Pfizer aims to accelerate drug development with AWS

The US pharmaceutical company Pfizer plans to use Amazon Web Services (AWS) to develop cloud-based applications that will accelerate the development, manufacture and distribution of new drugs as part of clinical trial tests, as Pfizer announced on Thursday. The pharmaceutical company is working closely with Amazon in the newly created initiative “Pfizer Amazon Collaboration Team” (PACT).

Specifically, PACT is concerned with how Amazon’s cloud functions can be used in areas such as analysis, machine learning, data processing, storage, security and cloud data warehousing for the laboratories, clinical production and in the clinical supply chains.

The companies are currently developing a prototype to use machine learning to identify anomalies in data points for continuous clinical drug manufacturing. According to Pfizer, the machine learning models in the previous prototype are already able to issue alarms at an early stage. Only a few false positive alarms occurred. This makes it possible to quickly identify problems in devices and sensors in the manufacturing process, predict maintenance requirements and reduce possible device downtimes.

In addition, Pfizer scientists are working with AWS experts on how useful data can be extracted and evaluated from existing drug development documents. The documents contain, among other things, data related to synthetic chemical processes, recipes, analytical tests and method developments as well as clinical manufacturing and batch reports. From the information extracted from the large amounts of data Pfizer hopesto gain important knowledge for the development of new drugs or the reuse of existing ones. A prototype system is being developed here that can automatically extract, record and process data to support the planning of laboratory experiments.

“Pfizer’s goal with AWS is to accelerate drug discovery and development processes that ultimately improve patient experiences and bring new therapies to market,” said Andrew McKillop, vice president of pharmaceutical science, global research and development Development at Pfizer, who is himself a doctor.


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