By Neil Saward, Chris Isler, and Mariko O’Neill, life sciences experts at PA Consulting Group
In a previous article, we wrote about the increasingly data-driven nature of the life sciences industry. We proposed that companies that harness new technologies and Big Data to generate insights will continue to have a competitive advantage for the foreseeable future. Here we explore some of these concepts in more detail.
Data has always been important to pharmaceutical companies. Think about all the data generated in drug discovery and in identifying promising candidates, through to clinical trials data that demonstrates the safety and efficacy of a drug. Without the right data, it would be impossible to drive a new molecule or technology through to market.
Due to a confluence of factors, the role of the right data and technology will increase significantly over the coming years and will shape the future of the life sciences industry. These developments include:
It is an exciting time! Some successes with technologies are already being publicized and many more are in trials. For example, this year, Janssen Research & Development, part of the J&J family of companies, used AI to increase efficiency of drug discovery by up to 250 times. Amgen is running an AI pilot to try to better diagnose osteoporotic fractures. AI is also being piloted to speed up the laborious process of redacting personal data from clinical submissions and to help reconcile clinical trial adverse events with safety databases.
The common thread is that all of these technologies are relying on data to derive insights. All major pharmaceutical companies are now exploring real-world evidence, which promises to unlock a treasure trove of insights on care pathways, phenotypes, disease progression, market behaviors, etc. For instance, this year Roche purchased Flatiron Health for $2 billion to acquire data insights from Flatiron’s network of clinics and research facilities as well as its core data capabilities. This will be increasingly useful for personalized medicine, data on drug usage, and a much broader set of patients than were involved in the clinical trial.
There are five steps necessary to thrive in this ever-increasing data and technology driven world:
The convergence of data and technologies provides an opportunity for companies to make a step change in innovation and performance. Those that successfully apply the strategies to all parts of the business, including drug discovery, clinical trials, and sales statistics, will thrive in an increasingly complex sector.
About The Authors:
Neil Saward is a life sciences expert at PA Consulting Group focused on managing complex technology programs. He helps clients to innovate and transform the way they do business by leading the architecture, evaluation, and deployment of new technologies to ensure that the right solutions are implemented, providing technical assurance to ensure that the programs deliver upon their goals, and driving the adoption of agile to help companies deliver IT programs faster and more effectively. Connect with him on LinkedIn.
Chris Isler is a life sciences expert at PA Consulting Group with an extensive background in integrated healthcare solutions and commercial development across Europe and the U.S. Working for one of world´s leading pharmaceutical companies, he pioneered the development and commercialization of patient-centric healthcare solutions by combining life science, behavior change, and technology approaches into holistic outcomes-based offerings.
Mariko O’Neill is a life sciences expert at PA Consulting Group focused on business design and innovation. Mariko works with emerging biotechnology companies to help them scale their operations to meet future ambitions, and with large pharmaceutical companies to help them simplify their processes and unlock the capabilities of their teams. Connect with her on LinkedIn.