Microsoft and UCB collaborate to treat immunological and neurological diseases

pharmafile | February 23, 2021 | News story | Manufacturing and Production Microsoft, UCB, artificial intelligence 

UCB and Microsoft have agreed a new multi-year collaboration to discover new medicines by combining UCB’s drug discovery and development abilities with Microsoft’s computational service, cloud, and artificial intelligence (AI).

The agreement seeks to uncover and develop treatments faster for people living with severe disease in immunology and neurology.

Microsoft will provide AI technology and applied scientists to work alongside UCB’s scientists and data specialists, which will allow UCB to discover new correlations and patterns critical to finding new, individualised medicines.

The North American tech giant’s platform will  also allow for the analysis of high-dimensional data sets and multi-modal unstructured information, which the companies hope will lead to more efficient and innovative research.

The collaboration builds on UCB and Microsoft’s existing work around COVID-19. As part of the COVID Moonshot project, UCB’s medicinal and computational chemists contributed compound designs to the worldwide project to create an orally bioavailable anti-viral for COVID-19.

Jean-Christophe Tellier, CEO of UCB, said: ”We are delighted to be collaborating with Microsoft to uncover new insights to better understand a patient’s condition, as well as the science, and to enable an enhanced patient experience. 

“By amplifying the power of scientific innovation through digital transformation, we hope to have a better understanding of what makes a patient’s journey unique so that we can provide personalised and differentiated medicine in a sustainable way.”  

Jean-Philippe Courtois, EVP and President of Microsoft Global Sales, Marketing & Operations, added: ”Together, UCB and Microsoft are taking on some of healthcare’s greatest challenges to find connected, innovative ways to create better experiences, insights, and more personal and more effective care. 

“With the deep knowledge that UCB offers in drug discovery and the knowledge of human biology, together with Microsoft’s unmatched expertise in computer science and AI, we have a unique opportunity to reinvent the way new medicines are created.”

Jack Goddard

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