Verana Health will strengthen Janssen’s presence in ophthalmology in long-term, says GlobalData

Janssen Pharmaceuticals has recently partnered with Verana Health, which is specialized in data analytics in the field of ophthalmology and urology. The collaboration can help Janssen to derive clinical and business insights that can be critical for the development of drugs and understanding current treatment paradigms in ophthalmology in the long-term, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Vinie Varkey, Senior Healthcare Analyst at GlobalData, says: “By being able to leverage software technologies, Verana Health can draw insights quickly and this information can be useful to multiple stakeholders across the breadth of product development from research and development to commercial positioning.

“While the ophthalmology indication of interest of this particular partnership focuses on diabetic macular edema, there is an anticipation that a successful outcome as a result of this collaboration can trigger the agreement to be extended to other indications particularly those with high level of unmet needs.”

Verana Health’s strategy is unique in the sense of where the primary data comes from. The company partners with medical associations such as the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) to support the latter as data curating and analytics partner.

Ms Varkey continues: “Verana is able to access electronic health records of patients, albeit de-identified. Insights from these data sets can be used to derive clinical and business insights that can be critical for understanding current treatment paradigms and for development of novel therapies.”

To bring into fruition the company’s strategy, Verana Health uses proprietary algorithms to clean and model data from the real-world evidence of patient care.

In December 2020, Janssen bought a gene therapy for a severe form of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) from Hemera Biosciences. Besides providing pharmaceutical companies the advantage of pulling ahead of competitors in a broad spectrum of activities ranging from research and development (R&D) to product positioning, the use of digital technologies and tools can also be used to drive down costs and timelines associated with product development in the pharmaceutical sector as well as optimizing patient selection for a particular treatment modality.

Ms Varkey concludes, “Looking ahead, pharmaceutical companies are expected to increasingly look towards companies that specialize in digital tools and technologies and while collaborations between such stakeholders are expected to rise in the pharmaceutical sector, it will also be crucial for these digital partners to ensure that the underlying patient data is treated with strict confidence and to demonstrate the establishment and running of a robust system in place to ensure that this data is protected from possible threats of cyber-attacks.”

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