Artificial Intelligence, BioPharma

Aetion acquires Replica Analytics to bring aboard synthetic data capabilities

Health analytics firm Aetion has acquired Replica Analytics, a company that specializes in synthetic data. Aetion said Replica will enable it to analyze previously inaccessible data while maintaining privacy and integrity of the original source data.


Aetion, a health analytics firm that serves entities across the life sciences spectrum, is building up its capabilities with the acquisition of a Replica Analytics, a company that uses artificial intelligence to generate its data.

New York-based Aetion provides insights based on real-world evidence. Its Aetion Evidence Platform analyzes data from the real world to assess the safety, efficacy, and value of drugs. Drug and medical device developers use those insights to guide development and commercialization of their products. For payers, the analysis contributes to their reimbursement decisions. But there’s a wealth of data that can’t be analyzed because due to privacy concerns. That’s where Replica Analytics can help Aetion.

Replica Analytics uses AI to generate synthetic data—data that are not from real-world events, but instead are created by sampling real-world data or running simulations. More than masking or anonymization techniques, synthetic data are new data that preserves the privacy and integrity of the original source data. In a prepared statement, Replica co-founder and CEO Khaled El Emam said that privacy rules keep the vast majority of the health data in the world inaccessible. The Ottawa, Canada-based company’s technology makes the data accessible while also protecting privacy, ensuring that customers can comply with regulatory requirements and privacy laws.

El Emam is remaining with Replica following the acquisition, taking on the role of senior vice president and general manager of Replica Analytics at Aetion. No financial terms were disclosed for the transaction, announced Tuesday, between the two privately held companies.

With Replica in its fold, Aetion said customers of the Aetion platform will now have more privacy-protected data options. Replica said its customer base includes undisclosed Fortune 50 companies. Customers of Aetion include payers and pharmaceutical companies. For example, Sanofi uses Aetion’s technology platform to collect real-world evidence about the efficacy, safety, and value of its drugs. Other users of the technology include the FDA and the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review, a drug price watchdog group.

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