Sunovion Partners with Nashville Firm for Virtual Reality Therapeutics

NEC member Sunovion Pharmaceuticals has partnered with Nashville-based BehaVR to create a virtual reality-based treatment for social anxiety disorder. The product will be developed in the US in agreement with Sunovion’s parent company, Japan-based Dainippon Pharma Company.

The product will use virtual reality to target the chronic activation source of stress or anxiety. The product will also provide personalized education content, coping skills training, and behavioral reinforcements. In addition, the product will allow clinicians to view patients’ progress, and will allow integration with telehealth systems. According to the Social Anxiety Association, social anxiety is one of the world’s largest mental health conditions.

“Decades of research have shown that VR is a powerful way to augment traditional cognitive behavioral therapies — including exposure, arousal reduction, active coping, and emotion regulation — which are often used to treat SAD,” said Dr. Peter Buecker, Chief Medical Officer of BehaVR. “BehaVR’s technology platform expands on VR’s capability, using real-time biometrics and machine learning to personalize the experience. We believe this offers new possibilities in addressing SAD, and we are excited to explore these possibilities and ultimately bring to market a product that has the potential to change the lives of millions.”

The New England Council congratulates Sunovion Pharmaceuticals on this new partnership to treat social anxiety disorder. Read more from the Worcester Business Journal.

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