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From Terrorists to T Cells: Applying Big Data Technology to Drug Development

Lauren Chaparro (Palantir Technologies), Andrew Girvin (Palantir Technologies)
Platforms Salon F

With development times of ten years or more and costs of over $1 billion per new medicine, pharmaceutical R&D requires the best information to inform human intuition at the outset of the discovery pipeline. Finding the right drug target in a complicated system of pathways has some surprising analogs to the intelligence work performed by counterterrorism agencies – often finding a key piece of information can lead to a clear course of action.

The data management and analysis challenges faced today by pharmaceutical R&D parallel those faced by intelligence agencies in the early part of the decade: information is spread across multiple data siloes within organizations, progress requires secure sharing between organizations and making sense of conflicting evidence. Add to that the fact that ultimately the humans who need to absorb this information are not data scientists and need interfaces that present information in a form they can rapidly understand and iterate on.

In early discovery specifically, the information that supports complex systems of biological pathways are spread across large relational databases, public data stores of often conflicting evidence that overwhelms the researcher, and unstructured notes in individual scientists’ lab notebooks. Additionally, researchers are often experts on a narrow slice of a specific therapeutic area restricting the macro-picture afforded to this early decision-making. Finally, the ability to draw on similar historic drug candidates to better define assays and safety experimentation is not possible with rigid security models that create walls between groups within organizations, let alone between.

In this presentation, Palantir engineers Andrew Girvin and Lauren Chaparro will demonstrate how to apply next-generation data fusion platforms, first developed for and used by the intelligence community, to the challenge of early R&D. Learn how you can query data across research disciplines and empower next generation drug development once data is integrated and accessible to your researchers.

Photo of Lauren Chaparro

Lauren Chaparro

Palantir Technologies

Lauren Chaparro is an Engineer and leads Palantir Health business development. Before joining Palantir, Lauren was a Life Sciences investor at Health Evolution Partners, a growth-stage private equity fund led by Dr. David Brailer. Previously, she was as a consultant at the Parthenon Group, focused on the healthcare and private equity practices. Prior to Parthenon, Lauren worked at Google, Inc., including membership on the Google Health team.

Lauren graduated cum laude from Princeton University, majoring in
Molecular Biology and the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and
International Affairs. She received her MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Photo of Andrew Girvin

Andrew Girvin

Palantir Technologies

Andrew Girvin, Ph.D., a Forward Deployed Engineer with Palantir Technologies, has significant experience developing applications for Palantir’s pharmaceutical deployments, public health, and environmental science. He brings years of domain expertise to Palantir’s early work in R&D and scientific data analysis. Girvin’s work in the fields of cell signaling and immunology has been published in journals such as Immunity and Protein Engineering, among others. His awards and honors include a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, and membership in Sigma Xi and Phi Beta Kappa. Girvin completed a Ph.D. in immunology at Stanford University, and as an undergraduate, studied biochemistry at Brown University.

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