Switzerland-headquartered pharma major Novartis has launched a digital innovation hub in Hyderabad. Novartis Biome India, the digital hub, is aimed at establishing a network between Novartis and partners from across the digital ecosystem, including startups and academia to the biggest players in the industry.
The company's Hyderabad centre, with 6,000 employees out of the total 8,000 employees in India, is the third largest centre of the company, Vas Narasimhan, the CEO of Novartis, said.
The digital hub is the first in Asia and will act as a bridge to the external ecosystem, enabling Novartis teams to better discover, develop and drive collaborations, the company said in a statement.
The Hyderabad centre is the Novartis' fourth digital hub. The three others are in San Francisco (US), Paris (France) and London (UK).
"By joining this global network, the Novartis Biome India can tap into the assets and expertise of the broader Novartis portfolio to have even greater impact, including: access to anonymised data; customised residency programs; personalised mentoring," the company said.
Narasimhan, who was also presented with the Genome Valley Excellence Award at the BioAsia 2020, said "we have to be a data science company".
He underlined the importance of digital technologies. On leveraging technology, he talked of how Novartis had partnered with Zipline drone company to supply medicines to unaccessible regions of Ghana.
Novartis' Chief Digital Officer Bertrand Bodson said India had a strong technology community.
"India has a rich and vibrant technology community. Together, we have a fantastic opportunity to combine our scientific know-how with the expertise of tech players, big and small, to create digital solutions for patients," Bodson said.
Naveen Gullapalli, Head Novartis Hyderabad, said, the company wanted to now "leverage this ecosystem to work with startups and innovators to disrupt healthcare in the country and perhaps the world. We will work closely with internal and external partners in pursuit of high value, potentially disruptive innovations."