Pistoia Alliance sets out strategic priorities in key areas of R&D  

The Pistoia Alliance has announced four new strategic priorities that will enable the not-for-profit group to accelerate key areas within R&D. 

The Pistoia Alliance has appointed steering committees to lead collaboration in the areas of sustainability, adoption of AI, the use of real-world data and data-driven value. The priorities were selected in response to the evolving needs of the life science industry amid digital transformation, climate change, and shifts in how research is conducted and healthcare is delivered post-pandemic. The Pistoia Alliance also consulted its members and revisited the challenges raised in its latest Lab of the Future survey.   

Speaking about the priorities, Dr Hall Gregg, Chief Portfolio Officer at the Pistoia Alliance said: “The life sciences industry is at an inflexion point in the face of technological innovation, global health challenges, and the emergence of new business models. The pandemic was a similar time of upheaval that proved the value of cross-industry collaboration, and researchers want this change to continue. In our recent survey, 60% of life science experts pointed to a need for collaboration or building industry best practice guides.”  

“Solving common issues has always been Pistoia’s mission – the time is right to realign our portfolio amid these tectonic shifts, so that we can focus on the issues that matter most to our members and industry. We now invite members to come forward to contribute to this strategy and suggest new project ideas under these four umbrellas,” Dr Gregg added.  

The new committees will build on the work the Alliance has been doing over the past 15 years and give members even more of a chance to steer the Alliance’s strategy. The priorities are:  

  • Harness AI to Accelerate R&D – 54% of life sciences companies already use AI in the lab, and 60% plan further investment in the technology in the next two years. But there are still common barriers to AI adoption, including ethical and privacy concerns, which this group will address through initiatives such as the AI Community of Experts. 
  • Deliver Data-Driven Value – Data is the foundation for emerging technologies like Generative AI, but the industry still struggles to manage, maintain, and share data effectively. This group aims to overcome these common challenges through projects that leverage ontologies, data enrichment, and data integration technologies. 
  • Sustainability driven R&D – ESG has become a priority for pharma, as the industry looks to reduce its carbon footprint and increase the diversity of its workforce. This group will look at the tangible changes the industry can make in these areas, for example the Carbon Footprint for Decentralized Trials project. 
  • Accelerate the use of Real-World Data – The rise of wearables, internet of things (IOT) devices, social media and electronic health records holds huge promise for collecting and sharing patient data and enabling them to be more involved in their care. But harnessing this data in an accurate and ethical way is new territory for the industry and must be explored together. 

“External pressures are continually changing and technology is always progressing – so the Pistoia Alliance must evolve too. We designed these priorities to be ‘living and breathing’, so they can flex to the areas that will be most impactful for our members now and in the future,” added Dr Becky Upton, President of the Pistoia Alliance. “We are confident that the new priorities will fuel even more breakthroughs. We encourage companies to come forward and support collaborative innovation through our new projects, so that we can bring new treatments to patients sooner – who are the most important stakeholders of all.” 

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