Wednesday, Jan 10, 2024 | 12:00 AM ET

S4 E25: A Practical Guide to Incorporating AI in Pharma

Achieving success in digitalizing drug development involves combining knowledge of regulations, a strong foundation in science, and a dedication to innovation.

In this episode, Anne Heatherington, R&D Chief Data and Technology Officer at Takeda Pharmaceuticals, delves into Takeda's unique position as a digital biopharmaceutical company and its commitment to values. Takeda, a global biopharmaceutical company, stands out for its patient-centric approach, focusing on patient trust, reputation, and business in decision-making.

Dr. Heatherington discusses the incorporation of innovative digital technologies like AI, data lakes, and wearables into the company’s operations. She emphasizes the importance of solving real-world problems with AI rather than just following the hype, highlighting the need for a thoughtful approach considering data privacy, consent, and ethical considerations. Anne also explores Takeda's collaboration with MIT, addressing business problems and developing solutions for neurological diseases like frontotemporal dementia. Finally, she concludes with insights into the skills and competencies required for success in the digital transformation of drug development, emphasizing the importance of curiosity and resilience.

Tune in and learn about Takeda's groundbreaking approach to digital transformation in healthcare, leveraging technology to enhance patient outcomes and streamline drug development processes!

About Anne Heatherington:

Anne Heatherington is the R&D Chief Data and Technology Officer at Takeda, a top biopharmaceutical leader in Cambridge, Massachusetts. With over four years at Takeda, Anne leads the Data Sciences Institute team, steering the data, digital, and technology strategy for Research & Development. 

Her diverse career includes key roles such as Senior Vice President at Summit Therapeutics plc and Vice President at Pfizer. After 12 years at Pfizer, Anne chaired the Technical Review Committee, showcasing her leadership. 

Anne holds a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy from Queen's University Belfast, a Ph.D. in Pharmacokinetics from the University of Manchester, and is a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Washington.

Things You’ll Learn:

  • Drug development is at a critical point where marrying traditional approaches with new innovations is crucial to avoid obsolescence, emphasizing the need for adaptability in the industry.
  • Takeda aims to become the most trusted digital biopharmaceutical company, driving innovation in the healthcare sector.
  • Achieving success in digitalizing drug development involves combining knowledge of regulations, a strong foundation in science, and a dedication to innovation.
  • It’s more impactful to solve real-world problems with AI rather than just following the hype.
  • Takeda collaborates with MIT, leveraging AI to address business problems and develop solutions, such as using speech as a biomarker for diseases.



Anne Heatherington, PhDR&D Chief Data & Technology Officer and Head, Data Sciences Institute, Takeda

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