Real-world evidence (RWE) startup Aetion has struck a partnership with research and commercialization giant Syneos Health. The deal is designed to deepen their data and analytics reach within life sciences.

As part of the accord, Syneos will integrate its data collection and research tools, which aim to support biopharma in accelerating product development and demonstrating value to healthcare stakeholders, with Aetion’s evidence platform. Aetion will also join Syneos’ ecosystem of preferred data and tech providers.

Clinical solution vendors have been evolving their offerings to provide RWE to various healthcare clients, pulling together data sources that range from claims and EHRs to registries and clinical trials, as well as from wearable sensors. 

Aetion, for its part, sits as a “neutral third party” between pharma companies and payers who may want to use this data to make objective reimbursement decisions about drugs based on their real-world efficacy. It also provides insights to regulatory agencies. 

But while RWE has gained increased attention, it’s not being fully utilized by pharma. 

In June, Roni Chase, VP of marketing at Eli Lilly, told MM+M there is a lot more opportunity for pharma marketers to understand and utilize RWE as a strategic lever in such areas as identifying populations for trial enrollment, illuminating unmet needs to drive trial endpoints and leveraging evidence to differentiate at the regulatory level and to drive on-label promotion.

The Aetion/Syneos pact follows RWE firm Komodo Heath’s recent purchase of Breakaway Partners, as well as a partnership between Komodo and PicnicHealth to combine their RWE databases to advance research into diseases like multiple sclerosis and hemophilia. 

In May, Aetion closed a $110 million round of Series C financing. That followed RWE startup Evidation Health’s $153 million funding round in March.