Aetion, Cegedim form transatlantic real-world data alliance

Top pharmaceutical companies

Health tech companies Aetion and Cegedim have agreed to combine their data platforms together, to allow clients to gauge how their therapies are performing in the real world.

New York, US-based Aetion and French outfit Cegedim say that by joining forces they will create a transatlantic real-world data (RWD) engine “to unlock essential insights about treatments.”

While randomised clinical trials are the gold standard for securing approval for new treatments, they typically involve a carefully selected group of test subjects, and that means the results may not translate faithfully to use in general medical practice.

In recent years there has been a surge in the use of real-world evidence (RWE) – based on data harvested from insurance claims, electronic health records and patient registries as well as clinical trial data – to explore how new therapies perform outside the confines of a controlled study in terms of safety, efficacy and cost-effectiveness.

The EMA for example has said it will start incorporating RWE into its review processes, while health technology assessment bodies (HTAs) like NICE in the UK, Germany’s IQWiG and Belgium’s INAMI/RIZIV have committed to using it in their cost-effectiveness deliberations for new drugs.

Aetion provides RWE studies via its Aetion Evidence Platform (AEP), and this will now be integrated with Cegedim’s European-focused THIN database which includes anonymised electronic health record data from France, the UK, Spain, Belgium and Romania on diagnoses, treatments, clinical outcomes and interventions.

Cegedim’s head of health data, Gilles Paubert, said the THIN database – which dates back to 1994 – will help clients answer “therapeutic area-specific or region-specific” questions that are needed to “bring a new drug to market and deliver efficacious treatments to patients faster.”

The two partners think the combined RWD platform could be particularly valuable for exploring treatment use and outcomes in COVID-19 patients as the pandemic rumbles on.

“Over the last few months, COVID-19 has changed the drug development landscape, as leading biopharma companies, regulators, and…HTAs alike look to real world data to urgently answer questions on treatment utilisation, safety, and effectiveness,” said Aetion’s CEO Carolyn Magill.