Merck inks partnership with McKesson's Ontada for real-world data for cancer care

Ontada has access to a treasure trove of data from more than 2,000 oncology providers, and Merck wants to tap into the insights business. 

Merck will work with McKesson's Ontada to conduct real-world evidence studies exploring new scientific data and advanced methods of development along with assess and efficiency of cancer care, the companies said Thursday. 

With data from more than 2 million records, Ontada has a whole host of insights at its fingertips that Merck will use to help improve patient outcomes and the quality of its cancer therapies. Ontada works with the US Oncology Network, which taps into 1,400 independent physicians for value-based care. 

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At the core of the agreement is a familiar face for both companies: Susan Shiff, Ph.D. She joined Ontada as president in March after serving as Merck's senior vice president and head of the pharma's Center for Observational and Real-World Evidence. 

Ontada is linking arms with a pharma deep into the oncology world. Merck counts 12 phase 2 programs and 25 phase 3 programs in its oncology pipeline as of July 27.