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Teva team up with IBM to tackle two challenges facing the pharma industry

Published on 27/10/16 at 09:27am

Teva Pharmaceuticals and IBM have announced a partnership that will use IBM Watson Health Cloud with the aim of finding new treatment options and to improve chronic disease management. The partnership will be a three-year research collaboration using the IBM’s computing power to investigate the potential repurposing of existing drugs.

Repurposing existing drugs has become a big part of the pharmaceutical industry of late. With 30% of regulatory approvals by the FDA being application for existing drugs or vaccines with newly found uses. Repurposing drugs is obviously a much cheaper route to market for drug companies, allowing them to avoid the expensive development costs of discovering new drugs.

The second part of the agreement will see the two companies working together to combat widespread chronic diseases. This will combine Teva’s therapeutic technologies with IBM Watson’s cognitive computing. The chronic disease management collaboration will combine cloud-connected drug delivery and app technology with the ‘six million data points’ processed by Watson to provide insights. The hope is that IBM’s Watson may be able to calculate the potential risk of certain events, such as an asthma attack, which Teva could then relay directly to the caregiver or patient, via an app or other software.

 “Teva envisions a future where we can empower patients and their families to better understand diseases, like asthma, and cope with health challenges in a more systematic, data-driven manner, with the ability to be proactive, rather than reactive,” said Rob Koremans, president and CEO of Teva Global Specialty Medicines. “In doing so, we aim to cut treatment costs by providing patients, payers, healthcare providers and caregivers with relatable data that can inform action and insights into a patient’s total disease management plan.”

“Working together, Teva and IBM create an unprecedented opportunity to help doctors and patients worldwide achieve the promise of personalized healthcare,” said Deborah DiSanzo, general manager for IBM Watson Health. “IBM and Teva’s announcements today are notable for two reasons. First, IBM’s work with Teva extends from the biopharmaceutical research bench to an individual’s medicine cabinet -- underscoring the power of Watson cognitive computing across life sciences and healthcare. Second, this work includes the first integration of data from The Weather Company with the Watson Health Cloud, a milestone and demonstrable of how the definition of ‘health data’ is evolving.”

Ben Hargreaves

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