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Gilead and AWS collaborate on development and delivery of new medicines for patients

With AWS as its preferred cloud provider, Gilead uses AWS machine learning and analytics to better inform clinical trial design and advance data-driven decision making, while prioritising patient privacy and security

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Gilead Sciences Inc has recently selected AWS as its preferred cloud provider. Innovating on AWS and with the help of AWS experts and partners in healthcare and life sciences, Gilead provides its data scientists with the latest advances in machine learning and analytics. These capabilities fuel data-driven decision making across the organisation—from biomarker discovery through manufacturing and clinical trial recruitment—and deliver insights that can help Gilead refine its drug pipeline. The company also relies on AWS to host all workloads for its Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) transformation project to implement SAP S/4HANA, according to a statement from AWS.

“With AWS as our preferred cloud provider, our researchers can use AWS’s portfolio of services to gain the insights, agility and security needed to deliver new medicines at speed, and treat the individual according to their unique needs, not just the disease,” said Marc Berson, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Gilead.

“AWS’s performance, infrastructure and scale are the foundations on which we will complete our ERP transformation and become a more efficient, agile, secure and data-driven business in the cloud,” Berson added.

According to the statement, the use of AWS’s compute, machine learning and database capabilities will support the analysis and integration of diverse genomics, imaging and experimental datasets to support breakthroughs in how Gilead diagnoses and treats diseases. For instance, by securely analysing deidentified patient genomic data at scale on AWS to reveal patterns, Gilead can uncover insights on how people living with cancer respond to the existing therapeutic options, potentially accelerating the discovery of new treatments.

Additionally, in its IT organisation, Gilead uses AWS to host all workloads for its ERP transformation project to implement SAP S/4HANA. These systems support business-critical processes in areas such as supply chain, finance, operations and commercial sales across all therapeutic areas and business units. Running these processes on AWS provides the foundation for Gilead’s implementation of SAP S/4HANA. It also helps the company shorten hardware refresh cycles, increase testing and deployment agility and gain visibility to improve business planning, the statement added.

It further mentioned that this is Gilead’s first implementation of production-scale ERP systems in the cloud, and AWS provides the company’s IT transformation team with scalable, secure and high-performing infrastructure. Working alongside AWS, Gilead will integrate its SAP environments with a wide range of advanced AWS technologies in areas such as analytics and machine learning, uncovering business value and driving innovation. Moving forward, with AWS as the foundation of its new cloud-based SAP environment, the company will use a variety of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instance types, including X1 and X1e instances built for high-performance databases, in-memory databases and other memory-intensive enterprise applications, to run ERP workloads more efficiently.

In addition, Gilead has moved more than 50 per cent of its data center footprint to AWS over the past 12 months through an accelerated cloud migration programme with AWS Professional Services. The company also plans to migrate hundreds of applications to AWS, which include critical applications that support industry good practices (GxP) guidelines and regulations in areas like drug manufacturing, storage and distribution. As a result, Gilead is accelerating its plans to upgrade its IT operations with AWS, while avoiding upfront costs to refresh hardware and the sustained costs of running an “always on,” on-premises IT landscape provisioned for peak use. As an additional element of the migration, the company is building an automated disaster-recovery landscape in AWS. Doing so allows Gilead IT to optimise and scale its disaster recovery processes in the cloud to enhance resiliency.

With the help of AWS Professional Services and AWS experts in healthcare and life sciences, Gilead research and development teams are looking at ways to innovate in the cloud. They are taking an agile product development approach that uses microservices to optimise and automate operational processes throughout the company, and constructing new data architectures to uncover new insights more easily. Through the collaboration, Gilead aims to transform priority areas like clinical programme and study design, patient experience, and centralised statistical adaptive monitoring, which helps Gilead quickly identify and address potential issues related to the management of clinical trials.

“Gilead uses the proven performance of the world’s leading cloud to innovate, scale and deliver powerful therapies for diseases like HIV and cancer, as well as advance standards for precision medicine. By streamlining their IT operations with AWS and taking advantage of our AWS for health offerings, Gilead has the ability to continuously refine its approach to clinical trials, drug development, manufacturing and distribution,” said Matt Garman, Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing, AWS Inc.

He added, “AWS provides the security and privacy that healthcare and lifesciences companies need, as well as the expertise and breadth and depth of services they can rely on to build transformative healthcare solutions that enhance health and wellbeing.”

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