Takeda, the largest biopharmaceutical company in Asia, has recently announced a five year partnership with Accenture and Amazon Web Services, to expedite its digital transformation. The collaboration will leverage cloud and data-driven insights to accelerate drug development, modernize platforms, reduce technology costs and teach employees new skills and ways of working.
This is part of a big trend: in fact, an increasing number of pharmaceutical companies are moving their R&D to the cloud. The Covid-19 pandemic has helped this process: the cost and time necessary to develop a new drug is constantly increasing. Covid-19 has shown this is no longer acceptable. Pharma companies need to stay competitive and be able to provide new drugs in a shorter time.
The solution goes through a digitalization of R&D, and cloud computing is a main part of it.
The pharma cloud computing market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 20.9% between 2018 and 2022
According to the ‘Cloud Computing in Healthcare’ Report by GlobalData, in recent years, investing in cloud computing technology has become an increased priority for healthcare organizations and networks. However, it turns out that healthcare companies are still concerned about data security and privacy, infrastructure availability, regulatory compliance, and a lack of the staff skills required to manage and maintain the technology.
In spite of this, the pharmaceutical cloud computing market size is expected to grow at a CAGR of 20.9% between 2018 and 2022, from $4.7 billion in 2017 to $12.1 billion in 2022.
This shows that pharma companies are aware of the need to shift from on-premise ERP solutions to the cloud. According to GlobalData, Covid-19 has brought cloud services to the forefront and forecasts show that the cloud services market will be worth $661 billion by 2024, having grown at a CAGR of 19% between 2019 and 2024.
‘Technology Vision 2019’, an annual reseach report by Accenture, reveals that 86% of life sciences organizations have adopted cloud-first strategies and new technologies to drive innovation, as of September 2019. The survey included 130 leaders in life sciences from 8 countries. The main trend shown by this report is DARQ (Distributed Ledgers, AI, Extended Reality solutions and Quantum Computing) Power: AI, machine learning, cloud computing, distributed ledger technologies, modeling and simulation and extended reality solutions applied in a lab, all contribute to reduce the cost and time of drug discovery and development.
What are the real advantages of moving to the cloud?
A recent Deloitte survey of more than 500 IT leaders and executives reveals the main reasons why organizations are choosing the cloud: for 37% of respondents the top driver is security and data protection, the second is data modernization (22%) and the third is Cost and performance of IT operations (15%) (source: Deloitte Insights, 2019).
For healthcare and pharma companies, investing in cloud computing, as recently shown by Takeda, means: accelerate the drug development process through cloud-based pharma ERP solutions; store large quantities of sensitive data in a way that is more secure than with traditional on-premise solutions; become more flexible, being able to move resources and team members where requested; reduce costs, by embracing a pay-per-use model.
Computational simulation is also a relevant part of this digital revolution: it is more and more frequently used in the cloud because it allows companies to become more resilient, to give their scientists access to computational resources wherever they are based (even if they are working from home). This is a key factor today due to the Covid-19 crisis, but it is also important when teams are located in different cities or countries. Unfortunately, this approach to simulation has a few flaws: even in-cloud software requires a specific know-how to be properly used, and the creation/validation of computational models is necessary to obtain outcomes that are accepted by the regulatory.
To overcome this limitations, InSilicoTrials offers healthcare and pharma companies a 100% cloud-based platform, where they can find computational models selected in the best universities, with a user-friendly interface and in a pay-per-use way. Our models do not require a specific expertise in digital simulation, since our engineers and developers made them extremely simple to use, and they are already aligned with the regulations, so that the outcomes can more easily be approved and certified (new medical devices) or registered (new drugs). This is our idea of democratizing simulation in Healthcare, to meet the needs also of SMEs and emerging startups, not only of the big players.