Just a week after Onduo revealed that it reduces blood sugar for nearly all consumers with serious diabetes, pharma giant Sanofi — which launched the firm in collaboration with Google-sister company Verily in 2016 — announced it’ll no longer be operationally involved in the venture, per FierceBiotech. After backpedaling from diabetes research broadly to focus on more lucrative areas, Sanofi CEO Paul Hudson said that his company “over-invested” in Onduo: Ahead of its launch, Sanofi pumped about $250 million into the joint venture. It remains to be seen exactly what operations will look like for Onduo from here on out — but a Verily spokesperson said it’ll likely spread Onduo’s reach to cover chronic conditions beyond diabetes.
Sanofi’s Onduo withdrawal is just the latest instance of an entrenched pharma co demonstrating diminished interest in its digital treatment endeavors. Smart pill maker Proteus didn’t collect anticipated funding from longtime partner Otsuka earlier this week, and Novartis cut ties with developer of digital therapeutics for mental health conditions Pear Therapeutics in October. This budding trend could have more digital therapeutics vendors branch into new treatment areas in an effort to attract a wider range of healthcare players interested in tie-ups, so that if some alliances fall through, they’ll still have other established partners.