential despair, and palliative and supportive care in cancer patients and caregivers. He was the Chief of the Psychiatry Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center from 1996 to 2018, was the Vice Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences from 2009 to 2012, and has served as Chair of the Department since 2012. He also serves as the psychiatric liaison to the Hepatobiliary Disease Management Team and is a member of the faculty of the Supportive Care Service.

Dr. Breitbart has intellectual property rights and interests related to the Meaning Centered Psychotherapy (MCP) intervention. As a result of the licensing arrangement between MSK and BNT around this intervention, MSK has institutional financial interests related to the intellectual property and BNT.