INDIA — Swiss multinational biotech giant Roche Pharma has set up a state-of-the-art Global Analytics and Technology Centre of Excellence (GATE) in Hyderabad, making it the company’s second data analytics center in India.

According to an official release, the center will work with the global affiliates of Roche to advance knowledge and understanding of healthcare space, which helps in improving customer engagement, patient experience, and business outcomes.

GATE will have a total headcount of 100 by the end of 2022, thanks to the latest expansion, and there are plans for further growth.

The announcement was made after Telangana Minister for IT and Industries K T Rama Rao’s meeting with V Simpson Emmanuel, Managing Director and CEO, Roche Pharma.

Stating that Roche was proud to partner with and leverage India’s technology leadership by expanding the operation of GATE, Emmanuel said: “We are developing Data Science and Advanced Analytics related capabilities at our GATE Centre in Hyderabad and will expand our offerings to include forecasting, data management, DevOps in the future.”

Emmanuel said the centers like GATE will also benefit the country by building a knowledge base in rapidly emerging areas of data science, artificial intelligence, and machine learning.

GATE supports Roche in managing projects across the entire product lifecycle — from pre-clinical to launch, to growth, maturity, and decline phases.

It will also help in better retention of intellectual property, optimizing costs without compromising on quality while building strong expertise of talent pool, the company said.

Also in the same space, Evotec has commercially launched its PanOmics data analysis platform PanHunter at Bio-IT World.

Evotec’s PanOmics platform applies in particular high-end proteomics and transcriptomics at industrial scale to profile and select promising drug candidates on the basis of comprehensive cell biological profiles.

PanHunter is an integrated data analytics platform that facilitates the analysis and interpretation of large ‘omics’ data sets.

Further to that, AstraZeneca has partnered with DNA sequencing giant Illumina on a new program that will use artificial intelligence to sift through vast arrays of data generated by “omics” studies in order to find new drug targets.

Overall, the goal is to improve drug discovery efficiency by identifying genetic variants in omics data that contribute to human disease – a broad category that includes DNA profiles, gene transcripts, and protein expression.

According to the partners, the research collaboration will investigate the use of the two companies’ technologies side by side to find targets across a range of human diseases for an initial six-month period, and if successful, could lead to a long-term, strategic-level partnership.

Illumina is donating two AI-based interpretation tools to the alliance: PrimateAI (a neural network for classifying the pathogenicity of missense mutations trained on a dataset of around 380,000 common variants from humans and six non-human primate species) and SpliceAI (a deep learning-based-tool to identify in variations in pre-mRNA).

AI is increasingly being used to improve computer-aided design and drafting (CADD) methods, such as identifying drug targets, virtual compound screening, de novo drug design, drug repurposing, and identifying treatment response biomarkers.

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