Pistoia Alliance predicts a focus on the fight against antimicrobial resistance and a surge in quantum computing research for 2022

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The Pistoia Alliance, a global, not-for-profit alliance that advocates for greater collaboration in life sciences R&D, has today outlined predictions for the life sciences industry in 2022. The predictions come from three experts recently appointed by the Alliance to drive collaboration efforts across its three key themes. Their insights span the urgent fights against antimicrobial resistance, the potential of quantum computing and commercial space travel, and autonomous laboratories. Throughout 2021, digital transformation has continued to accelerate and the pharmaceutical industry has further embraced collaboration, both of which will underpin success in emerging areas in the next 12 months.

Linda Kasim, Empowering the Patient theme lead, Pistoia Alliance: “In 2022, the renewed focus on the fight against super bugs and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) will be prioritized. This will be primarily driven by public-private partnerships, funding from philanthropic organizations, governments and international bodies to incentivize research. The public sector must quickly increase investment into AMR research, or the cost to national economies and public health could be devastating. mRNA technologies will represent a rapid and valuable platform to be further exploited for vaccines against AMR infections.”

“Digital health platforms will also be more integrated seeking efficiency through harmonized data generation. The use of Self-Sovereign Identities within healthcare solutions will expand. For these breakthroughs to happen, regulatory authorities must catch-up with the pace of research and innovation in health systems in 2022 by updating legal frameworks.”

Imran Haq, Emerging Science and Technology theme lead, Pistoia Alliance: “Driven by macro geopolitical trends and Big Tech, emerging technologies are being developed increasingly rapidly. Reflecting this, deal making in the quantum space will continue to grow a pace in 2022. As the buzz around the sector increases, will this be the year we finally start to see translation of this buzz into early versions of applications and use cases in the pharma industry? A likely quantum use case could be to improve supply chain efficiency. Big promises have been made during COP26, and large organizations, including pharma companies, must have net zero strategies. This is also an area we would like to explore with the Pistoia Alliance’s Quantum Computing Community of Interest.”

Pharma is also going to play an increasingly critical role in space exploration. As plans to launch a commercial space station from companies like Blue Origin accelerate, pharma should be engaged to ensure humans are healthy and can survive in the long term in extreme environments. 2022 is the time to think how we could be molding and driving forward health in space.”

Anca Ciobanu, Improving the Efficiency and Effectiveness of R&D theme lead, Pistoia Alliance: “Efficiency in R&D is on an exponential growth path as more pharma and biotech organizations partner with AI and robotics companies, enabling a more automated drug discovery process. In 2022, the major tech players will increase their focus on the life sciences and will play an important role in developing new products and initiatives. The application of new technologies will not only empower scientists to conduct experiments more efficiently, but it will also help them make more breakthrough discoveries. As companies continue to invest resources in launching or improving their autonomous labs, researchers will need upskilling in data science, to be able to program and interact with the machines.”

The Pistoia Alliance has more than 150 member companies including major life science companies, technology and service providers, academic groups, publishers, and patient research groups. Members collaborate as equals on projects that generate value for the worldwide life sciences and healthcare ecosystem.