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S9: #085: Accelerating Digital Transformation in the Pharmaceutical Industry

39 minutes

How the Novartis Biome is pioneering new approaches to digital health innovation?

Take a look online and you’ll find hundreds of articles proclaiming that Pharma’s business model is broken and that the entire sector is in the middle of an innovation crisis. Whether you agree or disagree, there’s no question that the industry is extraordinarily competitive and the challenge of bringing effective drugs to market is growing. Adapting to new ways of working and driving new tech and innovation across an entire industry is never easy, and with the long development cycles for new drugs and the low drug development success rates, the challenges are even bigger. But where some see a crisis, others see opportunity, and making the most of that opportunity can take many different forms and approaches.

In this episode, I speak with Jake LaPorte – someone who sees that opportunity and has developed a new program to give innovative digital health companies a boost. Jake is the Global Head of Digital Development at Novartis and responsible for leading the company’s digital efforts within their Global Drug Development organization. He also is one of the founders and the Managing Director of BIOME—which is the first-ever, externally branded innovation lab by Novartis.

Jake completed his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Harvard University, and received his B.Sc. in Biochemistry and Mathematics, from the University of Delaware. While traveling with his wife, he read Ray Kurzweil’s book The Singularity is Near and he became captivated by the possibility of digitizing the Pharmaceutical engine.

Well, words matter, because ever since reading that book, he has focused his career on making that concept a reality. In this episode, Jake explains how the Novartis Biome is making a real impact on accelerating digital health solutions in drug development and discovery.


Today's Topics:

  • Brief background about Novartis, their portfolio and key therapeutic areas
  • Specific challenges in the Pharmaceutical industry and how they can be overcome
  • The Biome program, how it got started and the types of support companies get from the program
  • Overview of the Biome companies, how they were selected and the value for participants and Novartis from the partnership
  • Metrics and success factors of the Biome program and advice for others working on open-innovation projects


Links and Resources Mentioned:


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Start listening to S11: #110 Introducing the Host of the New Asia Pacific Edition: Tony Estrella
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Start listening to S11: #110 Introducing the Host of the New Asia Pacific Edition: Tony Estrella
28:29