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With immense participation from companies dedicating their resources to finding a cure for Covid-19, Aetion has recently partnered with the FDA to use their Evidence Platform to better explore the history of the disease and integrate real world evidence in finding the best treatment. This collaboration will produce fast and real-time results in a time-sensitive situation. With over hundreds of Covid-19 treatments and vaccines in trial, Aetion will be able to use their Evidence Platform to categorize patients, prescribed medications, and adverse effects, then create statistical analysis to decide on the best treatment per patient group.


Aetion, headquartered in New York with offices in Boston, Los Angeles and Paris, is a rapidly growing healthcare technology startup company showing groundbreaking results from the use of real world evidence (RWE). RWE is essentially collecting healthcare data from everyday clinical practice. Meaning, from doctors prescribing a patient a medication to how the patient reacts to that medication will be included in this data. Aetion also includes data from insurance claims, electronic health records, and clinical trials. The advantages of RWE over controlled clinical trial data is that RWE includes groups of population that are often excluded from clinical trials – such as children, elderly, and women of child bearing age. Additionally, RWE is able to make comparisons with factors that would often not be made in a controlled trial, like medication costs. The Aetion Evidence Platform recognizes that every patient reacts to medications differently. The platform is able to isolate a subset of results that a specific intervention caused. Having this powerful ability, companies using the Evidence Platform are able to make critical decisions that will save them time and money.

Pharmaceutical and health insurance companies benefit from real world evidence greatly. In the past Aetion worked with Horizon where the use of RWE saved them $5M per year. Aetion took Horizon’s data and was able to find that a small group of type-2 diabetes patients were using an inexpensive, less clinically effective medication instead of the relatively, costly, yet significantly effective, medication. Using the expensive medication was actually proven to be more cost-effective overall because it improves the patient’s health overall by preventing ER visits, surgeries and future medical complications. This discovery will not only help the insurance company but also benefit the manufacturer of that medication to help them better market the drug.

Still a young company, Aetion has received lots of recent endorsements and partnerships. In September 2019, Aetion announced Dr. Scott Gottileb, former FDA commissioner, as a board director. The addition of Dr. Gottileb to their board is a great testament of support to the use of RWE in drug development. One of the top pharmaceutical companies, Sanofi announced collaboration with Aetion in November 2019. Sanofi also has an established RWE platform, DARWIN and collaborating with Aetion will be increase their capabilities to perform better in making treatment decisions and drug discovery. McKesson has also announced collaboration with Aetion in October 2019 to advance their cancer research using RWE.

The current CEO of Aetion, Carolyn Magill, brings over 20 years of healthcare experience with several leadership titles and a passion to improve access to quality health care. She was CEO of Remedy Partners, Executive Vice President of Payer Strategies and Operations at Evolent Health and held several positions at UnitedHealth Group. During her time at UnitedHealth Group, she worked as Vice President of Medicare Special Needs Plans to help populations with chronic illnesses and small incomes. Magill also serves on the board of Parity.org, an organization focused on closing the gender gap in the highest levels of business. Magill obtained her undergraduate degree from Harvard University and MBA in healthcare management from Wharton School of Business.

With a disease so unknown and dynamic, FDA’s collaboration with Aetion will help prescribers make informed treatment decisions with Covid-19, hopefully decreasing the amount of hospitalizations. Aetion is a fast-growing company that is using technology to transform R&D into evidence to make confident decisions. This recent collaboration with the FDA envisions more healthcare breakthroughs for the company.

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