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LivaNova has entered into a research partnership with Verily Life Sciences, an Alphabet company, to evaluate the effectiveness of Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS) therapy for Difficult to Treat Depression (DTD). The collaboration comes a few short months after London-based LivaNova ended its transcatheter mitral valve replacement (TMVR) program because of continued declines in revenue from its valve business.
In the RECOVER clinical study, LivaNova and Verily aim to gather quantitative data on patient behavior using technology and analytics developed by Verily to further understand depressive episodes and a patient’s response to treatment.
RECOVER clinical sites will have the ability to offer patients the Verily Study Watch, a wearable device designed to capture physiological and environmental data for clinical research, and a Verily mobile phone app. These complementary approaches are expected to help investigators better understand the impact of depression and its treatment on study participants’ lives in a more objective and multi-dimensional manner.
“The goal of the RECOVER study is to assess how VNS Therapy can offer patients with DTD relief from their symptoms and improve their quality of life,” Damien McDonald, CEO of LivaNova, said in a release. “Through this collaboration with Verily, we can build on our work to study depression and better understand the complex elements that contribute to the disorder, enhancing our ability to treat the patients who battle it.”
LivaNova’s contribution to RECOVER is the VNS Therapy System Symmetry. The technology is indicated in the U.S. for the adjunctive long-term treatment of chronic or recurrent depression for patients 18 years of age or older who are experiencing a major depressive episode and have not had an adequate response to four or more adequate antidepressant treatments.
Symmetry is indicated outside the U.S. for the adjunctive long-term treatment of chronic or recurrent depression in patients that are in a treatment-resistant or treatment-intolerant major depressive episode.
LivaNova scrapped its Caisson mitral valve business, about two years after it acquired the company for $72 million. Before the acquisition, LivaNova had been investing in the company. The company was also making significant strides with Caisson.
In August of 2018, LivaNova said it had completed PRELUDE, the U.S. feasibility study of the Caisson TMVR system and would focus on enrolling patients into its INTERLUDE CE mark trial and finalize the protocol for, ENSEMBLE, the U.S. pivotal trial.
Verily’s dance card is a bit lighter too. In December of 2019, the company sold its interest in the Verb surgical robotics joint venture to New Brunswick, NJ-based Johnson & Johnson – its partner. The companies did not disclose financial terms of the deal.