- On Wednesday, biotechnology company Moderna disclosed that it has selected AWS as its preferred cloud provider. The Cambridge, Massachusetts company is currently developing one of the most advanced vaccine candidates for the new coronavrus, according to CIO Dive sister publication BioPharma Dive. Moderna will leverage AWS to run analytics and machine learning workloads.
- Using AWS-powered infrastructure, Moderna was able to deliver the first clinical batch of its vaccine candidate to the National Institutes of Health for a Phase 1 trial, 42 days after initial sequencing of the virus.
- Moderna is using Amazon Redshift — AWS's data warehousing service — to aggregate results "from dozens of experiments running in parallel," using insights to refine design and production cycles.
Among the biotechnology companies competing to produce an effective, safe vaccine to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus, Moderna is one of the leaders.
Moderna was the first U.S. company to begin testing its coronavirus vaccine in humans, beginning a Phase 1 study just three months after the virus' genetic sequence was made available online. Last month, the biotech and the U.S. government began a 30,000-volunteer, placebo-controlled study to prove whether its shot can protect against coronavirus infection or disease. If results are positive, the first supplies could be ready this fall — a highly aggressive timeline that still may not pan out.
Moderna's Drug Design Studio, a platform for rapid mRNA design, relies on AWS infrastructure to produce mRNA sequences for protein targets. Selection of AWS as its preferred cloud provider means the vendor has a high-profile case study to point to in a potential expansion of its market share in the life sciences space.
The pharmaceutical industry is working to catch up to other industries in terms of digital adoption. Of the 30 pharma and biotech companies valued at more than $10 billion, just seven had a CIO or chief data officer in its C-suite, BioPharma Dive reported in May 2019.
Artificial intelligence has captured industry's attention. Novartis tapped Microsoft at the end of 2019 to aid Novartis' drug development processes, using AI to process data from Novartis lab experiments, clinical trials and manufacturing plants.