Mahana Therapeutics has received support for the launch of Mahana IBS, an FDA-cleared prescription digital therapeutic. Mahana IBS provides cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) via a mobile app the patients living with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Around 35 million people in the United States have a diagnosis of IBS, a chronic condition of the large intestine. The condition involves ongoing or intermittent symptoms such as abdominal cramping, bloating, gas, constipation, and diarrhea. The exact cause of IBS isn’t known, but causes may include issues with nerves in the digestive tract, infection, and changes in gut microbes. 

Research has also shown that individuals who experience stressful events, especially early in life, have a higher incidence of IBS. Traditional treatments with pharmaceuticals don’t control IBS symptoms well enough to improve quality of life for many patients. Substantial research has demonstrated that CBT is highly effective at treating IBS. 

Mahana IBS, prescribed as either a standalone solution or part of a multimodal treatment plan, delivers a 3-month CBT treatment program for adults. According to the Mahana website, the personalized digital program promote a better “brain-gut relationship.” It provides 10-minute lessons focused on changing unhelpful behaviors and thought patterns and building habits that improve IBS symptoms.

In a clinical trial published in the BMJ journal GUT, the Mahana IBS therapeutic lessened the severity of IBS symptoms. Participants in the trial demonstrated improvements in abdominal pain, bloating, and bowel function dysregulation. The program also reduced the negative impact of IBS on daily activities. Based on this clinical validation, the FDA cleared the Mahana IBS mobile app in June 2021.