Use of Artificial Intelligence in Pharmaceutical Drug Development and Clinical Trials: Case Study

The pharmaceutical industry has a reputation as being risk averse to embracing new technologies and spent many years in “watch and wait” mode regarding artificial intelligence (AI). Compared to other industries, pharma has been slow to adopt AI, but there has been increased activity over the past few years. This case study provides an overview of how AI is currently being implemented by the pharmaceutical industry in drug discovery and clinical trials


This case study includes:

Examples of pharma companies leading the integration of AI into their operations

Examples of partnerships between Big Pharma and AI start-ups

Examples of other AI initiatives by pharma, including the establishment of in-house capabilities.

AI vendor company profiles

Key Highlights

Pharma has been slow to adopt AI, but increased activity has been seen since 2019. Pharma also plans to invest in AI in the near future.

While COVID-19 may have temporarily shifted investment away from AI, it could actually lead to increased AI adoption.

Drug discovery is the area most likely to benefit from AI.

Harnessing the benefits of AI requires pharma companies to navigate a series of practical and ethical challenges.

Reasons to buy

Develop business strategies by understanding how AI is being used in the biopharmaceutical industry today and how the technology is expected to affect the sector in the future.

Stay up to date on the key players in the AI space in drug development and clinical trials.

See what activities biopharmaceutical companies are undertaking in the space.

Identify opportunities for partnerships with AI vendors.

Companies mentioned

GSK, Novartis, Novartis, Roche, Bayer, Exscientia, Atomwise, Recursion, Iktos, Insilico Medicine, Sensyne Health, BenevolentAI, Deep Lens, Deep 6 AI

Table of Contents



• Overview of AI

• AI and the Pharmaceutical Industry

• Examples of Leaders in AI Across the Pharmaceutical Industry

• Pharma Plan to Invest in AI in the Next Two Years

• AI Recognized as a Leading Disruptive Technology in Pharma

Artificial Intelligence in Drug Discovery

• AI has the Potential to Transform Drug Discovery

• Pharma Partners with AI Start-Ups, but Are Developing In-House Capabilities

• COVID-19 Could Be a Tipping Point for AI Technology

• Increasing Number of AI Drug Discovery Partnerships with Big Pharma

• Pfizer, Takeda, and AstraZeneca Lead the Way in Drug Discovery Partnerships

• Examples of Recent Big Pharma AI Partnerships

• Company Profiles and Partnership Examples

• BenevolentAI Discovers Lilly’s Olumiant Can be Repurposed for COVID-19

• Several Pharma Companies Are Involved in AI Research Consortiums

• GSK an Early Pioneer in Setting Up In-House AI Capabilities

• GSK Has Recently Established Additional In-House AI Capabilities in the UK

• Roche Centre of Excellence Launches to Research AI in Healthcare in Canada

Artificial Intelligence in Clinical Trials

• Improving Trial Design

• Improving Trial Recruitment

• Remote Health Monitoring and Preventing Non-Adherence

• Pharma Companies Are Exploring AI Solutions for Clinical Trials

• Clinical Research Organizations Are Also Exploring AI Technology to Enhance Clinical Trials

• AI can Mitigate the Impact of COVID-19 on Clinical Trial Disruption

• Partnership Examples

Key Findings


• Related Reports

• Abbreviations

• Bibliography

• Our Thematic Research Methodology

• About the Authors

• Contact Us


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