Pharma Giant Otsuka Teams Up with Alphabet Subsidiary Verily on Longitudinal Depression Registry

Pharma giant Otsuka (OTCMKTS:OTSKY) is teaming up with Alphabet’s life science subsidiary Verily to launch a new longitudinal study to research depression and mental health.

The study, called My Mental Health Journey, will use Verily’s technology to collect real-world data from individuals living with depression and mental health disorders. The goal of the research is to better understand mental health conditions across time and in a real-world setting.

“The registry will also generate retrospective and prospective data to drive insights that will power and improve future research,” Dr. John Kraus, executive vice president and chief medical officer at Otsuka, told Behavioral Health Business in an email. “This includes future trial design, site selection, publications, and outcomes research. Additionally, core data collection from the registry will also enable novel data strategies for future trials while decreasing burden on participants.”


Otsuka is a large pharmaceutical company that has developed products for mental, rental and cardiovascular health.

The study is open to adults over 18 with symptoms of depression. Participants will complete periodic, self-guided assessments and digital data collection. The study offers participants information about depression and mental health topics as well as a streamlined process for participating in more clinical trials in the future.

The longitudinal nature of the study can help researchers understand how psychiatric symptoms change day-to-day and look at health across time, according to Dr. Andrew Trister, chief medical and scientific officer at Verily.


“Psychiatry is one of many specialties well poised for new ways to generate and use real-world, longitudinal data to drive more personalized, precise care,” Trister told BHB. “Our work with Otsuka and the longitudinal data generated through the My Mental Health Journey registry offers the promise to accelerate the development and delivery of innovative treatments for depression to serve the millions of patients in need of safe, effective, and accessible care.”

Verily is a technology company focused on research, health care and health finance.

While research is often conducted in a controlled setting, seeking real-world data can have unique benefits to researchers.

“Data generated from the registry will enable us to improve our understanding of how people with depressive disorders receive care, ultimately informing specific treatments that can support patients earlier in their mental health journeys,” Kraus said.

The launch of the registry is just one of Otsuka’s new developments in behavioral health. In March, the company announced it landed an FDA 510(k) clearance for its digital therapeutic to treat major depressive disorder (MDD). The digital therapeutic, Rejoyn, is a six-week program that uses cognitive emotion training exercises for the brain.

“Otsuka’s recent initiatives, including the My Mental Health Journey Registry study and the clearance of Rejoyn, the first prescription digital therapeutic authorized for the adjunctive treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD) symptoms, reaffirm our commitment to investing in innovative technologies to address the current unmet needs of people living with MDD,” Kraus said.

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