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Tom Finegan Talks Big Data in Pharma, Right to Try, and More on Panel

Triangle Business Journal | June 19, 2018

Triangle Business Journal hosted a panel of executives to discuss hot topics in the life sciences industry Tuesday morning.

Topics for the panel included differences with the Federal Drug Administration, varying opinions on Right to Try, and the impact generics and biosimilars on drug prices. In particular, the panelists and audience members had a lot to say about the impact of data and artificial intelligence. Panelists included PRA Health Sciences Vice President of Clinical Development Brandon Early; Tom Finegan, chairman and CEO of Clarkston Consulting; and David Shoemaker, senior vice president of research and development at Rho.

Big data is being used more frequently in the pharmaceutical processes, but not without hurdles.

“As pharma companies have been acquiring their new therapies or other companies to continue their growth, they need to integrate all of their data,” says Finegan. “If yesterday required humans to develop and find new drugs, tomorrow it’s going to be a combination of human and the data.”

Shoemaker was less optimistic about the potential for data to make large changes in the field. Any changes that could be gleaned are years to come, according to him.

“Big data is nowhere near where people think it’s going to be. If you don’t plan the experiment from the beginning you’re not going to get results. I think it’s going to be years before we understand how to develop databases proactively that can be integrated down the road,” says Shoemaker.

Click through to read the full article and see pictures from the event.