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Drugmakers need to differentiate big data from ‘large data’
  • By Nam Doo-hyun
  • Published 2017.09.27 17:44
  • Updated 2017.09.27 17:44
  • comments 0

It is necessary for Korean pharmaceutical companies to distinguish big data from “large data” before introducing big data to increase the efficiency in developing new drugs, experts point out.

They said the data that Korean pharmaceutical industry wants to use is not big data but merely large data in general.

"It is necessary to clarify whether they want big data or large data and have to understand the difference," said Kim Young-hoon김영훈, CEO of Paminozen파미노젠, a bio-venture developing new drugs, at the “Pharma 4.0 future strategy forum” hosted by Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI)한국보건산업진흥원 and Korea Pharmaceutical and Bio-Pharma Manufacturers Association(KPBMA)한국제약바이오협회 Wednesday.

Only when can a data, which is collected from development process or acquired from marketing material, be linked to the actual development of new drugs, one should regard it as big data, Kim explained.

"In the process of developing new medicines, it 's hard to shorten the non-clinical and phase 1-3 clinical trials periods because they are standard protocol periods,” he said. “It is about five years spent in securing candidate substances and optimizing drugs that drugmakers can take their bets by advancing the timing of the market release.”

Accordingly, companies need a strategy to secure efficient substances by using big data and artificial intelligence(AI), Kim added.

According to market survey of big data conducted by National Information Society Agency (NIA)한국정보화진흥원last year, Korean companies don’t introduce the big data analysis because there are no big data true to its name, the companies are not big enough to analyze big data, they have no businesses to benefit from its introduction, their CEOs and CIOs have no interest in it, they have doubts about its effects, they lack an expert workforce, or they don’t even know what it is, and in that order.

Others, however, said the domestic businesses needs to make bold investments given the difficulties introducing them are not unique to Korea.

"Experts cite the lack of capability to analyze data and insufficient experts as reasons for Korean companies not using big data, but the U.S. has the same problems,” said Hwang Soon-wook황순욱, head of pharmaceutical and bioindustry division at KHIDI. “The U.S. will likely need 140,000-190,000 more experts of big data until 2018."

"Korean companies need to adapt to a rapidly-changing environment in the pharmaceutical industry, changing their awareness of big data and requiring investment and challenges,” he went on to say.

An industry leader agreed. "The use of big data is essential for the bio and pharmaceutical industry. The Fourth Industrial Revolution will change R&D paradigm in the industry,” said Won Hee-mok원희목, chairman of KPBMA in his congratulatory speech. “If we can use it in clinical trials by analyzing massive data, the R&D effectiveness of new drug development will sharply increase."


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