Meet the EHDEN partners – Michael Arend

Michael Arend

VP, R&D IT Pharma Business Partner RWE, Digital Health, and External Innovation

Bayer AG

Introduce yourself and your company?

I’m Michael Arend and I work in Bayer's Research & Development IT team as business partner for the observational research functions at Bayer Pharmaceutical. My main assignments are on Real World Data & Evidence, Digital Health, and External Innovation Collaboration. I’m based in Berlin. In my day-to-day job I enjoy liaising between technology experts and scientists. In recent years, I’ve been contributing to several IMI projects: DO-IT and BD4BO; currently I’m working on EHDEN and Trials@Home. I’m also the Bayer representative on IMI's Strategic Governing Group (SGG) Digital Health & Patient-Centric Evidence Generation.

Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the life science fields of health care and nutrition, headquartered in Germany. Its products and services are designed to benefit people by supporting efforts to overcome the major challenges presented by a growing and aging global population. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development, and the Bayer brand stands for trust, reliability and quality throughout the world.

At Pharmaceuticals, our largest segment in terms of sales, we focus on researching, developing and marketing specialty-focused, innovative medicines and new treatment approaches that provide significant clinical benefit and value, primarily in the therapeutic areas of cardiology, oncology, gynecology, haematology and ophthalmology. In this way, we are addressing high unmet medical needs, and the growing requirements of patients, physicians, healthcare payers and regulatory agencies.

What is your role in EHDEN and what do you personally hope to get out of this role?

Acting as the Bayer lead in this initiative, I’m co-leading the EHDEN Work Package 1 and also involved in EHDEN Work Package 6, as far as outreach activities are involved. I’m have constant exchanges with various functions within our company to raise the awareness for and spread the word on EHDEN’s progress and achievements. Personally, my expectation is that EHDEN will establish a new collaborative way of conducting observational research, overcoming the boundaries of access to and secondary use of health data as well as improving the ability to measure health outcomes across geographies. I would call it a success if Bayer’s observational research teams would comprehensively perceive the EHDEN network as the primary choice for conducting analyses, prior to entering into bilateral differential agreements.

What would you consider success at the end of EHDEN?

As a target vision, upon completion of the EHDEN project, it should be perceived as the nucleus of a new paradigm for federated network analysis. My aspiration is that EHDEN will facilitate - and accelerate - achieving rigorous scientific results that are relevant for all stakeholders in the healthcare sector. Should EHDEN truly push the boundaries for observational research and set a new mark for a federated, high-quality secondary health data 'space', it will probably boost the consideration of real world data in healthcare decision making.

The EHDEN platform will be the Go-To Community that enables trusted and effective federated analyses for better health outcomes. This would ultimately reduce the burden of diseases for large patient populations in Europe, and beyond, by generating evidence faster and on a larger scale. If this is achieved, we can jointly demonstrate the value of therapies, treatment options, and make a difference in supporting patients to get access to medicines, irrespective of geographies. It’s likely an exceptional and extraordinarily impactful once-in-a-lifetime experience to be involved in such a high-aiming endeavour.