LifeArc Ventures Invests in Affect Therapeutics $16 million Series A to Deliver Next Generation Addiction Recovery

Date
July 12, 2023
Location
London

Smartphone app for drug and alcohol addiction offers a portable, personalized and effective digital treatment program to help break the addiction cycle

McLean, VA, July 12, 2023 – Affect Therapeutics (“Affect”), a company reimagining addiction treatment for the digital age, today announces a $16 million Series A led by TechBio-focused ARTIS Ventures with additional participation from previous investors AlleyCorp and CityLight, as well as new investments from LifeArc Ventures, Samsung Next, and What If Ventures. The funding will enable national expansion, program expansion, and engineering innovation in the Affect app. Stuart Peterson of ARTIS Ventures has joined the Board, and Dr. Imran Hamid of LifeArc Ventures joins the Board as an observer.

Affect delivers purpose-built treatments for specific substance use disorders, including alcohol, marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamine, as well as prescription stimulants such as ADHD medications.

Founded in 2020, the Company fills a huge void in the addiction treatment landscape by offering clinically intensive treatment that is all-digital, accessible, and cost-effective. Leveraging decades of research on behavior change, Affect has established a scientifically-proven program that supports the entire recovery journey. It is the first company to reward healthy behavior with financial incentives, known as contingency management, to drive motivation resulting in increased retention and more durable sobriety. Affect’s approach is based on the best research in the field including its own NIH-sponsored studies.

“Drug overdose deaths have reached record levels in the U.S., with no signs of abating, and yet the standard of care for substance use disorders is largely based on decades-old approaches with generally poor patient outcomes,” said Kristin Muhlner, co-founder and CEO of Affect Therapeutics. “By thoughtfully innovating with sound research, data, and well-proven engagement techniques, we can change all of that. We are relentless in developing innovative, evidence-based solutions that we deliver with extraordinary care and empathy to help millions of patients struggling with addiction.”

It is estimated that 46 million Americans meet the criteria for having a substance use disorder. However, only 10 percent receive any form of treatment, most commonly due to structural barriers such as financial costs or access to programs.

“Addiction is a growing epidemic that affects far more than just the individual. It impacts families, businesses, and communities, and yet real innovation and effective solutions in the treatment space are nearly non-existent,” said Stuart Peterson, Founder and Managing Partner at ARTIS Ventures. “Affect’s approach uses science-backed studies that have shown the power to change behavior, which is proving to be life-changing for patients and their families. Early results are remarkably impressive, with treatment initiation and engagement at more than 2-3X national benchmarks*. With Affect, we have a massive opportunity to drive impact around addiction and recovery at scale.”

Dr. Imran Hamid, Senior Investment Principal at LifeArc Ventures, added: “Affect is easy to use, flexible, adapted to the needs of the individual, and backed by robust data-driven research. By combining the latest in smart phone and digital health technology, it offers real hope to millions of people who struggle to break the cycle of addiction.”

A unique and effective approach to driving impactful engagement

The Affect team are experts at unlocking behavior change and motivation, with members receiving rewards for success in treatment, including engagement and provision of negative drug and alcohol screens. The Company’s approach couples this type of cognitive behavioral therapy with counseling, medical oversight, and case management, delivering a comprehensive program based on decades of research.

In its short time in market, Affect has already treated thousands of patients with results that are proven to be twice as effective as traditional treatment models by key metrics insurance and medical partners value most. More importantly, these outcomes change peoples’ lives and lead them to manage the chronic disease of addiction into lasting remission.

Affect currently holds outpatient treatment licenses in 20 states and aims to serve a majority of the U.S. population by the end of 2023. The company partners with the largest health insurance payers in the country, including UnitedHealthcare, Aetna, Humana, Molina, and Centene.

The Affect app is free to download on the Google Play Store or Apple App Store. Learn more at https://www.affecttherapeutics.com/.

Notes to Editors

Affect Therapeutics reimagines addiction treatment for the digital age with smartphone apps that put an integrated treatment program into the pocket of its members. Affect is free to download on the Google Play Store or Apple App Store. Affect has accreditation from CARF International and has received grant funding (1R43DA055394-01) from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Follow the company on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. For more information, visit https://www.affecttherapeutics.com/.

ARTIS Ventures (AV) partners with entrepreneurs driven to impact the world by reshaping and reinventing industries. The team supports its portfolio companies through their entire life cycle, from initial venture investment to public offering and beyond. As an early leader in the emerging TechBio sector, ARTIS Ventures funds companies at the intersection of computer science and life science, applying engineering principles and data-enabled discovery to healthcare. Notable companies the firm has backed include Stemcentrx (acquired by Abbvie), IDbyDNA (acquired by Illumina), Lemonaid Health (acquired by 23andMe), Outpace Bio, SEED, RadAI, Tessera Therapeutics, Freenome, Eko, Delix Therapeutics, Modern Meadow, Excision BioTherapeutics, and many more. For more information, visit www.av.co or email contact@av.co.

LifeArc Ventures is the investment arm of LifeArc, a self-funded medical research charity with more than 25 years of translating early science into health care treatments. Our model is built on collaboration, and we have a strong portfolio of innovative companies across a range of therapeutic and digital health fields including RQ Bio, Maxion Therapeutics, Cumulus Neuroscience and Surgery Hero, with recent exits including Ducentis and DJS Antibodies. We invest in Seed and Series A stage companies with significant follow-on investment reserved for successful portfolio companies, and offer a unique combination of scientific, commercial and financial support, with a dual goal of generating financial returns to the charity and a positive impact for patients. Find out more on www.lifearcventures.com, Twitter @LifeArcVentures.

* as benchmarked against HEDIS data