Does AI Dream of Electric Patents?
To reap the rewards of artificial intelligence and machine learning, biotech companies must overcome the legal, regulatory, and commercial hurdles
Amy Nick | | Longer Read
Developments in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are playing an increasingly influential role in the pharma sector. FDA approvals of AI algorithms have increased exponentially over the past few years (1), and the AI healthcare market is predicted to reach US$6.6 billion by 2021 (2). A 2019 survey of pharmaceutical and biotech professionals by ICON suggested that 80 percent of survey respondents were using, or planning to use, AI technologies (3). The trend has driven the formation of new partnerships between the tech and healthcare industries; for example, AI startup Concerto HealthAI is currently working with BMS, Pfizer, and Astellas, to support precision oncology initiatives, while Roche’s acquisition of Flatiron Health and Foundation Medicine provided proof-of-concept that clinically meaningful insights can be generated through large-scale analysis of genomic and clinical data (4). Meanwhile, major tech players, such as Google, IBM and Microsoft, have all taken steps into the biotech space; among other developments, 2019 saw the announcement of several new healthcare-related collaborations by Alphabet-owned Verily (5), and a partnership between Microsoft and Novartis aimed at integrating AI across clinical development and commercialization (6).
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