Former FDA chief information officer and Takeda executive lands at Datavant

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Former FDA chief information officer Eric Perakslis, Ph.D., has become Datavant's CSO.

About three months after coming to life with Silicon Valley tech veteran Travis May at the helm, Roivant Sciences’ clinical trial artificial intelligence arm Datavant has tapped bioinformatics expert Eric Perakslis, Ph.D., whose recent stint at Takeda will facilitate a new collaboration between the two firms, as its CSO.

Perakslis’ shiny portfolio includes top leadership roles across academic, regulatory and industry realms, which could be interpreted as the charm of the Roivant family.

He was previously chief information officer and chief scientist of informatics at the FDA, where he developed the agency’s first strategic technology plan and mapped out its cloud tactic. Prior to that, he served as SVP of pharma R&D IT at Johnson & Johnson. The tranSMART clinical data warehouse system he helped develop at J&J has been used as a core clinical repository by the Innovative Medicines Initiative in Europe, according to a Datavant release shared with FierceCRO.

After spending about two years as executive director of Harvard Medical School’s Center for Biomedical Informatics, which supports translational research informed by computational technologies, Perakslis came to his recent position as Takeda’s SVP of informatics in June 2015.

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Perakslis’ departure from Takeda isn’t the usual executive defection you see in the industry; in fact, Andrew Plump, chief medical and scientific officer of Takeda said Perakslis’ former employer is “excited about his new role at Datavant.”

That’s because Perakslis will play a crucial role in supporting a strategic partnership the two companies are planning, though Datavant is currently holding off on elaborating on the details.

Stemmed from Vivek Ramaswamy’s Roivant, Datavant uses artificial intelligence to integrate and analyze clinical trial datasets with the goal to inform the design and interpretation of future trials and increase their odds of success. That could fit into Takeda’s recent R&D transformation aimed at improving productivity. Plump, in a statement announcing the reorg back in July 2016, said Takeda will “first build new capabilities and embrace new ways of working.” The Japanese pharma has already transferred its clinical development capabilities to PRA Health Sciences.