Microsoft is partnering with Novartis, as Switzerland based pharmaceutical company, to use use artificial intelligence to improve drug discovery. The company aims to use AI to enhance research into developing new treatments for many of the health issues that are still without a cure.
Microsoft says that the partnership will help provide solutions to challenges when it comes to drug development, including research, trials, manufacturing, and even finance. The two companies can also address other challenges such as increasing the efficiency of analyzing huge sums of data and allow associates to easily share each others’ work.
In the announcement video, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella explains:
“That's why I'm so optimistic about this strategic partnership we're announcing today with Novartis, which brings together the life sciences expertise with the power of Azure and Microsoft AI. Together we will work to answer some of the most challenging questions facing the life sciences industry today.”
Data scientists from Microsoft will work with Novartis research teams to investigate new ways on how AI can be used in three different areas. The first is to address challenges for personal treatment for macular degeneration, a disease that leads to irreversible blindness. Second, the companies want to look into using AI to increase the efficiency of manufacturing new gene and cell therapies for those with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. And lastly, they will work on ways to use neural networks to generate, screen, and select promising models to help improve the time it takes to create new medicines.
In addition to this partnership, Microsoft also worked with Novartis in 2016 in the past to help doctors access multiple sclerosis using the Kinect. The more recent partnership definitely makes a lot of sense, especially as Microsoft pushes to try to be the leader when it comes to AI advancements.
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