Medidata teams with Shyft to bring real-world evidence data to drug development

Medidata ($MDSO) has teamed up with Shyft Analytics to use real-world evidence (RWE) data to inform drug development strategies. The pact, which comes days after Medidata led a $12.5 million investment in Shyft, is focused on analyzing RWE data to improve trial design and site selection.

In recent years, Medidata has sought to leverage its own repositories of data to improve these and other areas of the clinical trial process. By hooking up with Shyft, the eClinical leader has opened a new front in this strategy.

Notably, while Medidata’s focus is on clinical trials, Shyft is more interested in what happens to drugs and patients in the real world, giving it access to analytic capabilities that could be complementary to those possessed by its new partner and investor. Medidata thinks now is the right time to start tapping into RWE data.

“As life sciences companies embark on more complex and targeted programs in oncology, rare diseases and a range of therapeutic areas, embedding real world evidence data and outcomes-based analytics early in the clinical trial process is imperative for success,” Medidata COO Mike Capone said in a statement.

Through their joint offering, Medidata and Shyft want to help clients pick out patient populations that are eligible for the sort of “complex and targeted” therapeutic areas referred to by Capone. If successful, the offering will give companies a way to address perennial problem of enrolling patients in clinical trials. Medidata and Shyft also see the collaboration improving protocol designs.

Shyft unveiled the pact days after disclosing its Series B round. The round saw Medidata team up with the VC wing of McKesson ($MCK) to funnel $12.5 million in Shyft. For the Series B round, Shyft deliberately opted for strategic investors, a move that suggested it wanted more than just money from Medidata, something the release of details about the RWE pact has confirmed.