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  • Writer's pictureDanielle van Hout

Eye on AI - December 23rd, 2022

Welcome to Aigora's "Eye on AI" series, where we round up exciting news at the intersection of consumer science and artificial intelligence!


This week, we’re looking ahead to what 2023 may hold for biopharma and AI before settling into the present to break down how a European-based dairy co-op leverages AI to improve cheese quality and yield.


2023 Inflection Point for Biopharma, Fueled by Influx of AI & ML

According to the article “2023 forecast: An 'inflection point' for biopharma, fueled by a flood of AI and machine learning products,” if we were to ask what the future may hold for biopharma, the answer would almost certainly be more AI and machine learning. Pharma researchers and market leaders across the board are predicting 2023 to be an “inflection point” for the industry.

“What got you here won't get you there [in pharma],” said Arda Ural, EY Americas Industry Markets Leader, Health Sciences and Wellness, in an interview. “That’s the 2023 mantra. The practices we used to be successful in the pharma industry will have to be reconsidered. And we need to evolve to overcome that innovation deficit.”

To understand how we arrived at this inflection point, it helps to understand market trends. For instance, healthcare market growth is expected to slow over the next five years. Yet that slowed growth will concurrently be met with what is estimated to be accelerated AI growth within healthcare, which is expected to nearly double within two years to reach $20.6 billion by the end of 2023.

This AI revolution is driven mainly by the high cost of healthcare research and development (R&D). Traditionally, it takes roughly 12 to 18 years to create a viable therapy, with failure rates currently sitting at about 90%. That’s an incredible amount of time and risk for something that costs so much to develop. Using AI, researchers can significantly reduce their time-to-market and failure rates, which is what happened for the researchers at the human genome company Quris.

“Quris… has discovered hundreds of novel microRNA genes through analysis of the human genome,” writes FiercePharma contributor Kevin Dunleavy. “The Boston and Tel Aviv-based firm uses patients-on-a-chip technology to generate a proprietary data set that is automated, predictive and uses classification algorithms to identify which drug candidates will work safely in humans. As for increased efficiency, Quris’ platform can reduce the failure rate to 50%...”

This healthcare inflection point is rather timely with the U.S. on the verge of passing the FDA Modernization Act. This act could halt animal study mandates, which have been at the center of pharma R&D processes for decades.

“It’s three revolutions that are culminating now, with Hollywood style timing,” said Quris CEO Isaac Bentwich. “It’s a perfect storm—organs on a chip coming of age, AI becoming powerful and focused on this problem and the regulator saying animal studies suck.”

Numerous pharma brands are throwing out their old processes through the adoption of AI. Already such technology is able to cut research time and failure rates in half. If, on top of that, it could help in the transition away from widespread animal testing, that would be an astounding amount of positive impact in such a short amount of time.

Netherlands-Based Dairy Cooperative Leverages AI to Improve Cheese

Let’s conclude with a bit of cheese news to go with that new year's glass of wine. According to the article “Cheesemaker leverages the power of AI to improve cheese quality, boost yield,” Amalthea, a Netherlands-based dairy cooperative, has turned to AI to improve cheese quality, output and consistency.

“In the past, we had to do… milk yield calculations manually, and we were only able to do this once per week, or sometimes once per month, so it was too late,” said Joris Aarts, CFO of Amalthea. “On top of that, we were not able to calculate yields per batch.”

To achieve more timely results and improve insights, Amalthea invested in the integrated AI system Coleman AI, part of AI company Infor’s suite of subscription-based products available for the food and beverage industry. Coleman AI works with over 150 dairies globally. For Amalthea, the expected savings of switching to Coleman are thought to be around $530,200 per 1% increase in yield.

“The utilization of milk is the most important way in which we can manage costs, so Infor already has helped us save money with that,” continues Aarts. “Now, we can not only see the yields per cheese batch in real time, but it also gives us direct insight into what contributors are causing a higher or lower milk yield, so the operators can directly act on it.”

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