J&J, Cigna back a vant’s quest to go deeper into the data and start connecting the dots

Datavant has tapped some unconventional sources for a $40 million raise designed to take them much deeper into the healthcare data they’ve been plumbing.

Founded by vant chief Vivek Ramaswamy and helmed by Travis May, the team at Datavant — now about 65 strong and slated to double over the next year — has an ambitious goal.

Says CEO May: “We’re trying to connect the data across the healthcare ecosystem.”

Reviewing his own healthcare experience, May counts multiple sources that each hold data on his health record. They include maybe a dozen different doctors, 8 payers, a variety of pharmacies, a 23andMe account — maybe a couple of hundred different institutions in total that have a snapshot of his data. Datavant is looking to tap all those — or as many as possible — to assemble a complete profile drawn from the data.

Backing them on this round is lead investor Transformation Capital, along with Johnson & Johnson Innovation — JJDC and Cigna Ventures. Ramaswamy’s Roivant and Flex Capital came back to contribute to the round, bringing the total raised so far to $83 million.

For years, says May, the first big question that pharma companies asked of the data analytics crowd was: How big is my drug’s market share? Those data are now accurate, but if you collect data from hundreds or thousands of sources, and de-identify the data by name, the interrogation gets more interesting.

“What’s big now is trying to connect real world evidence with clinical trial data,” says the CEO.

The challenge of trial data, he adds, is that it is a severely limited window of information. “With holistic information about the patient, that unlocks a much better trial design in future.”

There’s more. As Datavant gathers information over the years, the CEO says the questions and the answers will get more sophisticated. And Covid-19 has helped accelerate the whole process, requiring the use of more data that can be more easily gathered while also spurring developers to get more innovative in order to work faster— and understand things better — than ever dreamed possible.

That’s Datavant’s kind of world.

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