Medidata looks to deliver ‘digital transformation’ with Shyft Analytics deal

By Melissa Fassbender

- Last updated on GMT

(Image: Getty/liuzishan)
(Image: Getty/liuzishan)
Medidata is acquiring Shyft Analytics for $195m, creating a new platform that will combine clinical development with commercial and real-world data analytics in a first for the industry, says a company executive.

The combined platform will deliver applications, services, and data science capabilities powered by a global set of research data, companies’ customer relationship management (CRM) data, third-party commercial data, as well as real-world data sources, according to Medidata.

“There are no platforms that have delivered what you need from an end-to-end perspective around research data and real world data, and inclusive not just of real world safety and efficacy, but of commercial information you need to go to market,”​ said Glen de Vries, president of Medidata.

“We’ve now created the platform that has that potential.”

The new Intelligent Platform for Life Sciences provides the ability to manage clinical and commercial operations, divisions between which de Vries said have been breaking down. “We really see a breaking down of the traditional silos at life sciences companies," ​he told us.

Specifically, de Vries explained the “handoff”​ from clinical to commercial is going to “blend”​ and will need to “turn into something that is more of a virtuous cycle than a two-step process.”

This shift is driven by a customer base developing more precise therapies with higher response rates and better safety profiles, which means drugs are going to market with more restrictive labels. As such, de Vries said companies are having to think aggressively about label expansion.

“You need to figure out ‘what are the other indications that I can potentially go into?’ or ‘how do I expand my patient population?’”​ he explained.

de Vries said companies should be looking continuously at what is happening commercially in therapeutic areas and how disease definitions are evolving, as well as the standards of care.

“I don’t just want clinical trial comparators,”​ he said, “I want to have comparators that are from real world data, I want to be looking at electronic health record data and what I can glean about response rates there.”

With the addition of Shyft, de Vries said the companies will be able to deliver “the kind of digital transformation”​ that clients are trying to achieve.

Following the acquisition – expected to close in Q2 2018 – Shyft and Medidata will continue to separately offer their traditional products, but also will be working together to create new platforms.

“We really think if you look at all the people that a pharmaceutical company interacts with, that they service in one way or another either directly or indirectly, it’s the patients themselves, it’s the providers who are writing the prescriptions, and it’s the payers,”​ said de Vries, “the combination of Medidata and Shyft means we have all the data that should be needed to create compelling packages for all those people.”

DeVries noted that the acquisition combines companies with a strong culture and mission, which is ultimately to optimize outcomes for patients – and is “what we all get in up the morning and get excited to go to work to do,”​ he said.

Though what keeps de Vries up at night?

“What keeps me up at night is that I think there is so much potential for the next generation of what life sciences companies can look like,”​ he said. “There is so much upside for patients – who we all are, even those of us who work in the industry – for what happens when we get things right.”

“But changing the world isn’t always easy. Sometimes you lose sleep.”

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