PPD snaps up Evidera, deepening services in real-world evidence

CROs are expanding their scope of services

The push to develop better data on health outcomes, both to support pharma commercialization efforts and to get closer to value-based healthcare across the industry, has resulted in PPD, a leading contract research organization (CRO), acquiring Evidera (Bethesda, MD). The seller is Symphony Technology Group, which owns Symphony Health Solutions, a data and pharma services provider. Real-world evidence (RWE, a.k.a. outcomes research, evidence-based medicine, or health economics—choose your catchphrase) is becoming a more critical part of pharma commercialization as payers look at outcomes-based contracts or other shared-risk arrangements between the drugmaker and the drug purchaser, as well as the value-based healthcare programs from accountable care organizations and other healthcare providers. Some of this same logic is what brought Quintiles, the leading CRO, and IMS Health together in a proposed merger announced earlier this year.

Purchase price was not disclosed; PPD says that Evidera’s existing network of national and international locations will be retained.

According to a PPD announcement, Evidera will become a wholly owned subsidiary of PPD, delivering peri- and post-approval studies, health economics, outcomes research, epidemiology and market access consulting. It will also leverage PPD’s comprehensive, end-to-end clinical development and laboratory services; the companies make the point that together they provide a broader scope of pharmaceuticals’ life cycle.

Evidera came into being in the aftermath of Express Scripts’ purchase of Medco Health Solutions in 2012; Medco had previously acquired UBC, but Express Scripts spun out parts of UBC the following year. Those assets became Evidera when Symphony acquired them. Company management notes that most Big Pharma companies have been clients, and that Evidera scientists and consultants have published more than 2,200 peer-reviewed articles and have more than 1,100 studies in progress across all major therapeutic areas.