Accenture and Merck are working with Amazon Web Services to develop a cloud-based platform for collaborators across the life sciences industry, designed to speed innovation in drug development research.
The analytics platform will be built with open application programming interfaces, the companies said, to enable researchers and to more quickly connect and to lower barriers to entry for app developers, content providers and others looking to bring new capabilities to market.
Such an open platform will make it easier for researchers to aggregate, access and analyze data from multiple applications, enabling new approaches to data-heavy research, the companies said. The announcement comes just weeks after a similar cloud-based precision medicine platform was was announced by Deloitte and Vineti.
"Pharmaceutical and biotech R&D is evolving rapidly, with advances in biological sciences generating an increase in the volume and diversity of research data," said Brad Michel, managing director of Accenture Scientific Informatics Services, in a statement, noting that the platform could help "accelerate the discovery of new, targeted treatments for patients."
Merck will be the first pharmaceutical company to use the platform, which leverages secure AWS cloud services to boost speed and drive operational efficiency. This platform is part of the ongoing collaboration of the Accenture AWS Business Group.
Accenture says it is also forming a group of pharmaceutical, biotech and other scientific clients that will help enhance the platform's capabilities, offering an opportunity for pre-competitive industry collaboration.
"The convergence of numerous scientific and technological advances provides unprecedented opportunities to translate novel insights into human disease biology into meaningful therapies," explained Joe Miletich, senior vice president of research at Merck, in a statement. "Capitalizing on these opportunities requires an ability to rapidly find and explore associations across data sets that are increasing dramatically in size and number."