Novartis embracing digital tools will help strengthen its position in key ophthalmology indications

Novartis recently engaged in a flurry of collaborative agreements in the ophthalmology field and the scope of these collaborations will help the company to pull ahead of its competitors in a broad spectrum of activities ranging from research and development (R&D) to product positioning to enhancement of patient journey, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company

The multi-year collaboration between Novartis and RetinAI is likely to help Novartis in leveraging disease-specific insights that can facilitate clinical development and commercial activities for neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD). While optical coherence tomography (OCT) scan is an imaging technique that is useful for diagnosis and for monitoring the progression of AMD, the partnership between Novartis and RetinAI provides the opportunity to the former to process the imaging data at scale using artificial intelligence (AI) tools provided by the latter, while being able to gather more disease specific insights and optimize patient diagnosis.

Vinie Varkey, Pharma Analyst and GlobalData, comments: “While these insights can be particularly useful for Novartis in optimizing the uptake of its product, Beovu, for an indication in which patient compliance rates can be an issue, they can also be leveraged to identify promising drug candidates in pipeline development.”

In a concerted effort to further utilize the power of digital tools in ophthalmology, Novartis’ agreement with Tilak Healthcare is also expected to help with early diagnosis of diseases such as wAMD and diabetic retinopathy.

Varkey continues: “If digital tools such as those provided by Tilak Healthcare’s OdySight can be used to empower patients with self-monitoring, then there is a tangible opportunity for physicians to diagnose such disease at the earliest so that treatments can be more effective.”

Investing and embracing these digital technologies and tools will help Novartis to tackle one of the most critical challenges in the pharmaceutical sector – which is the timeline associated with R&D.

Varkey adds: “In the long-term, Novartis is likely to gain from these partnerships as use of digital technologies and tools can be used to drive down costs and timeline associated with R&D. Novartis is well-known as a company that pioneers innovative medicine; embarking on a journey that utilizes intelligent tools now gives Novartis an opportunity to lead digital transformation in this sector.”

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