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Sanofi, Alphabet Partner on A.I., Analytics

Assorted medical tools

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19 June 2019. Drug maker Sanofi and Alphabet, the parent company of Google, are collaborating on the use of artificial intelligence and analytics for more personalized health care. Financial and intellectual property aspects of the partnership announced yesterday were not disclosed.

Sanofi, based in Paris, is developing therapies for a wide range of diseases, including cancer, immune system disorders, blood diseases, neurological conditions, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. The company also says it’s researching new ways of treating disease, such as precision medicine and gene therapies, as well as combination and multi-targeted drugs . In addition, Sanofi says it already uses digital technologies, including artificial intelligence, to address chronic disorders.

In the new collaboration, Sanofi plans with the help of Alphabet to apply “deep analytics” to its company databases to better understand patients’ needs and tailor its therapies to meet those needs. The results, says the company, will be more personalized treatments and technologies to go along with therapies that help improve the health of patients and lower their costs.

Sanofi also plans to apply artificial intelligence to better forecast sales and align its supply chains, to help deal with geographic, logistics, and manufacturing factors affecting those business decisions. The company plans as well to migrate some of its business functions to Google Cloud, Alphabet’s shared database platform. The parties did not say which Alphabet/Google services are planned to be used with Sanofi’s research and development functions.

Alphabet or its subsidiaries are already taking part with Sanofi in other health-related joint ventures. As reported last month in Science & Enterprise, Sanofi is joining with drug makers Novartis, Otsuka, and Pfizer in Project Baseline with Verily Life Sciences, an Alphabet company, to streamline the conduct of clinical trials, making better use of digital technologies as well as friendlier to participants. The initiative says it’s developing standardized and interoperable trial enrollment processes, better integration with electronic health records, and more understandable dashboards and analytics for trial participants and managers.

In September 2016, Sanofi and Verily Life Sciences created a separate enterprise called Onduo to develop health management solutions for people with type 2 diabetes. The joint venture provides what it calls a virtual care program with smartphone-based tools and live coaches to help people with diabetes manage their conditions.

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Disclosure: The author owns shares in Pfizer.

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