Sanofi taps AI firm Yseop to automate trial report writing

Sanofi will use artificial intelligence to automate aspects of clinical trial report writing in a bid to speed up its drug development efforts.

The French pharma announced an expansion of its partnership with AI technology developer Yseop on Thursday. Under the deal, Sanofi will use Yseop’s natural language processing system to speed up its clinical study submission processes by analyzing data and automating the production of key documentation.

The aim is to help “Sanofi transform data into high-quality narratives and regulatory submission reports, at scale and error free,” Yseop CEO Emmanuel Walckenaer told FierceCRO.

“Generating CRSs [clinical study reports] is a tedious step before submitting new drugs for approval, often taking weeks or months to produce,” Walckenaer said. “Automating CSR writing with our technologies has helped reduce report writing times by an average of 40%.”

Sanofi will pay a subscription fee for use of the AI technology, with the subscription linked to the number of submissions performed every year. “This very flexible pricing matches the needs of all biopharma companies, large or small, securing a tangible high ROI for all customers,” the CEO added.

“We forecast that the Yseop solution will be involved, for Sanofi and other customers, in more than 100 clinical trials in the next 12 months."

The deal expands on a collaboration between Yseop and Sanofi established in 2017, which saw the two companies—both headquartered in Paris—automate portions of Sanofi’s clinical trial safety report writing processes.

News of their latest partnership comes a week after Sanofi launched its “digital accelerator” —a program designed to use digital technology, data and AI to change how the pharma develops medicines.

The Paris-based program—which will build a 300-strong team over the next two years—will focus on specific therapeutic projects. The first of these will be addressing unmet needs in patients suffering from atopic dermatitis in France, Italy and Spain, Sanofi said.

The agreement also follows less than a year after Sanofi forged a deal to use AI developer Owkin’s technology in several areas, including the optimization of its clinical trial recruitment processes. In January, Sanofi teamed up with Exscientia on a research collaboration focused on the development of an AI-driven pipeline of precision-engineered medicines

For Yseop, the Sanofi accord comes weeks after Eli Lilly signed up to use its technology in an agreement that was indicative of wider growing demand, Walckenaer said.

“We are glad to work with almost half of the top 20 pharma companies in the world,” the CEO said. “These collaborations bring us a massive competitive advantage as we are constantly improving our solution to match the needs of one of the most demanding companies in the world, expanding the scope of automation to an unprecedented level.”