The FDA said Tuesday it’s pairing up with the data company Aetion to research Covid-19 complications and what types of medicines virus patients are taking, which could help researchers learn more about which treatments are effective.
The Food and Drug Administration is already using its internal drug monitoring system called Sentinel to learn more about Covid-19 responses nationwide. The partnership with Aetion will add to that data to “contribute to the scientific evaluation of potential diagnostics and interventions for COVID-19,” Amy Abernethy, the agency’s principal deputy commissioner of food and drugs, said in a statement.
New cases in hot spots like New York appear to be declining, but that’s not true everywhere across the U.S. and health officials say they anticipate a second wave of the coronavirus to pop up in the fall.
Aetion was founded in 2013 and is headquartered in New York with offices in Boston, Los Angeles, and Paris. It’s known for its software that analyzes real-world data like electronic health records and clinical trial data to help companies make business decisions. Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb is a board director for the company.
The company will offer the FDA data from pharmacy claims, electronic medical records, hospitals, and labs, according to an Aetion spokesperson. The spokesperson said the information will help the agency “better understand the natural history of the disease, treatment landscape, and diagnostic patterns.”
The FDA has also partnered with the Reagan-Udall Foundation for the FDA and the group Friends of Cancer Research to create a Covid-19 “evidence accelerator,” which acts as a catch-all for data organizations, government and academic researchers, and health systems to publish their research findings. The collaboration helps the FDA “maximize the utility” of all the Covid-19 information independent groups are collecting so that the agency can use that data effectively, according to the evidence accelerator website.