AI will help Novartis make personalized meds, says Amazon

Amazon says Novartis’ personalized medicines operations will benefit from AI and machine learning collaboration.

Novartis confirmed it had asked Amazon Web Services (AWS) to rejig is supply lines last week.

The drug firm said it “will leverage AWS’s broadest portfolio of cloud services to build an enterprise-wide data and analytics platform that will transform business operations.

Image: iStock/AdrianHancu

According to AWS, the plan is to use artificial intelligence and machine learning to “reimagine” the Swiss firm’s manufacturing, supply chain, and delivery operations.

The first step will involve setting up “Insight Centers” to provide “real-time visibility across its network of manufacturing operations and distribution centers,” AWS said.

It cited Novartis’ “Sense” system – which the Swiss firm uses to manage the production and distribution of clinical trial materials – as an inspiration.

Personalized meds

AWS said, “Insight Centers’ can enable manufacturing and planning teams to better forecast and track production, detect potential bottlenecks and then make adjustment recommendations to improve accuracy.

The firm cited personalized medicines as an area of application, explaining that centralizing inventory, quality and production data and applying AWS Internet of Things (IoT), analytics and machine learning (ML) will drive efficiencies.

“By centralizing this data [sic], Novartis data scientists can also experiment with new optimization models to help ramp up the production of innovative, personalized treatments that are more complex to make.”

Manufacturing audits

The partnership will also bolster oversight of Novartis manufacturing facilities.

According to Amazon, Novartis will use its IoT systems “to augment and improve visual inspections of its manufacturing sites.”

The tech firm explained the plan is to generate images of production lines that can be analyzed using computer algorithms to monitor for risks such as unplanned downtime or delayed orders.

Interoperability

Novartis’ collaboration with Amazon comes just months after the firm teamed up with tech rival Microsoft to revamp its drug discovery operations.

Under the earlier deal Novartis – which also involves the use of AI – said it would “establishing an AI Innovation Lab to empower associates to use AI across our business.”

A Novartis spokesman told us “It’s not Amazon rather than Microsoft, but really two alliances that add to our overall Data & Digital strategy.

“Novartis continues to build on the Microsoft partnership to achieve the goals of the AI innovation lab, and, at the same time, will continue to leverage targeted partnerships and world leading expertise to drive our transformation into an innovative medicines company powered by data and digital – the AWS alliance is one step in that direction.”

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