Merck KGaA and Peter Thiel’s Palantir join forces to speed up R&D

German Merck and Peter Thiel's U.S. tech firm Palantir have teamed up on big data to help the pharma to combine its research with other bioinformatics to zero in on those cancer patients who could be helped the most by new meds, and then use this to help shore up its R&D process.

In a statement, Palantir, which also does business with GSK, said its data analytics would be put to use in order to help Merck “better and more rapidly develop and deliver medicines to patients, commercialize new products and improve patient outcomes.”

The first focus of the tech will be on cancer treatment and patient services, but the German life sciences and chemical company said it will eventually use it across all of its offerings. Financial details were not disclosed, although Bloomberg reported that there is a profit-sharing deal in place.

The company was co-founded and backed by billionaire Thiel, a man involved in the Trump transition team and with two of his known associates also meeting the PEOTUS on Thursday to discuss taking on the commissioner role at the FDA, as Silicon Valley appears to be making greater inroads into the biopharma business on all sides.

“As a science and technology company, we are tackling the greatest challenges in healthcare, life science and performance materials. Now we are teaming up with Palantir since developing breakthrough technologies requires superior data analytics capabilities, and Palantir optimally complements our skills in that respect,” said Stefan Oschmann, chairman of the executive board and CEO of Merck.

Further details of the deal were not given.