Better Therapeutics Agrees to Go Public Via Mountain Crest SPAC

Better Therapeutics Inc., a company that helps treat patients with smartphone apps, agreed to go public through a merger with a blank-check company Mountain Crest Acquisition Corp II.

The deal values San Francisco-based Better Therapeutics at $187 million, including debt, according to a statement Wednesday, confirming a Bloomberg News report. The deal also includes a $50 million private investment in public equity from investors including Farallon Capital Management, RS Investments, Sectoral Asset Management, and Monashee Investment Management.

The combined company will operate as Better Therapeutics and trade on the Nasdaq under the symbol BTTX.

Better Therapeutics, founded in 2015, develops software for apps that treat patients, which it calls prescription digital therapeutics. Its apps can be prescribed to help treat diabetes, heart disease and other conditions using cognitive behavioral therapy.

“You can think about us like a drug company,” co-founder and Chairman David Perry said in an interview. “You’ve got to invest a lot of money upfront to do the things necessary to develop products and get them through the FDA process. Then the other side of that tends to be a very lucrative business.”

Its therapies aim to help patients with heart disease, chronic kidney and liver diseases, among others. The most detrimental root causes to these health issues are poor diet and bad lifestyle, said Kevin Appelbaum, co-founder and chief executive officer.

“Instead of telling people what to do, we identify the thoughts and beliefs that are getting in the way of making meaningful change in behavior,” he said. “We do that through a series of therapy lessons.”

Case studies on its website show patients using the smartphone app to set goals and track biometric markers to help establish new habits. The company is running clinical trials of its products.

The SPAC raised $57.5 million in its initial public offering in January. Its shares closed trading Tuesday down 0.6%, giving it a market value of $75 million.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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