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Accelerator-Alumni Semalytix wins Market Research Excellence Award

Semalytix wins prestigious Market Research Excellence Award by the EphMRA association in the category “Future Leaders”

Semalytix was founded in 2015 in Bielefeld, evolving from a research project of CITEC (Center for Cognitive Interaction Technology). The co-founder team joined the very first Founders Accelerator program (back then called “Founders Camp”). After a successful product-market-fit Semalytix launched its main product, the Pharos Suite, in 2018. Ever since Semalytix has grown into a successful company, comprising a staff of around 80 people from more than 22 nations – diversity put in practice.

Again, Semalytix has been awarded for its technical excellence and innovation: The EphMRA organization, the largest professional network worldwide fostering excellence and standards in healthcare market research has singled out Semalytix’ submission as winner in the category “Future Leaders – Case Study Awards”.

Semalytix has received the award for a study performed together with Boehringer Ingelheim in collaboration with Ben Collins and Wael R. Ayad.

In the following you can read their full press release.

Giving millions of patients a voice in drug development

Semalytix has developed an innovative data- and artificial intelligence-driven market research approach that helps to put patients and their environment at the center of product development activities, with the goal of optimizing treatment and care pathways. Going beyond current market research methods that rely on focus groups or one-on-one interviews, the method developed by Semalytix acquires patient experience data from online sources (forums, social media) where patients actively discuss their reality with the disease and extracts patient insights in real time in order to yield a more comprehensive and holistic picture of patients’ needs. The method quantifies the findings related to the patient experience while at the same time offering qualitative explanations by providing access to the unsolicited and unfiltered voices of real patients reporting their experience.

The award-winning study

In the study awarded, Semalytix applied the method described above to generate insights about the experience of parents of patients suffering from Crohn’s disease. The goal of the study was to understand the experience with different modes of administration, i.e. pen, syringe, IV. Insights generated from online patient experience data uncovered hidden unknowns that reflected the non-financial and quality-of-life impacts of Crohn’s disease on patients focusing on the larger social and familiar environment.

The study uncovered a preference among some children and their parents for hospital-administered IV infusions, as these were generally less painful, more appropriately dosed, and less frequent than the at-home injections used by a majority of adult patients. For many parents, nurse-administered treatment in a clinic at a scheduled time every three months removed the burden of persuading a reluctant child to undergo treatment at home on a weekly or three-weekly basis. It also offered more flexibility to travel in between the quarterly infusions.

The Pharos suite: a strategic solution for patient-centricity in the pharmaceutical industry

The benefit of the patient listening approach developed by Semalytix is that it allows to capture patient experiences and insights at a larger scale and to understand the environment in which patients live at a depth so far not possible, including quality of life aspects such as physical and psychological well-being but also factors affecting their social and familiar environment. The method is part of the Pharos suite, a strategic solution to support patient-centricity along the whole drug development lifecycle.


By Philipp Cimiano


Philipp Cimiano is co-founder and CTO of Semalytix. He is professor for semantic technologies and artificial intelligence at Bielefeld University. He is head of the semantic computing group at the Center for Cognitive Interaction Technology (CITEC) at Bielefeld University.

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