As we previously highlighted in our Hub Services review, the pharma industry continues to face increasingly complex challenges throughout the drug development and commercialization lifecycle to maximize the probability of a successful product launch. This complexity has continued to drive widespread adoption and investment into an array of pharma outsourcing solutions targeting all facets of the drug lifecycle, from development of real-world data and evidence to unique clinical trial services and customized commercialization services. Leading outsourcing platforms are leveraging market interest to accelerate innovation into solutions that are altering development and commercialization strategies across the biopharma industry.
Augmented by the impact of COVID-19 and patient-centric strategies, tech-focused platforms have not only captured the greatest share of market interest but have also delivered unmatched efficiencies, insights, and commercial success. This trend has also infiltrated traditional services-based commercialization platforms that are increasingly building or acquiring tech-enabled capabilities to differentiate their solutions in the market. While innovation is occurring across a multitude of pharma outsourcing subsectors, this blog focuses on a few key areas where technology-based solutions and tech-enabled services platforms are driving an evolution in drug development and commercialization strategies.
Real-World Data, Real-World Evidence & Patient Data Analytics / Marketplaces
- Real-World Data (RWD): Data relating to patient health status and/or delivery of healthcare routinely collected from a variety of sources including EHRs, claims / billing, product / disease registries, patient-generated data, and external devices.
- Real-World Evidence (RWE): Clinical evidence regarding the usage and potential benefits or risks of a medical product derived from analysis of RWD.
Patient data, insights and analytics play a prevalent and increasingly vital role in both clinical trial and post-commercial effectiveness and, as such, interest in RWD and RWE is accelerating. Within the pre-commercial ecosystem, generating such data can be not only complementary or a cheaper alternative to costly randomized controlled trials (RCT), but can also provide outputs representative of the holistic population and of the real-life use of a product compared to data produced in a conventional clinical trial. The same data sets are also highly leverageable post-commercialization for various constituents and end users including insights into commercialization strategy, predictive analytics, long-term clinical efficacy, impact of clinical setting, impact on payer formulary reimbursement and market access, among other high-impact factors. We’ve also seen the fast-paced emergence of patient data marketplaces and analytics platforms empowering patients to participate in managing their health by providing access to critical data outside of a medical facility or clinical trial. Patient generated health data (PGHD) is becoming a critical component of RWD data sets, RWE insights and a major determinant in both provider decisions and patient outcomes.
- Analytical Wizards, backed by Sopris Capital Associates, is a cloud-based platform that provides actionable insights from data by combining predictive and prescriptive analytics, AI/ML techniques to the pharmaceuticals and biotech industry. It empowers clinical and commercial teams to predict emerging patients and patient-level outcomes proactively
- Clinithink, backed by Merck Global Health Innovation and TT Capital Partners, develops an AI-based Analytics Platform that uses Natural Language Processing (NLP) to understand unstructured medical notes from patient EHRs. The platform uses this data to understand unique clinical concepts to manage patient pathways and reduce cost, and at the same time enabling financial & resource management across healthcare organizations
- Evidation Health, a privately held company, backed by OMERS, Kaiser Permanente, McKesson Ventures, B Capital and Revelation Partners, operates a two-sided platform that connects individuals to biopharma and life sciences companies to help them understand the implications of everyday behaviors and health. The platform is available across cardiovascular, respiratory, autoimmune, central nervous system, and infectious disease and collects evidence in three areas: Disease Burden, Patient Segmentation, and Disease Progression Modeling, that help enterprises design, test, and deploy digital therapeutic programs
- Prognos, backed by Merck Global Health Innovation Fund and Safeguard Scientifics, unifies data across the healthcare landscape allowing pharmaceutical companies, providers and payers to pinpoint insights at decision-making and delivers opportunities to improve outcomes along the patient journey
- Syapse, backed by Ally Bridge Group, Revelation Partners and additional early-stage investors, develops a precision medicine software platform to collect, aggregate, and analyze previously fragmented clinical, molecular, treatment, and outcomes data for biopharma and life sciences companies, health systems, care teams, and researchers to support data-driven decision-making across precision medicine programs
Clinical Trial Support & Management
- TriNetX, backed by The Carlyle Group, provides cloud-based solutions that connect the world of drug discovery and development to the patient by sharing RWD to make clinical trials more efficient and manageable. The software platform performs real-time analysis and provides real-world clinical data through a web-based platform enabling the development of virtual patient cohorts
Although clinical trial methods have long resisted standardization, the increasing proof points on the benefits of technological advancements in solutions offered by decentralized clinical trial providers has expedited the disruption of traditional models. Specifically, platforms leveraging Artificial Intelligence (AI) including machine learning, deep learning, and NLP have proven beneficial across the drug development lifecycle. Leading platforms in the market today have built solutions to optimize clinical trial design, support patient recruitment & enrichment, drive site selection, monitor patients & adherence, and provide insightful analytics among other new-age capabilities. These expanding capabilities continue to yield broad productivity and efficiency improvements enabling pharma / biotech companies to accelerate trial timelines while simultaneously improving data quality and patient safety at a lower overall cost. We expect the acceleration of outsourcing in this ecosystem to continue fueling innovation and M&A activity for years to come.
- 4G CLINICAL, backed by Goldman Sachs and First Analysis Corporation, provides cloud-based randomization and trial supply management (RTSM) solutions for the global life sciences industry. The company offers decentralized clinical trials using mobile/local healthcare providers, wearable/sensor devices, telemedicine, or eConsent and uses Natural Language Processing for its dynamic Clinical Supply Optimization Software to read and interpret written RTSM specifications, understand them, and build a deployable system automatically, bringing speed and accuracy to the trial process
- Biorasi, backed by RLH Equity Partners, provides research optimization services including program optimization, project management, regulatory guidance, clinical and data management and recruitment amongst other services to ensure quality clinical trials and drug development
- Medable, backed by Blackstone and Tiger Global Management, is a cloud-based platform that streamlines the development of effective therapies utilizing back-end analytics, collaboration, compliance and research surveys tailored to healthcare’s strict compliance standards
- Medrio, backed by Questa Capital and Think +, operates a eClinical software platform with DCT, EDC, and RTSM capabilities among other solutions tailored to support various processes for clinical research, study design, data collection, management reports, statistical analysis and presentation enabling clinical trial sponsors and contract research organizations
- ObvioHealth, backed by Novotech CRO and Dedalus, is a virtual research organization focused on providing better data to clinical trial sponsors to improve the experience for clinical trial participants. ObvioHealth also recently developed and launched a patient-centric app enabling users to participate in clinical trials from their homes while empowering direct communication to drive support and patient assistance
- Suvoda, backed by LLR Partners, develops randomization and trial supply management software utilizing KPI, metric and trend tracking to enhance data insights and visualization capabilities for clinical trials
Tech-Enabled Commercial Services
- THREAD Research, backed by JLL Partners and Water Street, operates a configurable decentralized clinical trial platform that enables remote data capture from participants and clinical sites during, in between, and in lieu of in-clinic visits all through a single platform experience
The ecosystem of outsourced commercialization strategies with traditionally services-heavy solution deliveries have also accelerated their adoption of tech-enabled capabilities to differentiate in the market. In addition to Hub Services platforms, pharma and biotech companies have shown significant interest in tech-enabled platforms focused on market access, inventory & sample management, pricing & rebate management, CRM, and provider engagement among other tools. Various components of pharma commercialization strategies are increasingly reliant on tech-enabled capabilities to derive the necessary insights to maximize the probability of success for high-risk, highly complex products with narrower target populations.
- Aktana, backed by Transformation Capital and Safeguard Scientifics, offers CRM integration products and tools focused on optimal branding strategies, execution pathways and coordinated multichannel marketing initiatives
- IntegriChain, backed by Accel-KKR, operates a cloud-based channel management software for life science companies. The end-to-end services of the software help the manufacturers throughout the drug commercialization life cycle with services around the Pricing and Contracts, Patient Data Aggregation and Analysis, Inventory Analytics, and GTN Analytics
- J. Knipper and Company, backed by Court Square Capital, provides integrated multi-channel outreach & engagement tools that help with sample management, marketing sales & services, and third-party logistics solutions. Most recently launched Samplicity, a fully-integrated sample management platform enabling direct-to-patient, practitioner, and consumer portals supported by advanced data and analytics
- MediSpend, backed by Susquehanna Growth Equity, is a global SaaS solution purpose-built to manage the end-to-end process of healthcare provider (HCP) engagement through transparency reporting, which includes software that facilitates external grant requests
- Trinity, backed by Parthenon Capital Partners, operates as a tech-enabled data and analytics consulting platform that provides advisory, insights, analytics, and technology commercialization services to life sciences companies. The company provides robust insights that help understand the life sciences–specific data function and support the commercialization needs of their clients
TripleTree anticipates robust M&A activity across the landscape further fueled by the continued maturation of earlier-stage platforms with differentiated solutions gaining traction in the market. We also believe larger strategic platforms that are redefining their respective theses will continue to seek out new opportunities to expand existing solution suites, particularly in relatively nascent solution-areas like RWD & RWE. Ultimately, we believe this will result in ‘big bet’, platform acquisitions providing new insights into the longer-term direction of the pharma development & commercialization strategies as well as the core focus areas for larger consolidators in the space.