Novartis Pins Hope On Data Science, AI For Drug Discovery

Swiss drug maker Novartis is moving from its conventional discovery methods to emerge as a focused medicine company, powered by advanced therapy platforms by building data science and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities. The company has collaborated with Microsoft for AI Innovation Lab and Amazon Web Services (AWS) to build an enterprise-wide data and analytics platform that will change the way medicines are manufactured and delivered.

Speaking at the BioAsia 2020 in Hyderabad, Vasant (Vas) Narasimhan, Novartis global chief executive officer, said, “We are aiming to transform how we create innovative medicines, engage with patients and healthcare providers, and improve operational efficiency. Ultimately, we are re-imagining medicine with data science and AI.” The enterprise-wide data and analytics platform is expected to form the foundation for custom solutions, powered by AWS artificial intelligence and machine learning services, to help drive agility, innovation, and cost efficiencies across Novartis global business processes and systems. “As we continue evolving into a focused medicines company powered by advanced therapy platforms and data science, alliances like this will help us deliver on our purpose to re-imagine medicine to improve and extend patients’ lives,” he said. Using AWS, Novartis can access inventory, quality, and production data across its network. It can apply AWS internet of things (IoT), analytics and ML services to gain greater visibility and help drive efficiencies.

Meanwhile, the company launched the Novartis Biome India, its digital innovation hub aimed at boosting the connection and interaction between Novartis and partners from across the digital ecosystem ― from nimble start-ups and academia to the biggest players in the industry. The first in Asia, Novartis Biome India will act as a bridge to the external ecosystem, enabling the drug major’s teams to better discover, develop and drive collaborations that ensure scalable solutions for patients.

By joining this global network, the Novartis Biome India can tap into the assets and expertise of the broader Novartis portfolio to have even greater impact, including access to anonymised data, customised residency programmes and personalised mentoring. “With the first Novartis Biome in Asia being launched in India, we will use data and digital to improve and extend people’s lives,” Sanjay Murdeshwar, country president, Novartis India, said. “We want to leverage this ecosystem to work with start-ups and innovators to disrupt healthcare in the country and perhaps the world. We will work closely with internal and external partners in pursuit of high value, potentially disruptive innovations,” Naveen Gullapalli, head, Novartis Hyderabad, said.

Gullapalli said Biome India was designed to serve as a collaboration space, creating an ecosystem for all stakeholders interested in innovation to come together ― going beyond serving as an incubator for start-ups. “Biome India is designed to look at specific solutions to larger problems. Our Hyderabad operations contribute significantly to the entire lifecycle from drug development to commercialisation, be it providing the technology infrastructure to monitor clinical trials or digital lighthouse projects or business processes. We look forward to becoming self-disruptive, and providing solutions with exponential impact on our ambition to accelerate the process of bringing a drug to market and achieving operational excellence,” he said. “Novartis Business Services X, or NBSX, is our own ‘edge’ organisation, right here in Hyderabad, which aims to disrupt innovation and bring in exponential (10X) value to all that we do within the organisation for the larger benefit of patients,” he added.-Financial Express

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