AI AND MACHINE LEARNING MAY DOUBLE THE ODDS OF SUCCESS OF CLINICAL TRIALS. INTERVIEW WITH TRAVIS MAY, CO-FOUNDER AND CEO, DATAVANT
Interview and article by Teresa C. Gallagher, Ph.D., MPH. Editor, Clinical Research Currents
As a technologist looking at the biopharma industry, it’s surprising and disconcerting how little data is shared. Biopharmaceutical data is siloed across big pharma companies, universities, healthcare consortia, CROs, research groups, hospital systems, regulatory bodies, patient registries, genomics companies, and EMRs. There is tremendous potential to apply analytics to this data more effectively, improve drug development, and ultimately save lives.
–Travis May. Co-Founder and CEO, Datavant, September 2017
On November 21, Clinical Research Currents had the opportunity to interview Travis May by phone. Travis is a Silicon Valley technology veteran with a history of building industry-leading data companies and the former Co-Founder and CEO of LiveRamp, which was acquired by Acxiom for $310 million. Mr. May graduated with degrees in economics and mathematics from Harvard College, where he received Phi Beta Kappa and Magna cum Laude honors. He was listed on Forbes Magazines’ “30 Under 30 List” and AdAge’s “40 Under 40” list.
Datavant is dedicated to improving the design and interpretation of clinical trials through data science and machine learning. They integrate clinical trial data with real-world evidence to create an imputed patient-level dataset for use in clinical trial design and interpretation, and are located in San Francisco. Datavant was launched by Roivant Sciences, which is a global family of healthcare companies focused on innovative approaches to realizing the full value of promising biomedical research and shortening the timeline and cost of pharmaceutical development.
Travis, how did you come to found Datavant, given your background in the tech industry?
T. May. I spent the last 8 years as the founder and CEO of a company called LiveRamp, in the marketing technology space. That’s something that I’ve been building for the last 8 years, it’s about 400 employees today, about $200 million in revenue… I think marketing tends to be a test bed for very innovative ideas within the data world…So I’ve been very interested in finding other industries where some of the business models and some of the data approaches from the marketing world, can provide value. I started talking with the Roivant team about some of the data siloing challenges, and the data analytics challenges that they believed existed within the clinical trial world.