Medidata has launched its new company, Acorn AI, in an effort to accelerate the digital transformation of life sciences in the age of precision medicine.

The company is designed to answer the most important questions across R&D and commercialisation, enabling customers to improve outcomes for patients and to accelerate growth, and will be led by industry veterans who are shaping the future of life sciences.

The new business is backed by Medidata’s cumulative R&D investments in technology, data pipelines, data science, and acquisitions such as SHYFT Analytics, and the Medidata platform, comprised of more than 17,000 clinical trials.

Sastry Chilukuri, who recently joined Medidata, is now the president of Acorn AI. Rachel Sherman, former principal deputy commissioner of FDA, joins as chief scientific and medical advisor and Kathy McGroddy-Goetz, who joined Medidata from IBM Watson Health, drives strategy and alliances.

"Life science firms are looking at data-centric and AI-based business models to revamp functions, such as drug discovery, R&D, clinical trials, and commercial operations, to cater to an evolving patient profile, a converging ecosystem, and emerging therapy areas”, said Nitish Mittal, practice director at Everest Group.

He continued, “They are looking for strategic partners that can deliver AI-as-a-Service, underwriting their risk of innovation. Medidata's new venture, Acorn AI, builds on a combination of deep life science pedigree, proprietary data sets, and AI methodologies to help life science customers reimagine their operating model".