Advanced computing

Advances computing Agency Consulting firm Experts Specialists Consultancy

The Alcimed Healthcare team has been exploring the opportunities offered by the digitalization of R&D activities in the pharmaceutical industry for many years. Today, the challenges linked to advanced computing in R&D, and to quantum computing in R&D in particular, are all new themes to explore. Our teams are positioned to help our clients anticipate upheavals and changes in their activities.

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    The challenges related to advanced computing in research and development

    Advanced computing in R&D is already a reality in the pharmaceutical industry where computer tools are key elements used for the discovery and development of new drugs, whether in silico modeling of molecular structures, modeling interactions between a drug and its target, metabolism simulations, response prediction, etc. Nevertheless, these models are still limited to molecular structures or relatively simple interactions.

    Quantum computing in R&D, on the other hand, goes one step further. Several industries are due to benefit from advances in quantum computing in the coming years, with the pharmaceutical industry likely to reap the greatest impact. The technology is expected to transform the early stages of pharmaceutical research and development in the coming decades, depending on how companies make the most of it. The technology is still emerging and is gradually reaching a state of maturity before being commercialized.

    Quantum computing will make it possible to address certain challenges in the pharmaceutical industry. It will also create new ones, particularly in the process of drug discovery and design.

    The challenges of advanced computing technology in pharmaceutical research and development include:

    Advanced computing in R&D is already a reality in the pharmaceutical industry, and quantum computing appears to be very promising for pharmaceutical research and development.

    Although the technology is not yet fully mature, some pharmaceutical companies are already positioning themselves.

    • Biogen is working with quantum computing software company 1QBit as well as with Accenture Labs to develop an application for accelerating drug discovery.
    • Boehringer Ingelheim is the first pharmaceutical company to have partnered in early 2021 with Google Quantum AI to develop applications for the simulation of molecular dynamics.
    • Roche is working with Cambridge Quantum Computing, a quantum software company, to design R&D algorithms, particularly for research into Alzheimer’s disease.
    • BMS made a prepayment of USD 50 million to Exscientia to extend the collaboration started in 2019 with Celgene aimed to accelerate the discovery of drug candidates in 7 therapeutic areas, in a deal that could ultimately generate up to USD 1.2 billion.

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      How we support you in your projects related advanced computing in R&D

      Supporting technological innovation for more than 25 years, Alcimed helps its clients on the themes of advanced computing in R&D as well as quantum computing in R&D. We are already supporting several players in the pharmaceutical industry in their R&D digitalization issues using such computing tools and in silico experiments.

      Examples of recent projects carried out for our clients in advanced computing

      • Mapping of actors present in the in silico sector and having advanced computing in pharmaceutical R&D applications

        The R&D division of one of our clients, a leading player in the pharmaceutical industry, wanted to identify potential partners in the in-silico field, meaning offering complex calculation tools and computer models.

        In order to support our client in achieving this objective, our teams have mapped out in-silico players, offering pharmaceutical applications. Through an exhaustive bibliographic search and in-depth interviews with several opinion leaders in the sector, our teams were able to identify the main trends in the sector, the most promising applications and approaches, as well as obtain a precise vision of the main players active on the subject. The market dynamics of the next 3 years were also studied, as well as the different technologies meeting our client’s criteria.

        Finally, the players in the sector identified were described on the basis of the technologies and offers proposed, the quality of their proofs of concept, their applications, their business models and their already existing partnerships.

      • Identification of the opportunities offered by artificial intelligence for the R&D activities of a player in the pharmaceutical industry

        Our team supported a leading pharmaceutical player in analyzing the opportunities offered by the use of artificial intelligence solutions in its R&D processes. The objective of our teams was to make our client’s teams aware of the latest developments in the academic world and competing pharmaceutical companies in the field.

        To do so, we carried out a state of the art of AI in R&D in the world, presenting the field of possibilities illustrated by concrete cases of competitors. Following this initial work, we supported our client in the integration of artificial intelligence technologies int its R&D activities, and helped it launch first internal pilot projects.

      • Search for Advanced Computing service partners to outsource the analysis of the translational R&D data pipeline of a pharmaceutical leader

        The translational and bioinformatics R&D team of one of our clients, a top 10 pharmaceutical player, conducts advanced analyses on the integration and interpretation of very large multivariate data sets from different technological platforms (e.g. immunohistological, genomic and genetic, clinical, cytometry etc.).

        Faced with the increase in their activity and the need to maintain very high quality standards and to resolve the limitations of certain internal developments, our client called on our team to explore and qualify the existence of partner companies to which they could delegate part of their data pipeline to analyze. The needs concerned Advanced Analytics approaches in 3 specific areas (NGS, multiple genomic annotation, Cloud Computing Biostatistical Analysis Framework) and with high technical constraints of environment and collaboration, human skills and business stability.

        After defining very precisely the constraints and the latitude zones, we carried out two stages of screening and profiling of candidate companies, before carrying out directly with them and their ecosystems an in-depth analysis in order to define the most relevant partnerships, their advantages and disadvantages. Finally, we supported our client in the convergence towards a final selection of partners to be engaged during a workshop. Not only were these partnerships materialized, but our client asked us to reproduce a similar approach in other areas of Advanced Computing skills!

      • Valuation of a high-performance computing platform in the fields of Health

        We supported a start-up from a large Research Institute in Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence, to define its priority application markets and its development strategy in the healthcare industries.

        This company had developed an innovative neural network technology and a calculation preparation methodology allowing a very significant increase in processing power (computing) as well as an intelligent parallelization of the analyzes. It was initially positioned in the fields of Physics and sought to open a new development path towards Health.

        We helped them first identify and segment, in the Healthcare industries, the applications relevant to their approach. Then, through a field investigation and a multi-criteria analysis, we selected priority areas.

        Finally, we helped them, in the fields of application selected, understand the profiles of the companies and functions to be approached as well as define for each field the value proposition that would echo the concrete needs identified with them.

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