Each month we profile an innovative, growing company from across the Greater South East of England. This month we spoke to Christian Hebenstreit, Managing Director of EMEA at Medidata, the leading global provider of cloud-based solutions for clinical research in life sciences. Christian heads up all operational functions in the region, playing an integral role in the development and execution of the company’s overall growth strategy and success within the EMEA market.


  • Can you explain what Medidata does? What are the key things our readers should know about what you do?

Medidata is the market leader in helping clients to run their clinical research more effectively, which involves capturing and managing the multitudes of data in a sufficient way.

We’re a cloud-based service provider, serving over 1000 clients across the globe; including global pharmaceutical companies, biotechs, diagnostic device firms, leading academic medical centres, and research organisations. Over 250 of our clients are based in Europe and 18 out of the 25 largest pharmaceutical companies run their clinical trials based on our platforms.


  • What is the one thing you are doing that no one else is, or that you’re doing better?

Medidata is providing a unified platform enhanced by pioneering analytics.  Some companies have good payment systems, whilst some companies specialise in data analytics. At Medidata, we are helping clients to accelerate the science and business of clinical research. But I think the biggest differentiator is our huge amount of experience and the amount of data we’re able to manage. There are competitors that are good in their specific area, but they are not proficient across many sectors.


  • How do you use big data innovation to transform clinical trials for sponsors, sites and patients?

There are a couple of things we’re constantly seeing in this new and innovative space in how clinical research has been carried out over the past two years. One thing is mobile health – data is increasingly generated from mobile devices.

The other shift is the use of data: the amount of data being produced is increasing, so we run more than 14,000 clinical trials over the past years together with our clients. The data comes from a pool of as many as four million patients, generating trillions of data points. We’re using technology which involves machine learning, artificial intelligence and big data to power trials that run faster, have less risk, are higher quality and require fewer resources.

We’re also working on secondary data, using all the data points that have been captured over the past couple of years, which allows us to set up clinical trials that are more effective and efficient.


  • London has been Medidata’s EMEA HQ for over a decade, is there something that makes London attractive to life sciences businesses?

Our office in London is our second largest; we employ over 200 people and half of our staff here are working on products to support the planning and managing of clinical trials. They are developers, engineers, coders and scientists.


  • What’s next for you?

The life sciences industry is entering an exciting era of technological and big data innovation and Medidata is well positioned to be the dominant force in the cloud computing space for clinical trials. We’re now focused on making use of the data we have collected. Medidata has a concept of ‘constant give and get’.

From a privacy point of view, every time a customer gives us anonymous data, they can access other data, and this is a big step forward to make the clinical trial more ethical and to set up clinical trials more effectively. As a result, these trials help patients receive better treatments faster. It helps pharmaceutical companies to find patients more easily, enabling more patients to participate in clinical trials without being restrained by physical locations. Finding a large number of matching patients is pivotal for clinical trials, and that’s where we come in, to make virtual trials, and in turn life-changing research, possible.


 For more information on Medidata, go to https://www.mdsol.com/en