Novartis and Pear Therapeutics have signed a deal to develop digital therapeutics for patients with schizophrenia and multiple sclerosis.

The companies said they will work together on developing new treatments for patients “to better address the full burden of their illnesses”.

Pear's prescription digital therapeutics deliver treatments such as cognitive behavioral therapy to patients through mobile and desktop applications, and have potential utility across a range of diseases.

The Swiss drug giant will work with Pear to advance clinical development of its THRIVE digital therapeutic for patients with schizophrenia, and the firms will also collaborate on the design and development of a new therapeutic application to address underserved mental health burden in patients with multiple sclerosis.

"Psychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases place a heavy physical, mental and economic burden on patients and their families," said Jay Bradner, president of the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research.

"With widespread adoption of digital devices, prescription digital therapeutics could potentially play an important role in future treatment models for a range of diseases with high unmet medical need."