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Boston startup with video game treatment for ADHD plans to go public

Akili Interactive is developing games to treat cognitive disorders.

An image from EndeavorRx, a video game released by Boston-based Akili Interactive.Akili Interactive

Akili Interactive, which developed the first FDA-approved prescription video game, plans to go public by merging with a special purpose acquisition company.

The Boston startup, a leader in the emerging field of digital therapeutics, said Wednesday it plans to raise as much as $412 million by combining with a SPAC called Social Capital Suvretta Holdings Corp. I. If completed as planned, Akili would be worth $1 billion after the merger.

The 10-year-old company has raised $230 million in private funds and developed EndeavorRx, a video game approved by the Food and Drug Administration for children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD. Doctors can prescribe it to kids 8 to 12 years old who have been diagnosed with ADHD and have demonstrated an issue with attention.


The company has additional games in the pipeline to support people with autism spectrum disorder, multiple sclerosis, and depression. And it is seeking approval to offer EndeavorRx to children ages 3 to 7 with ADHD as well.

Additional funding will help Akili “drive the commercialization of our platform and advance our deep pipeline of prescription digital therapeutics to help people living with cognitive impairments across the globe,” chief executive Eddie Martucci said in a statement.

Social Capital Suvretta is one of a series of SPACs created by venture capitalist and former Facebook executive Chamath Palihapitiya, who will join Akili’s board once the merger is completed.

The deal is expected to close by mid-2022, though some pending deals from last year have been delayed, downsized, or canceled amid poor performance by SPAC companies and the stock market’s recent tumble. Akili plans to trade on the Nasdaq with the ticker symbol “AKLI” once the deal is completed.

Aaron Pressman can be reached at aaron.pressman@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @ampressman.