Novartis announced Wednesday that it will work with Amazon’s cloud-computing unit to build a data and analytics platform that seeks to “re-invent” the way medicines are manufactured and delivered. “Four years ago, we started our journey with AWS (Amazon Web Services), and [since then] we’ve established some great capabilities with leveraging innovation that comes from AWS and the cloud,” commented Novartis’ chief innovation officer Scott Sandschafer, adding “in this new collaboration, we’re going to be able to take it to the next level, looking at our ability to make manufacturing smarter.”
According to Amazon, Novartis and AWS are jointly developing so-called “insight centres” that will provide “a cloud-native and ultra-scalable environment where existing big data processing technology can be run with minor changes…but at lower cost.” Amazon highlighted that the partnership will allow Novartis to improve inspections of manufacturing sites by analysing images using computer algorithms and to monitor risks such as unplanned downtime or delayed orders.
It added that as these insight centres take in more real-time data, Novartis will be able to create sophisticated machine learning models to advance its operational forecasting. “Novartis will soon be able to fully leverage AWS’s machine learning and AI (artificial intelligence) services to predict machine failure, develop digital twins and build forecasting models of demand that will enable more efficient supply.”
Novartis will look at extending the technology to areas beyond manufacturing, including supply chain and distribution, said chief digital officer Bertrand Bodson, a former senior group product manager at Amazon who joined the Swiss drugmaker last year.
The latest collaboration follows an AI agreement Novartis signed with Microsoft in October to enhance its research efforts and speed the discovery and development of treatments.