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Digital Transformation in Healthcare and the Pharmaceutical Industry (CXOTalk #255)

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What does digital transformation mean for drug companies? Milind Kamkolkar, Chief Data Officer at Sanofi, speaks with CXOTalk co-hosts Richie Etwaru and Michael Krigsman about innovation and changes in the pharmaceutical industry.

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Sanofi is a company focused on empowering lives through human health. As CDO, Kamkolkar focuses on driving and transforming Sanofi from data generation to an insights generating organization where data is a monetizable asset class on par with product and shareholder value. Kamkolkar is also a featured speaker and thought leader in Digital Health, AI & Big Data; Honorary Lecturer for physician entrepreneurship at BartsX; Faculty at Exponential Medicine; and Special Advisor to the UN Global Sustainability program.

Etwaru is Chief Digital Officer at QuintilesIMS, helping bridge the innovation and efficiency gap for healthcare stakeholders and life sciences customers using analytics and technology. He’s a former CDO at IMS Health, a frequent keynote speaker at leading tech-related events and forums, a serial entrepreneur, an author, a former Clinton Global Initiative delegate, and currently serves as a board member for multiple not-for-profit organizations.

From the transcript:

Michael Krigsman:

(05:00) What are we actually speaking about and how does this relate to the broader changes that are going on regarding healthcare and ultimately, the impact on healthcare for people? For patients?

Richie Etwaru:

(05:24) Well, I think most of us understand siloes pretty well, right? These are vertical departments within large companies that tend to perform a specific function. And then they perform that function well, but if you look at multiple of those siloes together as a broad organization, you’ll see inconsistencies and gaps to be solved for. I think, with the pharmaceutical industry, there was a time when it was okay to have siloes. Not that you wanted them, but if you had them, it was not the biggest deal in the world, and we’re seeing what I like to call the “three waves” of change enter the environment of the pharmaceutical industry that’s creating the financial reality and quite frankly, the competitive reality, to start to think about what the business model looks like and take the siloes out. These three waves, I think, most people would recognize.

(06:15) Now, the first wave is what came from the supply side. So, I think of this as the patent cliff, right? I think we’ve heard enough about the patent cliff that the supply of discovery of drugs in the pipeline has changed quite a bit. And, the good thing about the patent cliff is that it was sort of contained within the pharmaceutical industry, right? Yes, there was some implication too of the stakeholders, but it didn’t radically change the landscape because each pharma company was suffering from the same strain from a supply side.

(06:47) The second wave is what I like to call the wave coming from the demand side. This is the influence and the pressures of reimbursement being changed, payment terms being changed. I think what we see in the United States with Obamacare and the model of delivery has created a tremendous amount of strain that created a whole new wave of pressures for the pharmaceutical industry. So, I think that’s the second wave.

(07:18) Where we are today is what I like to call the “third wave” of change that’s coming through the pharma industry. And, this is the digital health and technology paradigms that are entering at the same time. Now, the patent cliff is not completely solved for. That’s still moving over, right? The changes in the […] are not completely solved for. That’s still here. And, we have this new wave that’s being driven by this new stuff that Milind is talking about, which is more data, digital health, some of the new technology paradigms. What’s interesting about this third wave is that it is not self-contained in the pharma industry or healthcare.

Milind Kamkolkar:

(14:46) Yeah. I mean, if I could just add one last thing, Michael, to that point, I think where the time, perhaps has that risk-averse nature in the pharmaceutical industry is that perhaps I’m like… banking in other such industries… The reality is that if you get this wrong, people die, right? And that’s the real crux of it. So, I can fully appreciate and respect the fact that sometimes, you do want to be a little bit cautious because, of course, who wants to create a medicine or some kind of patient service that really is not yielding a positive outcome?

(15:19) So for one, I’m quite grateful for the fact that we are basing more medication and pricing, and reimbursements, etc. really on health outcomes. But I think, in many ways, it’s not just the actual medicine that has to take into play, it’s also the customer experience at point of treatment that needs to be part of that equation as well.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Dr.WILSON IYOKHO

    October 18, 2017 at 7:00 pm

    Nice discussions on pharma issues and perspectives

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IDZ Weekly | Deep Neural Network Acceleration for Image Analysis in Drug Discovery | Intel Software

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Learn about a recent collaboration with Novartis Pharmaceuticals, which utilizes a deep neural network to accelerate image analysis in early drug discovery by detecting and targeting exactly which cells in the body need treatment.

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Virtual Recap Preview: Stanford Drug Discovery Symposium 2018 – Joao Monteiro, MD, PhD

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Virtual Recap: Stanford Drug Discovery 2018
Learn more:

On April 23-24,2018 over 550 people gathered at the Li Ka Shing Conference Center to attend the Third Annual Stanford Drug Discovery Symposium. The event featured a broad range of speakers sharing their expertise in the fields of: academic drug discovery, academic-industry collaboration, science policy, publishing, and research funding. On the first day, the packed-house audience was treated to presentations from academic scientists engaged in groundbreaking research that is laying the foundation for future therapeutic approaches. These included Stanford based Nobel Laureate Brian Kobilka, MD and Edgar Engleman, MD; Kathleen Giacomini, PhD, and Kevan Shokat, PhD from UCSF; and Hugh Rosen, MD, PhD, from the Scripps Research Institute.

Later that afternoon, attendees had the rare opportunity to interact with six top pharmaceutical executives and philanthropists: Ken Frazier, CEO of Merck; Robert Bradway, CEO of Amgen; Joseph Jimenez, former CEO of Novartis; Brent Saunders, CEO of Allergan; Patrick Soon-Shiong, MD, CEO of Nantworks; and Sanford Weill, the Chairman Emeritus of Citigroup and CEO of Casa Rosa Ventures. In this “View from the Top” session moderated by Stanford President Marc Tessier-Lavigne, PhD, the panelists offered their perspectives on drug discovery, including: the future of personalized medicine, the importance of focusing on disease prevention rather than treatment, and the concept that drug pricing could eventually be based on treatment outcomes. The first day ended with the presentation of a Lifetime Achievement Award to Roy Vagelos, MD, former CEO of Merck and current Board chair of Regeneron. Dr. Vagelos was acknowledged in part for his role in leveraging the power of the pharmaceutical industry to make a major impact on global health. During his term as Merck CEO, he personally committed to providing the drug Ivermectin free of charge to anyone in the world for the treatment of elephantiasis and river blindness, with the latter having been since eradicated in multiple Central and South American countries due to Dr. Vagelos’ efforts.

The second day of the Symposium opened with a Keynote address from Janet Woodcock, MD, the Director of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), who provided a look inside the agency’s new drug regulatory program. This was followed by important presentations about funding priorities from Gary Gibbons, MD, the Director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), and Maria Millan, MD, President and CEO of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM). Later, the audience was treated to a panel of editors representing the top publications in biomedical science: the New England Journal of Medicine, Nature Medicine, Science, and the Journal of the American Medical Association. The meeting concluded with a dynamic Shark Tank-style session, in which representatives from eight competitively selected start-up biotechnology companies pitched their ideas to a panel of scientists, venture capitalists, and CEOs. The panelists who provided feedback were: George Scangos, PhD (CEO of Vir), Robert Robbins, MD (President of the University of Arizona), Roy Vagelos, MD, Amy Chang, MSEE (CEO of Accompany), Ram Shriram (Founder of Sherpalo), and Wende Hutton, MBA (General Partner, Canaan). The goal of this session was to have this stellar panel identify strengths and weaknesses of the strategies described in each presentation, providing invaluable advice to these budding entrepreneurs.

The organizers of the meeting, Joseph Wu, MD, PhD; Sanjay Malhotra, PhD; Kuldev Singh, MD; Mark Mercola, PhD; and Chaitan Khosla, PhD, are thrilled with the success of this gathering, and are already looking forward to the next iteration, which will be held April 22-23, 2019.

___

Copyright Keystone Symposia, 2018. All rights reserved.

About Keystone Symposia:
Keystone Symposia is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 1972 that convenes 50-60 open, international scientific research conferences each year across the full range of the life sciences – from cardiovascular disease to immunology to neurobiology. The conferences accelerate life science discovery by bringing together and fostering collaboration among the world’s leading and next generation of research scientists.

Visit Keystone Symposia at:

Visit Virtual Keystone Symposia at:

For more videos:

Follow us on Twitter:

Like us on Facebook:

Link to us on LinkedIn:

Outro music:
“Slider” by Blue Dot Sessions (

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Medical Discovery

Virtual Recap Preview: Stanford Drug Discovery Symposium 2018 – Janet Woodcock, MD

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Virtual Recap: Stanford Drug Discovery 2018
Learn more:

On April 23-24,2018 over 550 people gathered at the Li Ka Shing Conference Center to attend the Third Annual Stanford Drug Discovery Symposium. The event featured a broad range of speakers sharing their expertise in the fields of: academic drug discovery, academic-industry collaboration, science policy, publishing, and research funding. On the first day, the packed-house audience was treated to presentations from academic scientists engaged in groundbreaking research that is laying the foundation for future therapeutic approaches. These included Stanford based Nobel Laureate Brian Kobilka, MD and Edgar Engleman, MD; Kathleen Giacomini, PhD, and Kevan Shokat, PhD from UCSF; and Hugh Rosen, MD, PhD, from the Scripps Research Institute.

Later that afternoon, attendees had the rare opportunity to interact with six top pharmaceutical executives and philanthropists: Ken Frazier, CEO of Merck; Robert Bradway, CEO of Amgen; Joseph Jimenez, former CEO of Novartis; Brent Saunders, CEO of Allergan; Patrick Soon-Shiong, MD, CEO of Nantworks; and Sanford Weill, the Chairman Emeritus of Citigroup and CEO of Casa Rosa Ventures. In this “View from the Top” session moderated by Stanford President Marc Tessier-Lavigne, PhD, the panelists offered their perspectives on drug discovery, including: the future of personalized medicine, the importance of focusing on disease prevention rather than treatment, and the concept that drug pricing could eventually be based on treatment outcomes. The first day ended with the presentation of a Lifetime Achievement Award to Roy Vagelos, MD, former CEO of Merck and current Board chair of Regeneron. Dr. Vagelos was acknowledged in part for his role in leveraging the power of the pharmaceutical industry to make a major impact on global health. During his term as Merck CEO, he personally committed to providing the drug Ivermectin free of charge to anyone in the world for the treatment of elephantiasis and river blindness, with the latter having been since eradicated in multiple Central and South American countries due to Dr. Vagelos’ efforts.

The second day of the Symposium opened with a Keynote address from Janet Woodcock, MD, the Director of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), who provided a look inside the agency’s new drug regulatory program. This was followed by important presentations about funding priorities from Gary Gibbons, MD, the Director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), and Maria Millan, MD, President and CEO of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM). Later, the audience was treated to a panel of editors representing the top publications in biomedical science: the New England Journal of Medicine, Nature Medicine, Science, and the Journal of the American Medical Association. The meeting concluded with a dynamic Shark Tank-style session, in which representatives from eight competitively selected start-up biotechnology companies pitched their ideas to a panel of scientists, venture capitalists, and CEOs. The panelists who provided feedback were: George Scangos, PhD (CEO of Vir), Robert Robbins, MD (President of the University of Arizona), Roy Vagelos, MD, Amy Chang, MSEE (CEO of Accompany), Ram Shriram (Founder of Sherpalo), and Wende Hutton, MBA (General Partner, Canaan). The goal of this session was to have this stellar panel identify strengths and weaknesses of the strategies described in each presentation, providing invaluable advice to these budding entrepreneurs.

The organizers of the meeting, Joseph Wu, MD, PhD; Sanjay Malhotra, PhD; Kuldev Singh, MD; Mark Mercola, PhD; and Chaitan Khosla, PhD, are thrilled with the success of this gathering, and are already looking forward to the next iteration, which will be held April 22-23, 2019.

___

Copyright Keystone Symposia, 2018. All rights reserved.

About Keystone Symposia:
Keystone Symposia is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 1972 that convenes 50-60 open, international scientific research conferences each year across the full range of the life sciences – from cardiovascular disease to immunology to neurobiology. The conferences accelerate life science discovery by bringing together and fostering collaboration among the world’s leading and next generation of research scientists.

Visit Keystone Symposia at:

Visit Virtual Keystone Symposia at:

For more videos:

Follow us on Twitter:

Like us on Facebook:

Link to us on LinkedIn:

Outro music:
“Slider” by Blue Dot Sessions (

Continue Reading

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