Freespira Finalizes $10 Million Financing to Support Commercialization of Digital Therapeutic for Treatment of Panic Disorder and PTSD
Freespira, Inc. is the new name of Palo Alto Health Sciences
KIRKLAND, WA, December 8, 2020 – Freespira, Inc., maker of the first FDA-cleared digital therapeutic that significantly reduces or eliminates symptoms of panic attacks, panic disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in only 28 days, announced it has completed a $10 million capital raise led by Lightspeed Venture Partners.
Joining the financing round, the largest in the company’s history, were previous investors Aphelion Capital, Medvest Capital, and Freespira Chairman, Russell Siegelman.
“We are excited to support Freespira’s mission to make its digital therapeutics broadly available for the millions of people who suffer from the debilitating symptoms of panic disorder and PTSD,” said Jonathan MacQuitty, Venture Partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners. “Freespira is the only product that addresses the underlying physiological cause of panic disorder and PTSD, a major source of suffering and medical cost, and is well positioned to address a significant market opportunity within the nation’s commercial payors and the Veterans Administration.”
Freespira, Inc. is the new name for Palo Alto Health Sciences, Inc., a change that reflects the company’s mission to improve quality of life, reduce medical spend and support the appropriate use of valuable healthcare resources. Freespira is at the forefront of revolutionizing behavioral healthcare with evidence based, at-home, drug-free solutions. Its flagship product, Freespira®, is the only FDA-cleared digital therapeutic proven to significantly reduce or eliminate panic attacks, panic disorder and PTSD symptoms in 28 days by training users to normalize respiratory irregularities.
“We’re honored that Lightspeed, one of Silicon Valley’s premier venture firms, has joined our existing investors to help speed the commercialization of Freespira to benefit the millions of people who suffer from panic attacks and PTSD, including veterans, first responders, and increasingly, frontline healthcare workers,” said Dean Sawyer, Chief Executive Officer of Freespira. “Now that we have accumulated overwhelming evidence of the clinical and cost effectiveness of Freespira and achieved FDA clearance for its use treating both panic disorder and PTSD, we believe health plans and employers across the country will support the use of Freespira for their members and employees.”
Numerous peer-reviewed studies have demonstrated the clinical effectiveness and cost savings of the Freespira solution, including:
- A clinical trial conducted at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System in Palo Alto, Calif. demonstrated the efficacy of Freespira for veterans and non-veterans suffering from PTSD. Significant reductions in measures of PTSD severity were achieved by 85% of subjects post-treatment, with half of subjects reporting remission scores six months post-treatment. Patient satisfaction was 84% at six months post-treatment, and mean patient adherence to the treatment protocol was 77%.
- A large multi-center trial conducted by David Tolin, PhD, Director of the Anxiety Disorders Center at The Institute of Living, and Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine, found that Freespira produced a clinically significant reduction in panic symptoms 12 months post-treatment in 82% of subjects, with 84% adherence and 88% patient satisfaction.
- A study led by Alicia Kaplan, MD at the Allegheny Health Network in Pittsburgh found that use of Freespira not only resulted in 91% of patients reporting significant reduction in symptoms at 12-months but also significant cost savings for the patients’ insurance provider, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield. These included a 65% reduction in emergency department costs; a 68% reduction in pharmacy costs; and a 35% reduction in total medical costs for treatment of the study subjects.
White paper details need for a new approach to treating panic and PTSD
A new white paper, “It’s not all in your head: A physiological approach to treating panic attacks and PTSD,” details the significant toll of panic disorder and PTSD on patients, their families, their employers, the health care system, and society at large. It reviews in detail the impact and limitations of existing treatment options, such as psychotherapy and medications, and illuminates the need for new treatment approaches that are safe and effective, have limited side effects, can be delivered remotely, and most importantly, that address the underlying physiological factors that create risk for developing these two conditions.
The free white paper is available for download at https://freespiraprod.wpengine.com/.
About Freespira, Inc.
Freespira, Inc. is the maker of Freespira, the only FDA-cleared digital therapeutic proven to significantly reduce or eliminate symptoms of panic attacks, panic disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in just 28 days by training users to normalize respiratory irregularities. Health plans, self-insured employers and the Veteran’s Administration use the company’s drug-free solutions to improve quality of life, reduce medical spend and support the appropriate use of valuable healthcare resources. Find out how at www.freespira.com.
Todd Stein Communications
 Ostacher MJ, et al, Investigation of the Freespira System in the treatment of PTSD. Submitted for publication.
 Tolin D, McGrath P, et al, A Multisite Benchmarking Trial of Capnometry Guided Respiratory Intervention for Panic Disorder in Naturalistic Treatment Settings, Journal Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, 2017, 42: 51-58. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5344940/
 Kaplan, A., Mannarino, A.P. & Nickell, P.V. Evaluating the Impact of Freespira on Panic Disorder Patients’ Health Outcomes and Healthcare Costs within the Allegheny Health Network. Appl Psychophysiol Biofeedback 45, 175–181 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10484-020-09465-0