Peter Thiel’s Palantir scores contract with the FDA to speed up regulatory reviews as delays keep growing – Endpoints News

Peter Thiel’s Palantir scores contract with the FDA to speed up regulatory reviews as delays keep growing – Endpoints News

Pe­ter Thiel, the bil­lion­aire lib­er­tar­i­an who qui­et­ly backed away in 2020 from his once-ar­dent sup­port of Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, is no stranger to gov­ern­ment con­tracts. His com­pa­ny Palan­tir has se­cured dozens of con­tracts with the feds and now has an­oth­er big fish on the hook.

Pe­ter Thiel

Palan­tir, the Den­ver-based da­ta and an­a­lyt­ics com­pa­ny Thiel co-found­ed in 2003, en­tered in­to an agree­ment this week with the FDA as the gov­ern­ment agency strug­gles to keep up with a surge of reg­u­la­to­ry ap­proval needs due to the Covid-19 pan­dem­ic.

As part of a three-year, $44.4 mil­lion con­tract, the FDA will use Palan­tir’s soft­ware to ex­pe­dite da­ta and an­a­lyt­ics ser­vices through the Cen­ter for Drug Eval­u­a­tion and Re­search with the goal of speed­ing up the re­view of po­ten­tial new med­i­cines and prod­ucts such as hand san­i­tiz­ers. Bloomberg first re­port­ed the ex­is­tence of the con­tract.

Ham­strung by Covid-re­lat­ed lock­downs, the FDA in re­cent months has had to de­lay nu­mer­ous ap­proval process­es for myr­i­ad drugs — main­ly due to fa­cil­i­ty in­spec­tion re­quire­ments made more dif­fi­cult by pan­dem­ic trav­el re­stric­tions.

Re­cent pub­li­cized FDA de­lays have in­clud­ed Bris­tol My­ers Squibb’s CAR-T liso-cel, Spec­trum‘s neu­trope­nia can­di­date Rolon­tis and dax­i­bot­u­linum­tox­i­nA, a frown-line in­jec­tion from Re­vance. Be­yond that, it’s un­known ex­act­ly how far be­hind the agency is on re­view process­es, but the out­sourc­ing of cer­tain re­view process­es to Palan­tir soft­ware could help of­fi­cials clear out the back­log.

Palan­tir has long worked close­ly with the US gov­ern­ment, a re­la­tion­ship which has on­ly grown clos­er since the pan­dem­ic be­gan. The com­pa­ny, Bloomberg al­so re­port­ed, has se­cured over 100 con­tracts with pri­vate com­pa­nies and gov­ern­ment health groups — in­clud­ing soft­ware that gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials have said is crit­i­cal to the Op­er­a­tion Warp Speed mis­sion to in­oc­u­late Amer­i­cans with a COVID-19 vac­cine.

Palan­tir went pub­lic on the Nas­daq at the end of Sep­tem­ber, with an ini­tial di­rect list­ing of $10 per stock share — trans­lat­ing to a val­u­a­tion of $22 bil­lion. The an­nounce­ment of the FDA con­tract alone boost­ed com­pa­ny shares 21% on Tues­day, and $PLTR is cur­rent­ly val­ued at $28.59 per share.

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