Humana, Amgen team up on data-driven research venture

Humana building
One goal of Humana and Amgen's new partnership is to identify patients whose serious medical conditions are likely to result in an adverse outcome.

Humana is joining forces with Amgen, a major biotechnology company, on a multifaceted research venture that aims to improve health outcomes by delivering data-driven clinical insights. 

Amgen and Humana’s six initial projects will target an array of serious conditions, including cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, neurologic disorders, inflammatory diseases and cancer. The companies said they hope to expand their venture to additional therapeutic areas in the future.

Through the partnership, researchers will combine real-world evidence from the healthcare experiences of Humana's 13 million members with data from wearable devices, digital apps and Bluetooth-enabled drug delivery devices. They are also planning to conduct prospective observational studies.

The idea is to identify patients whose serious medical conditions are likely to result in an adverse outcome. That could help researchers develop algorithms that can predict patients’ risk—allowing for early intervention before an adverse outcome occurs.

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Humana’s ultimate goal in the partnership is to improve health outcomes for its members, said Laura Happe, Pharm.D., the company’s chief pharmacy officer. “At the same time,” she added, “we hope this research results in new tools and technology that support our provider partners who are on the journey to population health and value-based care.”

For Amgen’s part, “it is our hope that this collaboration with Humana, a first of its kind for Amgen, will cultivate value-based, integrated approaches to care that will focus on patients and benefit the healthcare system more broadly,” said Joshua Ofman, M.D., the company’s senior vice president of global value, access and policy.

The Humana-Amgen partnership is not the only example of an insurer teaming up with a biopharmaceutical company. Late last year, Aetna and Merck announced a venture called AetnaCare, which aims to use predictive analytics to improve care coordination and outcomes for patients with chronic conditions. 

Multiple insurers have also inked value-based pricing agreements with drug manufacturers, which link the price they pay for a particular treatment to its efficacy.