Chrono Therapeutics, Inventor of Wearable "Smart" Smoking Cessation Technology, Secures $32 Million in Series A Financing
Syndicate includes Canaan Partners, 5AM Ventures, Fountain Healthcare Partners, Mayo Clinic and GE Ventures
HAYWARD, Calif, June 12, 2014 /PRNewswire/ – Chrono Therapeutics, a pioneer in digital drug products, announced today the close of a $32 million Series A financing round, led by Canaan Partners and 5AM Ventures. Additional participants in the financing were Fountain Healthcare Partners, Mayo Clinic and GE Ventures. The funds will be used to complete product development and clinical studies for the company’s SmartStop™ programmable transdermal drug delivery system and real-time behavioral support program for smoking cessation. As part of the financing, Wende Hutton, general partner with Canaan Partners, Jim Young of 5AM Ventures and Aidan King of Fountain will join Chrono’s board of directors.
“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 little to no behavioral support,” said Alan Levy, Ph.D., CEO of Chrono. “We believe we have a very compelling technology that will solve many of the problems that make smoking cessation so difficult.”
Smoking kills more than 400,000 Americans each year, and is responsible for approximately one in five deaths in the US. Of the 45 million smokers in the US, 70 percent report that they want to quit, according to the Centers for Disease Control, and 23 million try to quit each year. The average smoker will attempt to quit eight to ten times. Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) is one method used to help smokers quit, but conventional NRT does not match craving cycles, leading to six-month efficacy of less than 20 percent.
SmartStop is a wearable device that offers programmable, transdermal nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) in combination with real-time behavioral support. Research shows that smokers have clear, consistent and predictable daily peak nicotine craving patterns; SmartStop is designed to automatically vary nicotine levels throughout the day to match those patterns. The device uses Bluetooth technology to wirelessly communicate with the SmartStop digital support program, providing real-time guidance to help smokers cope with cravings as well as a means for promoting compliance to the NRT and overall quit process.
“We have developed a unique approach to the very difficult problem of helping smokers quit their life-threatening habits,” noted Chrono founder Guy DiPierro. “We believe that the blend of a well understood active drug compound in nicotine with a programmable, wearable delivery system that takes into account a person’s habits as well as physiological patterns that each contribute to cravings has the potential to help more smokers quit once and for all.”
Leslie Bottorff, Managing Director of Healthcare at GE Ventures added, “Chrono Therapeutics is paving the way for personal monitoring in healthcare through the creation of the SmartStop integrated digital solution. Their technology is only just beginning, and GE Ventures looks forward to working together to transform disease management.”
“Over the past 20 years, I have had the privilege of backing Alan Levy as CEO in the founding of three life sciences companies,” stated Wende Hutton. “Alan brings an exceptional track record of success in drug/device combination therapies to Chrono.”