In an effort to expand its medical affairs capabilities in a world of increasingly complex data, Huntsworth’s MediStrava is acquiring medical analytics consultancy MedEvoke.
“Bringing in [MedEvoke] and combining it with the capabilities that we already have within the group gives us a comprehensive analytics, AI-powered intelligence-gathering machine which will be unrivaled in the industry,” said MediStrava CEO Elaine Ferguson. “That matched with our very ambitious goal in doubling the size of that capability within the next 12-18 months will help us to rapidly scale, meet the demands of our clients and meet what we’re calling medical analytics as a function in the industry.”
The deal was motivated by rapid growth and increasing complexity in the amount of available real-world data. The goal was to bring on analysts and specialists with AI expertise to provide insights on these data sources, as well as to address what Ferguson characterized as an “unmet need.”
“The feeling from both parties was that we’d do better together. We’d make more impact together, and we could move faster together and benefit the industry,” Ferguson explained. “It was very much a coming together of like minds, with common vision and practice.”
Too often there’s a lag in the time it takes to bring scientific and medical innovations to development and approval, not to mention reach people in clinical practice. While COVID-19 demonstrated that it is possible to accelerate scientific innovation and push a vaccine through development quickly, that particular scenario was unique. Ferguson noted that similar super-quick innovation doesn’t often happen in colon cancer, for example.
“It can be upwards of 10 years before those innovations can come through to the people who really need them,” Ferguson said. “Our whole purpose is to shorten that time – to accelerate the approval and the access to and adoption of new medicines and new technology.”
Underpinning that foundation is the ability to effectively use analysis, advanced analytics and AI to tame huge volumes of data, as well as to inform key decisions and strategies.
“That’s why we’re doing what we’re doing,” Ferguson continued. “Anything we can do as an industry to accelerate the development of therapies means that patients, families and people all over the world can gain quicker, better benefits from innovations happening in the pharmaceutical industry and in the lab.”
MedEvoke will operate under the MediStrava umbrella and retain its name. Its staff and leadership team will also transition to the company, with MedEvoke founder Anna Walz becoming a MediStrava senior strategic advisor and president Marc Sirockman serving as global chief commercial officer. Sirockman will also retain his MedEvoke CEO role.
“We love the medical brand and medical clients love the company, so we will maintain and grow that brand. It’s really important,” Ferguson added. “We’re acquiring the whole team and the whole company. We want to strengthen and grow that within our environment.”