RWE upstart maps a new global plan as investors pour in the latest mega-round
As regulators continue to rely more on real world evidence, New York-based RWE leader Aetion said Tuesday that it has closed a $110 million Series C funding round, led by Warburg Pincus.
The company said it will use the new funds to extend the capabilities of its RWE platform, used by many top biopharma companies, expand its European and Asian-Pacific footprint, and grow its commercial team to serve new clients. Aetion has now raised a total of $212 million to date.
“In some instances it makes sense for us to have a platform better suited for these regional needs, especially as it relates to Asia,” Aetion CEO Carolyn Magill told Endpoints News in an interview. “We’ll be building out our team in both places.”
The last year has proven to be a successful one for the company as it nearly doubled its revenue and secured 100% of customer renewals.
Aetion initially made its name by establishing a partnership with the FDA and more recently became the first RWE company to establish an Covid-19 research collaboration with the agency. With former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb serving on the company’s board, Aetion also recently poached the FDA’s top policy official, Lowell Schiller. Meanwhile, the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review also selected Aetion to help provide RWE for the institute’s value assessments of drugs.
In addition to Warburg Pincus, B Capital and Foresite Capital also joined in on the funding in this round, as did Aetion’s existing backers New Enterprise Associates (another Gottlieb employer) and Flare Capital Partners.
So is an IPO in the cards for Aetion?
“We are focused on supporting our customers, building our business, building global standards for transforming data into evidence and doing this on such a scale that biopharma manufacturers, payers, providers, data providers and regulators can all look to use RWE more routinely in how they make these high-stakes decisions,” Magill added. She also explained how RWE is increasingly used by regulators.
In 2019, 48% of FDA drug approvals included RWE in submissions, and in 2020, it was 75%, according to Aetion analyses. “That’s an indicator of the increasing receptivity and importance of real world evidence in regulatory decision making,” she said.