Takeda Joins Forces with Accenture, AWS to Transform to Cloud-Based Company

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Takeda has entered into a five-year agreement with Accenture and Amazon Web Services (AWS) to support the Tokyo-based pharmaceutical company in moving 80% of its applications to the “cloud” and modernizing the company’s research tools. Additionally, the new collaboration will help Takeda accelerate data services and establish an internal digital engine to find ways of innovating daily in-house activities, according to a statement made by the company on Tuesday.

The collaboration will also fuel job growth at Takeda. The company announced that it will create hundreds of new jobs over the next three years, all of which will be for specialized roles in emerging digital and data fields. Additionally, the move will help improve the digital and data skills and capabilities of current employees, thereby helping to facilitate the upward trajectory of employees’ career paths into the future.

"Takeda’s bold move to become a cloud-first company, 80% in the cloud, is a powerful example of how transformation benefits all – from accelerating therapies for patients, to empowering employees with new ways of working, creating new jobs, and upskilling people for the digital world, to the sustainability benefits of moving to the public cloud,” Accenture’s CEO, Julie Sweet, said in a statement. “We are proud to partner with Takeda and AWS to make this vision a reality at speed and scale."

Accenture and AWS have been in partnership with each other for a decade, and this new business relationship with Takeda suggests the two companies will likely remain in business together for more years to come.

The transition of the majority of Takeda’s applications to the cloud will enable the company to remove “non-differentiating technology” and create a scalable architecture, the company said in their statement.

In addition, this move to a predominantly cloud-based system was designed to decrease the company’s capital expenditures and lower its internal data center footprint.

“The breadth and depth of AWS services enable Takeda to quickly and efficiently discover, develop, and manufacture therapeutics securely and compliantly,” according to a statement made by Andy Jassy, CEO of AWS. “We’re excited to continue our work with Takeda as they innovate to deliver accessible and promising new therapies to save lives.”

The collaboration with Accenture and AWS has already helped the global pharmaceutical company use the cloud to launch a clinical trial acceleration and secure data sharing platform for the coronavirus disease (COVID) R&D Alliance in less than five days. The COVID R&D Alliance is a consortium comprising 20 drug makers, including Takeda, Amgen and AbbVie, to study and identify potential COVID 2019 (COVID-19) therapies. According to Takeda, launching a platform like this would usually take up to three months without the new cloud-based system approach.

“By combining the power of three organizations, Takeda is making a bold move to be at the intersection of human health, technology and business growth,” said Takeda’s President and CEO, Christophe Weber. “My vision is that, in less than ten years, every Takeda employee will be empowered by an artificial intelligence assistant to help make better decisions, enabling us to deliver transformative therapies and better experiences to patients, physicians and payers faster than previously possible. Together, Accenture and AWS will propel Takeda further than we could alone to make this vision a reality.”

Takeda will also use its new technology capabilities to help expand its plasma therapies unit and streamline plasma donation and manufacturing for COVID-19 therapies. The company most recently initiated a Phase III trial of plasma treatments for COVID-19, in conjunction with CSL Behring and Emergent Biosciences and Grifols. Reuters recently announced that Takeda has begun manufacturing a plasma therapy for COVID-19 prior to approval, but no news has been made available as to how many doses of the treatment will be produced by the end of this year.

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