Sanofi turns to Google in search for better treatments

French pharmaceutical firm Sanofi said Tuesday it is partnering with Google to use artificial intelligence and deep analytics tools to sift through its data to find better treatments.

The titan in online search “will apply technology and analytics on Sanofi’s large real world database to better understand what treatments work for patients,” the pharmaceutical firm said in a statement.

The use of Google’s tools for deep analytics—organising large amounts of data to make insights—will help it better understand key diseases and patient outcomes to make further improvements.

Sanofi will also be moving some of its business applications to Google’s cloud computing platform and use artificial intelligence to improve operations.

“Combining Sanofi’s biologic innovations and scientific data with Google’s industry-leading capabilities, from cloud computing to state-of-the-art artificial intelligence, we aspire to give people more control over their health and accelerate the discovery of new therapies,” said Ameet Nathwani, who is Sanofi’s chief digital officer in addition to being its chief medical officer and executive vice president.

Sanofi, which made 34.5 billion euros ($38.8 billion) of sales in 2018, is a major manufacturer of vaccines, insulin, cancer treatments and cardiovascular drugs.

Sanofi did not mention any financial figures related to the deal with Google, but trade unions are concerned that the firm may announce cuts in research and development at a meeting scheduled for Wednesday.

It is not Sanofi’s first collaboration with Alphabet, which is the parent company of Google.

Last month, Alphabet’s health division Verily announced partnerships with four major pharmaceutical firms, including Sanofi, to accelerate clinical testing using digital technologies.

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