By Carl O’Donnell
(Reuters) – Data analytics company Palantir Technologies Inc was awarded a $44.4 million contract by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, a Palantir spokeswoman said, sending its shares up around 21%.
Bloomberg first reported the deal.
The three-year contract covers data and analytics services to the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) to speed its review of potential new medicines. It is one of dozens that Palantir has with the U.S. government.
Palantir also provides data analytics for the U.S. Army, and the National Institutes of Health, among others. It is working with the federal government on a system for tracking the distribution of expected COVID-19 vaccines as they are distributed to healthcare providers around the country.
Denver-based Palantir went public in September through a direct listing that valued it at more than $20 billion. Direct listings differ from traditional public offerings in that they do not raise any money but allow investors sell more shares.
Palantir’s shares have more than doubled since it went public. The company earned about half its revenue, $163 million, from its government contracting business in the most recent quarter. Palantir was co-founded by billionaire Peter Thiel in 2003.
(Reporting by Carl O’Donnell; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)