Roche: Doing Now What Patients Need Next with Data & Analytics

By | June 29, 2016

Can you imagine sensors on asthma inhalers?  Sending data to doctors and researchers;  when was the dose was taken? How much?  Biosensors giving feedback on the patient’s reaction to the medication.  Medicine of the future or medicine of now?  This is just one of the possibilities for pharma giant Roche; using data and analytics to deliver medicine of the future right now with the goal to shorten the time it takes medications to get to market, ultimately saving lives.

Vijay“In the future, we need to be a lot faster.  Drugs need to be accessible to patients and using our clinical trial data and other medical data such as diagnostics, real world data, biomarker, and genetics data will help us to reduce the cost and bring the medicine to patients quicker.  Teradata can help us to bring the IT infrastructure and expertise in handling different data types for us.”  – Vijay Reddi, Sr. Mgr. for Statistical Programming

With the vision, “Doing now what patients need next,” Roche pushes the boundaries of medicine in the areas of oncology, immunology, ophthalmology, infectious diseases and neuroscience knowing that when new insights become available, they will follow the medicine.  Last year, Roche revenues were €42B, but they know multiple failed drugs is bad for business.  It takes 10 years and costs a minimum of €800M to develop just one drug; the faster Roche identifies a failure or success, the better.

“When you have a new medicine that comes from a discovery, you spend eight to ten years and you spend hundreds of millions of Euros developing that medicine and then the data that’s been collected just kind of sits there and it’s never touched again. As we move forward, we are looking at repurposing that data and looking at secondary uses that may allow us to gain new insights of an existing drug into a new indication.” -Vijay Reddi, Sr. Mgr. for Statistical Programming

In order to enable the vision, Roche knows that they must execute on technology, people and process.


Roche created GLIDE (Global Integrated Drug Development Environment) which brought togetherGlidescreenshot data silos from acquired companies Genentech & Chugai as well as clinical data, real world data and more unstructured data.  With all this data integrated, Roche scientists and researchers were able to make real-time decisions with real-time processing they hadn’t experienced before.

“You can imagine if you’ve got quite a complex statistical analysis and you have written up the programming code to support that.  You run it overnight and you realize you have made a mistake; you have to run it again, but you can’t run it during the day because you’ll probably crash the system. This is where Teradata has really helped with that kind of analytics.” – Vijay Reddi, Sr. Mgr. for Statistical Programming


At the center of Roche’s advanced analytics is the Medical Data Hub Team. Composed of individuals who understand science, how medicine is developed, and then understand data and statistical analysis, those people partner with people who can manage and load large databases, something for which Roche is looking to Teradata.


Screen Shot 2016-06-29 at 8.03.40 AMRoche wants to shorten the timeline for drugs to be test and approved. That’s where process comes into picture. Employing a vision for all the data necessary to cut development of a drug by 2-3 years. Roche is asking all the right questions.

“I think what’s interesting with Teradata is that it’s not just the IT structure they’re bringing. It’s the consultancy, the expertise.  I’ve sat down with Teradata and we’ve gone over an IT vision of what we’re trying to achieve in the science world and have spoken about the incoming data. How should that data be structured? How should it be consumed through the process? What type of analytics are needed? What types of data modeling should be done and performed? What type of expertise would you need in your company to sustain this and to grow it moving forward? These are probably the areas we’ve never really considered before because we’ve not had that expertise, because we are scientists or statisticians.  That’s been valuable to me, Teradata’s consultancy.”

All of this leads Roche to medicine of the future.  Medicine of the future leads to helping patients and saving lives.

Congratulations to Roche for “doing now what patient’s need next.”

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