AppliedVR raises $29M as it seeks FDA clearance of VR system for pain treatment

AppliedVR received a breakthrough device designation last year for its VR system for treating chronic […]

AppliedVR received a breakthrough device designation last year for its VR system for treating chronic pain.

As it pursues FDA clearance of its virtual reality platform for pain relief, AppliedVR raised $29 million in funding.

Founded in 2013, the Los Angeles-based startup is developing a digital therapeutic to treat chronic pain using VR. Rather than focusing on VR as a physical therapy tool, AppliedVR is designing self-guided courses with mindfulness exercises and pain education.

It received a breakthrough device designation from the FDA last year, and recently shared results of a pivotal trial that it plans to submit to the regulator. In a randomized, controlled trial, it found that its eight-week program resulted in a 42% reduction in pain intensity for people with chronic lower-back pain.

AppliedVR said it plans to use the funds to continue through its FDA pathway, and to conduct payer pilots to prove its solution is cost-effective. The startup also plans to further develop its product pipeline, and make hires across its clinical, marketing and sales teams.

Investors F-Prime Capital, JAZZ Venture Partners, Sway Ventures, GSR Ventures, Magnetic Ventures and Cedars Sinai participated in the series A round.

“We’re big believers in the potential for digital therapeutics to transform outcomes for patients with challenging conditions, and we have been closely evaluating the market for solutions for some time,” Jon Lim, a partner at F-Prime Capital, said in a news release. “AppliedVR stood out as a great choice for our first prescription digital therapeutics investment.”

AppliedVR is also working on a separate study with Geisinger and Cleveland Clinic to see if its platform could be used to minimize opioid use in treating acute and chronic pain, and with UC San Francisco to study how digital therapeutic platforms could improve care access for underserved groups.

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