Health data firms Datavant, Ciox to merge in $7-billion deal

Datavant and Ciox Health on Wednesday announced a $7-billion merger agreement that they say will create the largest health data ecosystem in the US. The combined entity will be headed by Ciox CEO Pete McCabe, who calls the "fragmentation" of health data "one of the single greatest challenges" facing the US healthcare system today.

Datavant works to facilitate data sharing across the healthcare industry with technology that protects patient privacy, while supporting the linkage of de-identified patient records across datasets. Meanwhile, Ciox's platform is designed to bridge healthcare decision makers with the data and hidden insights in patient medical records. "Together we are well positioned to navigate the technical, operational, legal and regulatory challenges…to connect health data to improve patient outcomes," McCabe stated.

The new company, which will operate under the Datavant name, seeks to solve the health data fragmentation problem for various stakeholders by "removing impediments." According to Datavant and Ciox, it will offer the ability to access, exchange and connect data "among the thousands of organisations in its ecosystem for use cases ranging from better clinical care and value-based payments, to health analytics and medical research."

Merck, LabCorp, J&J invest

The merger, which is backed by Merck Global Health Innovation Fund, LabCorp and Johnson & Johnson Innovation, along with other new and existing investors, is expected to close in the third quarter. Upon closing, Datavant is expected to have revenue of more than $700 million. Meanwhile, current Datavant CEO Travis May will assume the role of president of the combined company and join its board.

Last week, Biodesix announced that it would make its lung cancer databank and linked data accessible to research and biopharma partners via a strategic partnership with Datavant.

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