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Kaia Health and Chiesi Group Announce Strategic Partnership to Commercialise Kaia COPD Pulmonary Rehabilitation App in European Markets

Date: 30/11/2020

Agreement marks a historic partnership for respiratory care in Europe



MUNICH and PARMA, November 30, 2020 - Kaia Health, a leading digital therapeutics company, and Chiesi Group, an international research-focused healthcare group, announced that they have entered into an exclusive partnership to commercialise the Kaia Health Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Pulmonary Rehabilitation app in Europe. The agreement marks one of the first times in respiratory care that a digital therapeutics company and pharmaceutical company are partnering to bring patients a digital therapeutic that supports COPD treatment outcomes through behaviour change, rather than relying on pharmacology.


COPD is an enormous cost for healthcare systems in Europe. In Italy, COPD is estimated to cost the SSN and patients around €5.9 billion each year1. COPD affects the 3% of the Italian population2, and it is the fourth biggest cause of death3. In Italy, pulmonary rehabilitation is offered to less than 15% of eligible COPD patients4. Under the partnership arrangement, the evidence-backed Kaia Health COPD digital therapeutic, which delivers a personalised, physical pulmonary rehabilitation experience, will be highly focused on key markets in Europe.

The Kaia COPD solution consists of a mobile app-based software program, accessed via an iOS or Android smartphone or tablet, and an interface for motivational support that can be delivered by a provider such as health coaches or healthcare professionals. It digitises and delivers affordable, accessible, physical Pulmonary Rehabilitation - an essential component of COPD treatment5 - directly to patients' homes on their smartphone. The Kaia Health COPD app delivers comprehensive education and customised daily training sessions, along with mindfulness and stress relief exercises, augmented with human coaching support and individualised therapy. The Kaia COPD solution has been investigated in one pilot trial and is currently the subject of an ongoing RCT in Europe. The Kaia Health COPD app is CE Marked in Europe as a Class 1 medical device.


“Our strategic partnership with Chiesi, a growing global company with an established European commercial presence, brings a wealth of experience in navigating the respiratory health landscape in Europe, while expanding patient access to evidence-based, digital physical pulmonary rehabilitation” said Konstantin Mehl, Founder and President, Kaia Health. “The entire Kaia Health team is excited to join forces with Chiesi to enhance COPD patient care and quality of life through digital therapeutics”.


Kaia Health is a member of the Digital Therapeutics Alliance (DTA), an international non-profit trade association of industry leaders and stakeholders engaged in the evidence-driven advancement of digital therapeutics. 


“We’re pleased to partner with Kaia Health to complement and further strengthen our portfolio in the respiratory therapeutic area, expanding our ability to address patient care through a non-pharmacological approach” said Ugo Di Francesco, Chief Executive Officer of the Chiesi Group. “This agreement embodies Chiesi’s commitment to providing the highest level of care and quality of life possible for people living with COPD and other respiratory diseases, going beyond merely those issues addressable through medication. We have been impressed with Kaia Health’s experience to date bringing impactful digital solutions to the European market and are looking forward to helping European COPD patients benefit from their expertise”.


“For many years, evidence6 has demonstrated the effectiveness of pulmonary rehabilitation in the treatment of COPD using physical activity and patient-centred, self-management strategies, but there is a serious shortage of access to these therapies7” said Stephan Huber, M.D., Kaia Health Chief Medical Officer. “Building on our previous expertise with musculoskeletal health and ongoing work in COPD, Kaia Health aims to create scalable access to these therapies for patients suffering from COPD, and we are thrilled to have Chiesi as our partner on this mission”.


“Our goal is to offer a solution that is patient-centric first, digital second,” emphasised Stephan Huber, M.D., Kaia Health Chief Medical Officer. “Our COPD solution is a truly digitised version of key self-management elements of physical pulmonary rehabilitation that aims to improve access to a proven, behavioural COPD intervention8 in a rapidly scalable, patient-focused digital program”.


“Chiesi has a proud tradition of bringing innovative treatments to patients” added Giovanna Amadori, Head of Global Strategy and Corporate Development at the Chiesi Group. “Rather than partnering around a digital intervention that may help patients as a side benefit, our collaboration with Kaia Health emphasises a patient-focused intervention that uses digital to maximise access for patients”. 


About COPD

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a long-term condition that causes inflammation in the lungs, damaged lung tissue and a narrowing of the airways, making breathing difficult. COPD can severely limit daily activities and work productivity, and it negatively impacts social behaviour and sleeping patterns, according to a study published in the European Journal of Health Economics9. Although COPD cannot be cured, it can be prevented, and quality of life improved with proper interventions. Pulmonary rehabilitation, in particular, has been demonstrated to be highly effective at improving COPD patients’ health related

quality of life, and its adoption is highly encouraged by international guidelines4.

About Chiesi Group

Based in Parma, Italy, Chiesi Farmaceutici is an international research-focussed group with 85 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical sector operating in 29 countries. It conducts research and develops and markets innovative drugs for respiratory treatment, Special Care and rare diseases. The Group’s Research and Development centre is based in Parma and works alongside five other important research and development centres in France, the U.S., Canada, the UK and Sweden to promote its pre-clinical, clinical and regulatory programmes. The Group employs over 6,000 people. Chiesi became a certified B Corp in 2019: as such it is required by law to consider the impact of its decisions on its employees, clients, suppliers, communities and the environment. This global movement views business as a force for good. The company is also committed to becoming carbon neutral (generating zero impact on the environment) by the end of 2035.


About Kaia Health

Kaia Health is a digital therapeutics company that creates accessible, evidence-based treatments for a range of disorders including back pain, COPD and osteoarthritis. Working with experts in various medical fields, the company uses machine learning to deliver individualised app interventions that aim to empower and motivate patients to take control and self-manage their condition with digital alternatives from their home using devices they already own (i.e. smartphones and tablets). Kaia Health has enrolled more than 450,000 users to-date in their digital therapy program. Kaia Health is a member of the Digital Therapeutics Alliance (DTA), an international non-profit trade association of industry leaders and stakeholders engaged in the evidence-driven advancement of digital therapeutics. Kaia has offices in New York and Munich. For more information about Kaia Health, visit www.kaiahealth.com.


Contacts for the press:


Chiesi Group

Valentina Biagini

Senior Global Communication Manager


+39 348 7693 623


Alessio Pappagallo

Global Communication Manager


+39 339 5897483


Kaia Health

Harry Cymbler

Founder, Hot Cherry PR


+44(0) 7801 289 996







1Dal Negro RW. COPD: The Annual Cost-Of-Illness during the Last Two Decades in Italy, and Its Mortality Predictivity Power. Healthcare (Basel). 2019 Mar 1;7(1):35.

2XII Report Health Search 2019


4Maio S, Baldacci S, Martini F, et al. COPD management according to old and new GOLD guidelines: an observational study with Italian general practitioners. Curr Med Res Opin 2014;30:1033-42

5 Pleguezuelos, E et al. (2017). Recommendations on Non-Pharmacological Treatment in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease From the Spanish COPD Guidelines. Archivos de Bronconeumología. 54 (11), pg. 568-575.

6 Celli, B et al. (2014). An Official American Thoracic Society/European Respiratory Society Statement: Research Questions in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. ATS Journal . 191

7 Finizio, D et al. (2015). Understanding inequalities in COPD prevention and care policies across Europe. ERS. 46 (59)

8 Romain, A et al. (2001). Global Strategy for the Diagnosis, Management, and Prevention of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. ATS Journal . 165 (5)

9 Miravitlles, M & Ribera, A. (2017). Understanding the impact of symptoms on the burden of COPD. BMC Respiratory Research . 18 (67)