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Novartis and Microsoft have announced a new collaboration in order to “transform medicine with artificial intelligence.”

Novartis announced the “imporHowtant step in reimagining medicine” by founding the Novartis AI innovation lab, choosing Microsoft as its strategic AI and data-science partner.

The company says that the new lab aims to bolster Novartis AI capabilities from research through commercialisation and help accelerate the discovery and development of transformative medicines for patients worldwide.

As part of the strategic collaboration announced, Novartis and Microsoft have committed to a multi-year research and development effort which will focus on AI empowerment and AI exploration, using the power of AI to tackle some of the hardest computational challenges within life sciences, starting with generative chemistry, image segmentation & analysis for smart and personalised delivery of therapies and optimisation of cell and gene therapies at scale.

The companies also announced that they will “collaborate to develop and apply next-generation AI platforms and processes that support future programs across these two focus areas,” with the overall investment including project funding, subject-matter experts, technology, and tools.

Vas Narasimhan, CEO of Novartis, said, that as Novartis “continues evolving into a focused medicines company powered by advanced therapy platforms and data science, alliances like this will help us deliver on our purpose to reimagine medicine to improve and extend patients’ lives.”

He continued, “Pairing our deep knowledge of human biology and medicine with Microsoft’s leading expertise in AI could transform the way we discover and develop medicines for the world.”

Joint research activities are reported to include co-working environments on the Novartis Campus in Switzerland, at Novartis Global Service Centre in Dublin, and at Microsoft Research Lab (UK).