Digital health company Pilloxa announced it has received €580,000 in funding from the EU’s EUROSTARS programme.

The company is developing digital patient-centric solutions and will, together with the University of Oslo, now validate an innovation that supports the patient to take their medication as prescribed and further develop the solution to increase the quality and effectiveness of drug treatment in both the healthcare setting and during clinical trials.

Dan Atar, Professor of Cardiology at the University of Oslo, is responsible for the implementation of the ASTORIA study which will show the effect of Pilloxa’s solution upon adherence to the medicine Rivaroxaban. The study is the first of its kind in the field and the hope is that the results will lay the foundation for the next step in patient-centered drug development and treatment.

The funds will also be used for further development of a complete digital system that facilitates the process both for the patients included in the study and for the investigator. In addition, the reliability of the collected data will be strengthened, which can both reduce costs and be considered more ethical. Bayer and Pilloxa are already partners and Bayer is also a financial sponsor of the ASTORIA project.

Clinical trials today are extremely time-consuming, expensive and one of the most under-digitized industries in the world. Ensuring patients take their medication is still mainly documented with pen and paper. The ASTORIA study is meant to validate the solution in a real-world clinical setting with the goal of providing statistical significant evidence that Pilloxa’s solution can improve persistence to medication in newly diagnosed patients with atrial fibrillation. The clinical study will be multicenter and use the full suite of Pilloxa services to enable remote patient monitoring. The data and input acquired during the trial will be used to further develop Pilloxa’s solution and expand its commercial reach. The funding will be split between Pilloxa and the University of Oslo, with the majority going to Pilloxa.

Leading the project at the University of Oslo is world-renowned cardiologist Dan Atar who holds a full professorship in cardiology at Oslo University and a visiting associate professorship at Johns Hopkins University. In addition to his professorship, he is the Head of Research at Oslo Hospital. Professor Atar has published over 420 papers along with serving as Secretary/Treasurer at the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) and Chairman of the Working Group on Cardiovascular Pharmacotherapy within ESC.

“I am excited to collaborate with people who create innovations that make a real difference for patients. Pilloxa is a promising technology which I believe will make a significant impact on how patients adhere to their life-saving medication plans. After this successful fundraising from the EU by the EUROSTARS program, we will be able to run the ASTORIA study which will prove how Pilloxa can help the cardiovascular patient population,” says Professor Atar.

“Pilloxa would like to thank the European Commission and the intergovernmental innovation network EUREKA for selecting Pilloxa to receive funding and for supporting our mission of working towards optimizing clinical trials through technology. There has never been a greater need for supporting patients in their journey and improving the efficiency of clinical trials. Pilloxa’s focus on patients’ needs coupled with our user friendly technology can make a great impact. This funding will help us clinically validate our technological solutions in a large patient population while further developing our integration with Health Care Providers and trials,” says Francesco Mazzotta, CEO of Pilloxa AB.

“There is no future for our healthcare system and development of new medications if we do not put patients first, give them personalized support and the possibility to handle both healthcare and studies in a way that fits their lives. This requires partnerships and projects like ASTORIA where all the different stakeholders work closely to make a system that works instead than a patchwork of decoupled solutions,” says Per Nilsson, chief product officer at Pilloxa AB.

The project is expected to begin in Autumn of this year and will continue until 2022.