Photo credit: Alex Proimos/Creative Commons

Havas Health announced it will partner with Vencore Health Analytics to expand usage of Vencore’s patient finder technology, which identifies patient candidates with rare diseases.

Havas Health CEO Donna Murphy said in a release that the agency plans to deploy the technology to better connect pharma companies with patients who have undiagnosed rare diseases. “Patient finder technology that Vencore offers can enhance our clients’ abilities to efficiently and effectively connect their treatments with potential patients,” she said.

See also: Rare disease drugs facing questions over prices, incentives

Sales for rare disease drugs were expected to exceed $100 billion in 2015. In early January, the FDA has said it approved 21 drugs to treat rare diseases in 2015, or about 45% of the 45 products approved that year.

Vencore’s technology analyzes electronic health records as well as genomic and claims data to identify patients with difficult-to-diagnose diseases. Vencore company spokesperson Lorraine Corcoran said in an email that it “applies software and analytics techniques to de-identified medical history data to understand the treatment patterns of individuals.” The firm has a history of using its technology in the defense sector.

But this is not Vencore’s first foray into collaborating with pharma. The information technology company said it completed 12 conclusive clinical trials and pilot programs with biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies using its patient finder technology.

See also: Havas Health launches consultancy

This partnership is the latest in a series of moves aimed at better aligning Havas Health with growing demands from its clients.

The company in June acquired Just:: Health Communications, a London-based PR shop. Three months later, the agency launched a new consultancy named xigxag. Two months after that, in November, the company acquired medical education agency Symbiotix, a deal that added 45 employees to the agency’s roster.