Akili to Go Private Through Merger with Virtual Therapeutics

Akili had all the ingredients for success. It was in the prescription therapeutics space and went through a high-profile special purpose acquisition corporation merger. Now, the company, once valued at about $1 billion, is being acquired by Virtual Therapeutics for $34 million.

Omar Ford

May 30, 2024

2 Min Read
Image Credit: SB via iStock/Getty Images

At a Glance

  • The once red-hot trend of companies in the PDT space going public via SPAC mergers has cooled significantly.
  • Akili Interactive, once valued at $1 billion, is being acquired by Virtual Therapeutics for $34 million.
  • Akili has developed a video game-based treatment for ADHD.

Enter Akili Interactive. After struggling with vying for insurance coverage of EndeavorRX, a video game-based treatment for ADHD; pivoting away from the PDT model, and cutting 40% of its staff in September of 2023, the company will now go private through a merger with Virtual Therapeutics. Akili, which was once valued at about $1 billion is now being acquired by Kirk, WA-based Virtual Therapeutics for $34 million.

Akili shareholders will receive $0.4340 per share of common stock in cash. The per share purchase price represents an approximately 4% premium to Akili’s closing stock price on May 28, 2024, and an approximately 85% premium to Akili's closing price on April 29, 2024, the last trading day prior to Akili's public announcement that it was evaluating potential strategic alternatives.

The deal is expected to close in 3Q24.

Virtual Therapeutics has developed a portfolio of virtual reality-based mental health solutions and gaming expertise.

“Akili ran a thorough strategic process and we believe that this transaction represents Akili’s commitment to delivering value to the Akili stockholder,” added Matt Franklin, CEO of Akili. “Virtual Therapeutics has been built by a team with decades of success in the gaming industry and elected to focus their expertise to help solve the growing mental health crisis. Combining our proven track record developing and deploying rigorously validated mobile digital therapeutics with Virtual Therapeutics’ robust portfolio of VR-based mental health solutions and gaming expertise, we aim to create a compelling platform to address mental health needs across several high-impact indications.”

Related:Akili Ditches PDT for OTC & Cuts Workforce by 40%

The acquisition follows closely behind Click Therapeutics picking up the assets of Better Therapeutics – a former major player in the PDT world.  Better Therapeutics developed solutions for type 2 diabetes and obesity.

The greatest company to crash in the PDT market was Pear Therapeutics. The Boston, MA-based company went public through a SPAC in 2021. The company, which was founded in 2013, once had an equity value of $1.6 billion. Pear eventually filed for bankruptcy and sold its assets to four bidders.

About the Author(s)

Omar Ford

Omar Ford is MD+DI's Editor-in-Chief. You can reach him at [email protected].

 

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