Identity management software company Exostar  has received a $5 million investment from Merck’s venture arm to expand its healthcare and life sciences business. This centers on secure data collaboration, because big pharma – as pretty much every healthcare-related operation -needs to operate more lithely in the new world of big data.

Data security’s become hugely paramount in the health space – from HIPAA compliance issues in EHRs, e-prescribing and interoperable medical devices whose data resides on a cloud. Pharma companies are becoming far more collaborative with one another, and secure data sharing plays a huge role as big pharma interacts with smaller biotechs, CROs and other external partners. This is clearly the rationale for why a pharma behemoth like Merck Global Health Innovation Fund has chosen to make a data security play.

The Merck fund invests in a number of health-related ventures, including the “health data liberation” category – meaning, it’s interested in enabling interoperability with cloud-based platforms, privacy and security, and data aggregation.

Exostar CEO Richard Addi says the Virginia-based company has already  it’s proved its supply chain and identity management mettle in industries like aerospace and defense – markets that have similar needs as healthcare for data security. Exostar says its life sciences identity hub includes more than 600 life science-focused companies, government agencies and university – supporting the collaboration between thousands of folks.

“Exostar’s secure cloud-based access and existing user base delivers a strong complement to the current and future needs of the data-driven healthcare industry,” Merck Global Health Innovation Fund managing director Joe Volpe said in a statement.

via Merck's venture arm invests in data security for academia, gov't & biotech collaboration.