Microsoft and Novartis are collaborating to use AI technology to find new ways to address the challenges underlying every phase of drug development, such as research, clinical trials, manufacturing, operations and finance.

Novartis CEO Vas Narasimhan says this would accelerate research into new treatments for many of the thousands of diseases for which there is, as yet, no known cure.

Under this alliance, Novartis associates will use Microsoft AI solutions to analyze large amounts of information and discover new correlations and patterns critical to finding new medicines.

Scope

Data scientists from Microsoft Research and research teams from Novartis will also work together to investigate how AI can help unlock transformational new approaches in three specific areas.

The first is about personalized treatment for macular degeneration – a leading cause of irreversible blindness.

The second will involve exploring ways to use AI to make manufacturing new gene and cell therapies more efficient, with an initial focus on acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

And the third area will focus on using AI to shorten the time required to design new medicines, using pioneering neural networks developed by Microsoft to automatically generate, screen and select promising molecules. 

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella says putting the power of AI in the hands of Novartis employees will give the company unprecedented opportunities to explore new frontiers of medicine that will yield new life-saving treatments for patients around the world.

With the depth and breadth of knowledge that Novartis offers in bioscience and Microsoft’s unmatched expertise in computer science and AI, both parties seek to reinvent the way new medicines are created.

Surely this would mark the start of an important collaborative effort that promises to have a profound impact on how breakthrough medicines and treatments are developed and delivered

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