Lee Evans, former president of re-absorbed SAS subsidiary iBiomatics, is launching a new venture as president of MedNetics, a new biosurveillance technology company. It is a subsidiary of Durham-based human health research organization Analytical Sciences.

MedNetics will help provide pharmaceutical companies with the collection, storage and surveillance of medical data in order to speed up the development and approval process of new drugs, and to provide medical officials with a means to rapidly disperse patient information in the face of a bioterror incident, according to a statement released by the company.

In the statement Evans says: “Our focus is to help biopharmaceutical customers protect, enhance and discover new value in the vital intellectual property of biomedical research and development. We will do this by gathering disparate biomedical data from a wide range of sources and by creating secure, online knowledge exchanges that clients can access and analyze to streamline the discovery and development of new therapies.”

The statement also provides information taken from a Tufts university study that shows it costs pharmaceutical companies more than $800 million to get new therapies to the market, and another study by the Gartner Group that finds tightening this process could save as much as $2.5 million spent each day trying to get new medicines approved.

But Bears, Stearns & Co. analyst Ronald Renaud, who follows the moves of large biotechnology firms, tells Local Tech Wire that he is not aware of high demand for biosurveillance services and has not heard of company executives who are overly concerned about security measures, indicating that it may be some time before MedNetics turns a profit.

ASI, however, is providing glimpses into its finances fabric that show it in a good position to help nurture MedNetics as it struggles to get moving. In the statement ASI asserts that the privately held company has grown 42 percent during the last 10 years, including 48 percent annual growth in 2001. Following last year’s acquisition of United Information Systems, Inc., the company now has 430 employees who contribute to the generation of $50 million in annual revenues.

Mednetics Web site: