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August 6, 2020

Sunovion partners with Nashville firm for virtual reality therapeutics

Photo | Google Sunovion Pharmaceuticals' headquarters in Marlborough

Sunovion Pharmaceuticals of Marlborough has partnered with a Nashville, Tenn., company to create a virtual reality-based treatment for social anxiety disorder.

Sunovion will partner with BehaVR to develop the product for use in the U.S. in an agreement with Sunovion’s parent company Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma Co., Ltd. of Japan. The product will use virtual reality to target the source of stress or anxiety and provide personalized education content, active coping skills training and behavioral reinforcements inside a dynamic experience.

All of this will happen while patients are monitored so the experience can be customized to them, according to a release from BehaVR.

According to the Social Anxiety Association, social anxiety disorder is the third largest mental health condition in the world today, estimated to affect as much as 7% of the population – more than 17 million people in the U.S. alone.

BehaVR expects the product will come to market in the U.S. in 2022.

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