Eli Lilly and Evidation expand digital biomarker collaboration to data from smartphones and wearables

A senior woman sitting on a yoga mat looks at a smartphone with information about heart rate.
Lilly hopes to use the digital biomarkers, along with physiological and environmental data, to help shape the development of its medicines and delivery hardware, including in diabetes. (Getty Images/doble-d)

Eli Lilly & Co. is expanding its collaboration with Evidation Health into a multiyear project aimed at developing digital biomarkers for disease, derived from smartphones, wearable sensors and even voice data.

Lilly’s global scientists and researchers across its therapeutic portfolios will have access to Evidation's Andromeda consented data platform that tracks everyday behavior. The financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

In one example, Evidation's platform is being used by Lilly to analyze data from continuous glucose monitors, insulin pumps and real-world information to improve its diabetes offerings, toward the Big Pharma’s goal of building a connected ecosystem that includes an automated insulin delivery device and connected insulin pen.

"Our initial collaborations with Lilly demonstrated that digital biomarkers can play a significant role in understanding individuals and disease, and we are excited to expand our collaboration," said Christine Lemke, co-founder and president of Evidation, in a release.

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"The data platform product embodies an industry-wide change to the way we measure health, which makes it more proactive, objective and ultimately meaningful to individuals," Lemke said.

Evidation’s algorithms process data for use in clinical studies or to create predictive models that turn patient behavior data into quantifiable observations of disease. Lilly hopes to use this information, including physiological, environmental and contextual data, to help shape the development of its medicines and delivery hardware, said Lilly Chief Digital Officer Divakar Ramakrishnan, Ph.D., in the release.

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Late last year, Eli Lilly unveiled a device-driven strategy for its diabetes unit, including a team-up with Dexcom to develop continuous glucose monitoring systems. To move from being just an insulin provider to a more integral part of the system, Lilly has been working on its own automated insulin delivery device and smart injector pen at a lab it opened in 2015.

This past August, Evidation raised $30 million in a series C round, with plans to use the proceeds to fuel partnerships with new data source providers and launch additional research studies in tracking daily behavior and health outcomes.

In February, Evidation launched a 10,000-person study to explore digital biomarkers for chronic pain and quality of life, including the analysis of patient experiences, weather and diet, alongside lab data, genomic information and clinical outcomes.