2018 Summary: Lively summit convenes biopharma stakeholders and data driven disruptors


The AI Applications in Biopharma Summit, which took place last week in Boston, was buzzing with conversation, community and talk of partnerships.

Key biopharma stakeholders and data driven disruptors met in Boston this week to discuss the rapidly evolving role of AI in the biopharma industry. Here, we provide a glimpse of the busy 1.5 day event.

Speaker Niven Narain, Ph.D., Co-Founder, President and CEO of BERG summarized the key theme of the Summit in his morning session: “The elephant in the room is, who is really doing AI the right way and what is the validation point?”

Niven R. Narain, Ph.D., Co-Founder, President & CEO, BERG

Over 120 attendees enjoyed a day and a half discussing and debating questions like this during lively conversations post-presentations, at the thoughtfully planned networking sessions, and in intimate one-to-one meetings.

Everyone agreed that AI tools have incredible potential to impact biopharma.

There was also agreement about the significant amount of work to be done to realize that potential, and to deliver critical treatments to patients faster and ultimately improve patient outcomes.


The conversations started at the Summit are already continuing in various forms post-event. Summit Chairman, Harry Glorikian, produced a special edition podcast series featuring Summit speakers as part of his MoneyBall Medicine podcast. The series will be available on the website in the next few weeks.


Speaker Kimberly Alba Mc Cord, PhDc, Basel Institute for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Basel, Switzerland and attendee Tom Davenport, President’s Distinguished Professor of IT and Management, Babson College; Senior Advisor, Deloitte Analytics; and Cognitive Digital Fellow, MIT Center for Digital Business will be writing a follow up article about lessons learned and key takeaways from the Summit.

Kimberly Alba Mc Cord and Tom Davenport

The session on the Opportunities and Challenges of Using AI in Unlocking the ADME Tox Obstacles in Drug Development, moderated by Sean Ekins, Ph.D., D.Sc., CEO and Founder, Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc., delivered insightful remarks from panelists: Barun Bhhatarai, Ph.D., Investigator, PK Sciences, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research; Cornelis “Marcel” Hop, Senior Director, Drug and Pharmacokinetics, Genentech; Guido Lanza, CEO, Numerate; and W. Patrick Walters, Ph.D., Vice President Computation, Relay Therapeutics. Attendee questions were rapid and numerous, generating valuable takeaways and learnings.

Opportunities and Challenges of Using AI in Unlocking the ADME Tox Obstacles in Drug Development

Those of you who couldn’t attend this year will soon be able to read a full summary of the session on the website.

Beyond the presentations and interactive Q&A sessions, lively discussions were taking place. One-to-one expert meetings allowed attendees to find their next partnerships, and the evening reception gave both speakers and delegates the chance to mingle in a relaxed setting.

If you joined us for the 2018 Summit, we’d like to thank you for actively participating in discussions and for believing in the power of AI tools to transform how you work.

If you were not able to attend this year, we hope this summary gave you a taste of this unique and important event. We encourage you to register your interest now so you can be the first to know about the AI Applications Summit 2019.

Finally, we’d like to thank our 42 speakers for sharing their expertise and time and for their dedicated participation and support.  Also thank you to our sponsors and supporters who actively participated and shared their knowledge and insights and helped to get the word out about the event.

As we begin planning for 2019, we’d love to hear your ideas and suggestions.  Please don’t hesitate to contact us at any time.

Debra Chipman & Elizabeth Cutler



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