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Aetion, a tech startup focused on real-world evidence in healthcare, announced plans to buy synthetic real-world data company Replica Analytics for an undisclosed sum. 

This news comes less than a year after Aetion announced a $110 million Series C funding round led by Warburg Pincus. 

“Replica is a pioneer in [synthetic data generation software], and this means that they are creating privacy-protected, synthetic copies of real-world data while preserving the statistical integrity and utility of the original data, which facilitates various uses in research,” Carolyn Magill, Aetion CEO and board director, told MobiHealthNews. 

Meanwhile, Aetion’s platform is focused on taking real-world data and making it into regulatory and decision-grade evidence that can inform stakeholders about the safety and effectiveness of clinical treatments and medications. Its clients include pharma manufacturers, prednisone dosage health plans, payers and government agencies. 

WHY IT MATTERS 

The acquisition will give Aetion new capabilities in the synthetic real-world evidence space. 

“There’s a lot of data out there that contains incredibly valuable information about patients and patient experiences with medications or other clinical interventions, and in particular, patients who might be under-represented in clinical trials or otherwise not fully understood through the traditional ways of doing studies that we do,” Jeremy Rassen, cofounder, president and board director of Aetion, told MobiHealthNews. “And, so, synthetic data allows a way of creating what to a researcher feels like real-world data sets, but that protects the privacy of the patients, protects the integrity of the information and allows us to ask these questions on these data sets that are otherwise inaccessible.”

It can be used by payers or life-science companies looking to evaluate the value of medications. Synthetic data can also help look at where certain treatments can fill the unmet needs of a population. 

“This will enhance our offerings to our current clients. It will also help us attract new ones. …The beauty of synthetic data is unlocking access [from] hard-to-access data sources like data that can’t travel beyond the country’s borders, as an example, or data that relates to rare-disease populations,” Magill said. “And this will enable our customers and new ones to do analysis in these hard-to-access data sets using the synthetic twin.”

THE LARGER TREND

Real-world evidence is becoming increasingly popular in research. Many companies are working on new technologies for collecting and synthesizing real-world data. 

For example, in March, Evidation Health scored $153 million to expand its real-world data platform. Other players in the space include Concerto HealthAI, which closed a $150 million Series B round in 2020, and Komodo Health, which landed $220 million in Series E funding in March. 

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