Silicon Valley vet to run new Roivant trial AI company

Datavant is the first in the Roivant family to work outside of biotech.

The new "Vant" added to the Vivek Ramaswamy family, with its aim of improving trials with artificial intelligence, announced its new CEO this week.

Datavant will be led by Travis May, a Silicon Valley tech veteran, and the co-founder and CEO of LiveRamp, an identity resolution provider offering data onboarding. He’s also throwing his own money into the Datavant biz.

“As a technologist looking at the biopharma industry, it’s surprising and disconcerting how little data is shared as compared to other industries,” said May.

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“Biopharmaceutical data is siloed across big pharma companies, universities, healthcare consortia, CROs, research groups, hospital systems, regulatory bodies, patient registries, genomics companies, and EMRs. There is tremendous potential to apply analytics to this data more effectively, improve drug development, and ultimately save lives," May continued.

Incubated by Ramaswamy’s parent company Roivant, Datavant says it “has already compiled data from 85 different datasets comprising over 20 million patient visits.”

“When appropriately joined and analyzed, these datasets can be used to inform the design and operations of clinical development programs: improving likelihood of success and time to market, and reducing the cost of clinical trials,” the company said in a statement.

Datavant is launching with initial financing led by Roivant and including a “significant personal investment” from May.

It also comes with some big names from across the biopharma world for its advisory board, including: Daniel Burch, M.D., CMO of PPD Biotech; Min Li, Ph. D, SVP and head of neurosciences R&D at GSK; as well as Bryan Spielman, former EVP at Medidata.

Six weeks ago, Roivant secured a massive $1.1 billion investment, led by SoftBank Vision Fund with help from the Dexxon investor group, as it looked to “fuel creation of new subsidiaries within and beyond biopharmaceutical development, including new technology-enabled ‘Vants.’”

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Roivant’s business works through its subsidiary Vants, such as Axovant (neurology), Myovant (women’s health and endocrine diseases), Dermavant (dermatology), Enzyvant (rare diseases) and Urovant (urology).

Datavant is the first in the Roivant family to work outside of biotech, with its aim to “dissolve barriers between siloed healthcare datasets in order to unlock novel insights and reduce the time and cost of delivering innovative medicines to patients,” according to the company.