Technology Amgen Expands Amazon Partnership to Seek Generative AI Solutions

Amgen Expands Amazon Partnership to Seek Generative AI Solutions


In a concerted effort to enhance the discovery and manufacturing processes of pharmaceuticals, Amgen is broadening its longstanding alliance with the technology giant Amazon. More precisely, the company is expanding its decade-long relationship with Amazon Web Services (AWS), a highly utilized cloud platform, to develop generative artificial intelligence (AI) with the objective of augmenting the production efficiency of pharmaceuticals.

The collaborative endeavor seeks to leverage this advanced technology to enhance operations and promote sustainability at Amgen’s future assembly and final product packaging facility. This facility is scheduled to commence operations next year in the broader Columbus, Ohio, area.

The new Amgen facility is being meticulously designed to incorporate cutting-edge digital and automated technologies, featuring a connected platform on AWS utilizing Amazon SageMaker. SageMaker, a tool for constructing, training, and deploying machine learning models, will play a pivotal role in this initiative, as highlighted in an AWS press release.

The primary objective of this platform is to minimize the necessity for human intervention throughout the manufacturing process, among other objectives. Additionally, the system will facilitate the gathering and reporting of real-time performance metrics, seamlessly integrating them with machine learning models to foresee and avert equipment failures.

Over the last decade, Amgen and AWS have been actively engaged in the exploration of generative AI and machine learning technologies, particularly within the realms of the drugmaker’s research and development functions. Their collaboration extends to looking out for AI applications across various operational facets within Amgen, utilizing the capabilities of Amazon platforms.

Matt Wood, AWS VP of technology, remarked that customers in healthcare and life sciences are notably innovative. He pointed out that these industries had been actively engaging with AI for an extended period, well before the introduction of ChatGPT turned it into a popular trend.

In the biopharmaceutical industry, Amgen is not alone in its adoption of AI in response to the demands of an increasingly digital landscape. As a case in point, in June, Sanofi introduced a new application developed in collaboration with AI company Aily Labs, providing a comprehensive “360” view across all Sanofi activities. Concurrently, Sanofi committed to becoming “the first pharma company powered by artificial intelligence at scale.”

The introduction of the platform – named ‘plai’ – marked a significant milestone in Sanofi’s comprehensive digital transformation initiative across the entire company. Sanofi has integrated AI technologies into various teams, encompassing research, clinical operations, and product development, as part of its broader strategy.

In a parallel development, Boehringer Ingelheim, based in Germany, has joined the ranks of pharmaceutical companies leveraging machine learning tools for drug discovery. Recently, the company announced its collaboration with IBM, utilizing an artificial intelligence model to explore new antibody therapeutics.

Furthermore, Boehringer entered a target identification agreement with Phenomic AI, involving an initial payment of $9 million and the potential for up to $500 million in milestones. This strategic collaboration underscores the industry’s growing trend toward incorporating advanced AI technologies in various aspects of pharmaceutical research and development.

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