Datavant looks to make clinical trials smarter with artificial intelligence

By Melissa Fassbender contact

- Last updated on GMT

(Image: iStock/chomboson)
(Image: iStock/chomboson)
Better trial designs mean fewer failed studies, says a tech industry veteran who has set his sights on improving the clinical trial process with artificial intelligence.

Roivant Sciences, a global family of healthcare companies, has announced the launch of Datavant, a new company that aggregates and analyzes biomedical data.

To date, Datavant has compiled data from 85 different datasets including more than 20m patient visits.

Better trial designs and interpretations mean fewer failed studies and improved submissions to regulators​,” said Travis May, a tech industry veteran who will lead the company, which he is also backing with a personal investment.

We believe that we can help make clinical trials smarter through providing their designers with access to better data and insights​,” he told

According to May, the size constraints of individual trials mean clinical questions are answered in isolation and are inherently narrow in scope.

However through supplementing the results of a given clinical trial with other datasets, additional insights can be unlocked that facilitate improved design for subsequent trials and ultimately a better submission to regulators​,” he explained.

Datavant also has built an advisory board with representatives from academia and companies including PPD Biotech, GlaxoSmithKline, and Takeda, among others.

Artificial intelligence in drug development

May told us he is excited to be joining the growing set of companies taking aim at improving the clinical trial process with the help of artificial intelligence.

We've all seen the transformative power that data science and machine learning have had on other industries, and there is a growing consensus that healthcare stands to benefit immensely from additional analytical horsepower​,” he said.

The company is rapidly building its ecosystem of data partners as it looks for areas where it can collaborate with others, said May.

Through forging data partnerships and facilitating interoperability of healthcare data, we are building an ecosystem through which we, and others, will be able to accelerate improvements in drug development​.”

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