Sanofi puts AI ‘Plai’ app at the center of drug discovery and clinical trial operations

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The French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi has unveiled a new AI-powered app called Plai, developed in partnership with AI platform Aily Labs. This move is part of Sanofi’s plan to become the pioneer in fully integrating AI into all operations, according to CEO Paul Hudson.

Plai, designed to compile and process Sanofi’s internal data from various departments, creates bespoke “what if” scenarios to guide decision-making. Sanofi aims to exploit Plai’s analytical capabilities to enhance strategic planning.

From ChatGPT and Google Maps to Plai

Sanofi’s AI aspirations are longstanding. In 2022, the company launched its inaugural digital accelerator, supporting the adoption of digital, data and AI across operations. That same year, Sanofi acquired Amunix Pharmaceuticals, tapping its AI technology to develop targeted cancer therapies that spare healthy tissue.…

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Driving pharma lab digitalization forward with LIMS

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The digitalization battle in pharmaceutical labs has heated up in recent years. Factors contributing to the trend include mounting pressures of rapid technological evolution, increasing regulatory requirements and a growing demand for efficiency and accuracy in all facets of laboratory operations. A central player in this transformative journey is the laboratory information management system (LIMS), a digital platform designed to manage all the data and processes in a lab, from sample tracking to reporting and quality control.

While LIMS is a game-changer for the pharma industry, with the potential to dramatically increase productivity, reduce errors and ensure compliance with regulatory standards, many labs are lagging in terms of LIMS adoption. The reasons for this are far ranging, including from financial constraints to fear of change and a lack of understanding about the benefits of…

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Working backwards: AWS’s strategy for pharma’s cloud-enabled transformation

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The meteoric rise of the AI sector is hard to fathom. Projections from Precedence Research suggest that the global AI market could balloon by 2600% from 2022 to 2032, hitting $1.87 trillion — an annual growth rate of 39%.

In pharma, AI and data science demand is surging though overall growth is sluggish. Despite advances such as the rapid development of COVID-19 vaccines, the broader sector has struggled to keep up with the overall stock market. But the future could tell a different story. McKinsey projects that the pharma and medical products sector could gain 9% in EBITDA from cloud computing.

To tap this potential, cloud vendors are allying with pharma companies. “Nine of the top 10 pharma companies in the world have a large majority of the workloads running on AWS,” noted Tehsin Syed, general manager of AWS Health. These workloads encompass diverse areas including IT infras…

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McKinsey has a digital prescription for pharma processing

Digital plant maturity model. Image courtesy of Emerson.

Given the recent surge in interest in generative AI, it’s no wonder that consultancies like McKinsey are making hay of the situation. The consultancy recently argued that “Rewired pharma companies will win in the digital age.” In a separate feature, it noted that generative AI could boost biopharma R&D productivity by billions, as we reported on Drug Discovery & Development.

It is true that the pharma sector faces significant headwinds as digital and analytical capabilities reshape healthcare. To keep up with this rapid pace of change, McKinsey argues that pharma companies must tap digital technologies to improve patient outcomes, increase efficiency and drive growth. Many firms are hiring chief digital and technology officers, it noted, but digital adoption in pharma generally remains at an early phase.

Building a solid d…
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Sanofi bets on AI-powered decision making

Unveiling Sanofi’s AI-powered pharma strategy, the French pharma giant announced its plans to tap AI for insights across the company. With “plai,” an internal app, AI is utilized to provide real-time data supporting decision-making.

Sanofi’s goal, as CEO Paul Hudson stated in a news release, is to become the first pharma company powered by AI at scale, “giving our people tools to make better everyday decisions.”

How Sanofi’s AI-powered pharma strategy compares to other industry moves

Several other companies have initiated similar AI-powered moves over the years. For instance, in December 2016, Pfizer and IBM inked a deal to use IBM Watson for drug discovery in immuno-oncology. Roche has explored using machine learning for diabetes diagnostics while companies like Novartis have advertised hundreds of AI hires in recent years.

Challenges of AI in healthcare and Sanofi’s AI-powered pharma strategy

Yet, deploying AI in healthcare sett…

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