How Accenture and AWS are upgrading Merck’s IT and drug discovery R&D engine

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Historically, the pharma sector has exhibited a degree of caution in adopting emerging technologies such as cloud computing and AI, given the sector’s stringent regulatory requirements, data security concerns, and the complexities involved in integrating new systems into legacy processes.

The situation is beginning to shift considerably with the COVID-19 pandemic, in particular, acting as a catalyst, compelling many Big Pharma companies to accelerate their digital initiatives. Pfizer, Sanofi, Novartis, AstraZeneca, and other Big Pharma companies have unveiled ambitious initiatives tapping cloud computing and AI technologies, aiming to streamline various aspects of drug discovery and development.

Inside the Accenture-AWS-Merck pharma alliance

For instance, Merck in 2021 forged an alliance with Accenture and AWS to update its IT infrastructure and facilitate advanced drug discover…

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Moderna leans on RSV vaccine, AI and a diversified pipeline to regain competitive edge

Moderna surged to prominence thanks to its rapid development of a competitive COVID-19 vaccine. Since the early days of the pandemic, however, the company has struggled to maintain its momentum. Year-to-date, its stock is down close to 40%, trading around $110 per share.

Adapting to COVID-19 variants

The company hopes that its development of vaccines for the XBB.1.5 COVID-19 variant will help bolster financial performance. “We are now awaiting approval to start for our updated COVID-19 vaccine applications to regulators globally,” Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel said.

Developing a robust pipeline

Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel has stressed in the past that Moderna is more than a COVID-19 company. “Our commercial team is also preparing for the 2024 launch of our next respiratory commercial product,” Bancel said. This product in question, a vaccine for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) could potentially compete against products from GSK and Pfizer, among others.

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