McKesson, Medidata lead Shyft to $12.5M Series B to advance cloud analytics platform

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Shyft Analytics has raised $12.5 million in a Series B round led by Medidata ($MDSO) and the VC wing of McKesson ($MCK). The round gives Shyft connections to a pair of healthcare and life science IT heavyweights and renewed financial clout at a time when it is looking to expand its business and its cloud analytics platform.

Armed with $19 million in Series A funding and a portfolio of analytics packages spanning sales, rare diseases, real-world evidence (RWE) and other fields, Shyft has grown quickly over the past few years. Now, the cloud data analytics specialist is looking to build on this platform by tapping McKesson, Medidata and unidentified healthcare and technology players for an “initial” $12.5 million. If the Series A is a reliable guide, Shyft will add to its Series B haul in the future.

The Series A leaned heavily on private equity firm Health Enterprise Partners, but for the latest round Shyft has looked to strategic investors.

“The all-strategic collaboration provides Shyft with opportunities to accelerate the impact that analytics is having across commercial and clinical life sciences on our platform,” Brian Irwin, VP of strategy at Shyft, told FierceBiotechIT.

The presence of McKesson Ventures and Medidata at the top of Shyft’s list of Series B investors is a reflection of the range of areas the company is applying its platform to and the caliber of biopharmas it has attracted. Ariad Pharmaceuticals ($ARIA), Astellas, Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ), Shire and Takeda are among the bigger names on Shyft’s client list. And Shyft has a breadth of analytics packages to pitch at its clients and prospects.

For Medidata, a company focused on drug development, Shyft’s relatively recent expansion into the analysis of RWE was of particular interest.

"With its focus on real-world evidence data, Shyft’s analytics platform provides insights that have the potential to change how life sciences companies develop and commercialize new drugs," Medidata COO Mike Capone said in a statement. “We're excited to invest in Shyft's future, as we share a common goal of delivering flexible, innovative technology solutions to our clients that will speed up clinical research.”

The RWE product is designed to aggregate and analyze electronic medical records to enable faster observational research studies. Shyft claims two of the top 10 pharma companies have signed up.

With the Series B money in the bank, Shyft now plans to expand its sales and marketing efforts while pumping more cash into improving the platform. Irwin has broad ambitions for the R&D investments, responding to a question about which areas of the platform will be improved using the Series B funds with a short statement: “All of it.”