On the surface, the acquisition by Veeva seems to be a lot of money for what it’s getting—the purchase price works out to about $2.4 million per Crossix employee (there’s also $120 million in “long-term equity grants” involved). Veeva can afford it; the company has been profitable and has a market cap over $22 billion. As much as anything, though, the action signals the growing importance of data analytics in healthcare marketing and product development.
Crossix, founded in 2005, specializes in Big Data-driven analytics of healthcare markets; it combines data from “Rx, OTC, clinical, claims, consumer, hospital, [and] media,” according to the company, and has information on 300 million consumers—essentially the entire US population. At the same time, it has proprietary technology (patented as CrossMine) to ensure patient privacy, in part by not consolidating all data assets in one database, but cross-connecting data sources while de-identifying individuals. Some 200 pharma brands have used the Crossix technology to manage their marketing efforts and media campaigns.
For Veeva, the acquisition means a jump into providing pharma clients with patient and consumer data; historically, its data assets have been focused on pinpointing healthcare provider (HCP) patterns. More recently, it has moved aggressively into the management and administration of clinical trials. Initially, Crossix will continue to operate as an independent unit, but Paul Shawah, SVP of commercial strategy, says that there’s a tantalizing opportunity to collaborate in HCP tracking that Crossix also performs. In the longer term, Crossix CEO Asaf Evenhaim sees opportunities in helping pharma companies deal with population-health issues.