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AI is revolutionising this industry. Right investments could lead to big profits

Number of AI agreements, employment, and patents has increased dramatically in recent years. Is the sector keeping up with the trend?Artificial Intelligence is Revolutionising this Industry. Right Investments Could Lead to Big Profits...

Several AI applications are gaining traction in how businesses are pushing innovation and developing business strategies.Premium
Several AI applications are gaining traction in how businesses are pushing innovation and developing business strategies.

Over the last few years, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) have become drivers of significant productivity across the pharmaceutical industry's value chain.

Several AI applications are gaining traction in how businesses are pushing innovation and developing business strategies.

Also with the recent pandemic, technology proved more important than ever for pharma companies to get drugs and vaccines to market faster than ever before.

AI has simplified and influenced the pharma sector in a variety of ways throughout the years, from developing new and better drugs to battling uncommon diseases.

These technologies have proved crucial in illness detection and diagnosis, identification of patients for clinical trials, medication manufacture, and predictive forecasting.

Let's take a look at how select companies are implementing AI with the hope of a brighter tomorrow...

1. AstraZeneca Pharma

This pharma major is one of the early adopters of AI in the healthcare sphere.

The company is one of the biggest contributors of the Covid-19 vaccine and uses AI to not just power Covishield vaccine, but also in other drug discoveries.

AstraZeneca Pharma is incorporating AI in every step of the research & development chain to make the drug-making process safer, quicker, and less costly.

AstraZeneca is using knowledge graph and image analysis to gather new insights about diseases and identify biomarkers 30% faster than human pathologists.

Besides, the company is also availing machine learning and chemistry automation to shorten the lengthy drug discovery process and cost by 75%.

The use of AI and related technologies could lead to many scientific discoveries going ahead.

AstraZeneca is a global, science-led biopharmaceutical business. The company produces major innovative medicines that are being used by millions of patients worldwide.

2. Pfizer

Pfizer has effectively used AI to conduct vaccine trials and streamline distribution.

Throughout its vaccine process, Pfizer took the help of AI to make the Covid-19 vaccine serve the purpose of people. Finally, the pharma business developed a highly effective vaccine that is 95% effective.

Even before the pandemic, Pfizer started digitising its research & development operations and implemented AI.

In 2016, the pharmaceutical company joined hands with IBM Watson for drug discovery. Today, Pfizer is still using IBM’s AI technology on its immune-oncology research, a strategy of using a body’s immune system to help fight cancer.

While human researchers can only read 200 to 300 science articles a year, technology ingested 25 million medicine abstracts, more than 1 million full-text medical journal articles, and 4 million patents, which eventually helped in Pfizer’s drug discovery.

Pfizer is a research-based global biopharmaceutical company. It’s engaged in the discovery, development, manufacture, marketing, sales and distribution of biopharmaceutical products.

3. GlaxoSmithKline Pharma

GlaxoSmithKline Pharma (GSK) uses cutting-edge artificial intelligence to innovate and transform many parts of its business.

For the last few years, the company is investing heavily in AI for drug development. Infact, it was one of the first to create an in-house AI unit.

Last year, GSK opened a £10m research hub in UK to leverage AI for the discovery of new drugs to treat cancer and other diseases.

AI will help the company to accelerate the pace at which they discover, develop and deliver transformational medicines, prioritising those molecules with a higher probability of successfully becoming a medicine that will improve patients’ lives.

GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals is one of the leading pharmaceutical companies in the India. It’s a subsidiary of GlaxoSmithKline plc, UK, one of the world's leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies.

AI Focused E-Pharmacy Start-Ups Backed By Marquee Investors

1MG: 1MG is a digital consumer healthcare platform, or an online pharmacy centre, that makes healthcare accessible, understandable, and affordable.

In the month of June 2021, Tata Digital, a 100% subsidiary of Tata Sons, acquired a majority stake in digital health start-up 1MG.

Netmeds: The e-pharmacy platform has garnered immense popularity in India in a short span of time.

Netmeds is one of the top online pharmacies in India that deals with a wide range of healthcare products like high-quality prescription medicines, over-the-counter pharmaceuticals, general health care products.

In August 2020, Reliance Industries acquired a majority stake in the online pharmacy Netmeds for about 6.2 bn in cash, days after e-commerce giant Amazon launched an online drug sales service in India.

PharmEasy: PharmEasy has developed a healthcare delivery platform to simplify and modernise the healthcare setup in India. The platform helps patients stay connected with various local pharmacy stores and outlets.

Data and technology are the driving factors behind a robust health and well-being ecosystem today. PharmEasy is leveraging both to strengthen healthcare in India.

Recently, API Holdings, the parent company of PharmEasy, has filed a draft red herring prospectus (DRHP) with market regulator.

API Holdings, which owns an umbrella of brands including PharmEasy, Thyrocare, Docon, Retailio, and Aknamed, plans to raise 62.5 bn in fresh equity shares in its proposed initial public offerings (IPO).

Some of its largest investors include South African Internet holding firm Naspers and Singaporean investment firm Temasek which hold 12.04% and 10.8% shares, respectively.

An overview on Health-Tech Market in India

The Indian health-tech market is expected to grow at a 39% compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) over the next three years. It’s expected to reach US$50 bn by 2033.

The health-tech market, which comprises of six segments - telemedicine, e-pharmacy, fitness, wellness, healthcare IT, analytics, home healthcare and personal health management, is currently worth about US$2 bn. This is less than 1% of the overall healthcare industry in India.

The pandemic and adoption of technology in healthcare has brought a quantum shift in the sector. In recent years, the country has seen some of the most significant deals, and the Indian health-tech sector has received close to US$ 1.6 bn in funding since 2017.

Robotics, machine learning and artificial intelligence, wearables and on-body gadgets, and blockchain, among other technologies, will have a huge impact on the future of healthcare.

The use of cloud infrastructure in healthcare record management, as well as a greater focus on digitalization of patient healthcare records, is expected to rise even further.

To conclude

With AI and machine learning gaining traction in other industries, the avenue for pharmaceutical and healthcare companies is catching up.

As one can see, it’s the multinationals that have taken the lead. It remains to be seen how the Indian pharma companies leverage on this in the years to come.

AI would undoubtedly speed up diagnostics and aid medical workers in gaining a better understanding of disorders.

Furthermore, AI is simplifying research effort, which is beneficial to scientists since it reduces time restrictions and contributes to the growth of safe and effective treatments.

Happy Investing!

This article is syndicated from Equitymaster.com


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Updated: 15 Nov 2021, 04:29 PM IST
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