Takeda to transform into a 'cloud-first company' through Accenture, AWS partnership

As an increasing number of biopharmaceutical companies go all-in on artificial intelligence, Takeda has now committed to equipping each of its scientists with cloud-based research tools by the end of this decade.

The Japanese drugmaker is launching a five-year transformation initiative—with help from Accenture and Amazon Web Services—to establish an in-house digital engine for rethinking how the company does its day-to-day work. 

“My vision is that, in less than 10 years, every Takeda employee will be empowered by an artificial intelligence assistant to help make better decisions, enabling us to deliver transformative therapies and better experiences to patients, physicians and payers faster than previously possible,” President and CEO Christophe Weber said in a statement

Takeda plans to eventually move 80% of its drug development applications to the cloud, reducing its reliance on internal data centers and other unlinked programs. In addition, it aims to hire hundreds into new roles specialized in digital fields.

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So far, the company has worked with Accenture and AWS to help launch a data-sharing platform for clinical trials performed under the COVID R&D Alliance—a consortium of more than 20 drugmakers—in less than five days. Without the cloud computing support, Takeda estimated the project may have taken up to three months to get off the ground.

Accenture and AWS maintain their own decadelong partnership, which works to provide end-to-end adoption of cloud-based services.

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Elsewhere, Takeda’s plasma therapies unit plans to use the technology to link its collection centers and digitally streamline the donor experience as part of Takeda’s goal of increasing its plasma donation and manufacturing capacities by 65% through 2024.

Recently, Takeda—alongside CSL Behring, plus Emergent BioSciences and Grifols—began a phase 3 trial of plasma-based treatments for COVID-19, in an effort led by the National Institutes of Health to find a therapy that may boost effectiveness when combined with Gilead’s remdesivir antiviral.