CARY – Biopharma AstraZeneca has picked SAS to help search for new drug candidates utilizing SAS’ data analytics suite and artificial intelligence as part of what a SAS exec called a “transformation program.”

The deal was announced Tuesday. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

“This partnership with SAS supports the transformation of how we use clinical data to support our patient-centric approach and focus on getting medicines to patients faster than ever before,” said Christopher Miller, vice president for Biometrics at AstraZeneca, in a statement. “It will also allow us to introduce new ways of working and embrace new technologies and trial models to accelerate our portfolio.”

From ‘digital twins’ to new Microsoft partnership, SAS deepens embrace of AI

SAS, a global leader in analytics, over the past two years has steadily increased its investments in AI.

The privately held software firm says it will “support the redesign of clinical and patient data flow by delivering industry-leading analytics and AI, manage changing trial designs in a fast-evolving regulatory environment, enable data re-use, and help accelerate reporting and submission timelines.”

SAS also says it will “deliver increased capacity, automation, interoperability, and flexibility to bring in and analyze diverse and novel patient data sources – such as those coming from wearables, sensors and precision medicine – as part of the submissions process.”

The companies are long-time partners.

“I’m delighted that SAS is building on the strong relationship it has had with AstraZeneca over many years by being part of this transformation program,” Bryan Harris, chief technology officer at SAS, said. “This is exciting because we have solidified a great foundation between our companies, but we also recognize we are just scratching the surface.”

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