- Mobile healthcare company ResApp (RAP) has struck a deal with global biotech giant AstraZeneca to use ResApp software in a lung cancer clinical study
- The deal will see ResApp licence a new cough-counting mobile app to AstraZeneca to count patient coughs over extended periods of time
- Traditionally, the only way to measure the frequency of a cough is to have the patient self-report or have someone listen through hours of audio recordings
- ResApp's new tech is designed to identify coughs from background noise in everyday settings, then record and timestamp it for researchers
- The app will be used to track the coughs of patients in a clinical trial for a lung cancer treatment
- In return for using the tech, AstraZeneca will pay monthly licence fees and support fees to ResApp, though the company said this will likely not be material
- Shares in ResApp are in a trading halt this morning and last traded for 10 cents each yesterday afternoon
ResApp (RAP) has struck a deal with global biotech giant AstraZeneca to use ResApp smartphone software in a lung cancer clinical study.
The deal, which was signed with AstraZeneca's Japan subsidiary, will see ResApp licence a new mobile phone app to the biotech company to count patient coughs over extended periods of time.
According to ResApp, cough frequency is a key factor in respiratory disease progression and management, but it can be tough to record. Traditionally, the only way to actually measure the frequency of a cough is to have the person coughing self-report as it happens or have someone listen through hours of audio recordings.
Not only is this method labour-intensive and not cost-effective, ResApp said it's "fraught with inaccuracy".
As such, the company spent over 12 months developing a way to accurately record coughs by using ResApp's proprietary algorithms to identify a cough from background noise in everyday settings.
The company's app records each cough through nothing more than a mobile phone and then uploads the count with a time and date stamp so researchers can monitor patients in real-time.
ResApp will now spend two months refining the Japanese version of the app to AstraZeneca specifications. The goal is to use the app in a clinical trial of patients being treated for lung cancer. The trial is slated to start in early 2021 and will run for two years.
What about the money?
In return for using ResApp's tech, AstraZeneca will pay a monthly licence fee for each patient enrolled in the study and pay a monthly support fee for the duration of the study.
However, ResApp admitted that as it stands, the number of patients to be enrolled in the trial and for how long they will participate is uncertain. As such, the company said it does not expect to generate "material revenue" from today's deal.
Nevertheless, ResApp Managing Director and CEO Dr Tony Keating said that to have the company's tech licenced by a company of AstraZeneca's reputation is a major achievement.
"They have some of the world’s leading scientists and researchers running
clinical trials and treatment programs and we are confident that their input will enhance our technology for future commercial applications and deployments," Tony said.
"ResApp continues to build a strong foundation of commercial partners and this agreement is another example of the company’s ability to attract industry leaders that can assist in rapid scale well into the future," he said.
Today's news comes just one day after ResApp partnered with HealthEngine over its SleepCheck mobile medical app.
Interestingly, ResApp paused the trading of its shares soon after releasing the news of the AstraZeneca deal, with no details about the pause given outside of another pending announcement.
As such, it's not yet certain how shareholders will react to today's news.
Shares in ResApp last traded for 10 cents each yesterday afternoon.