We spoke to Peter Covitz, Senior Director - Information Strategy & Analytics at Pfizer, before his presentation at the Big Data & Analytics for Pharma Summit in Philadelphia on June 10 & 11.
Peter Covitz is an innovation leader in biopharmaceuticals, medical devices, and biomedical informatics. He is currently Senior Director, Information Strategy & Analytics at Pfizer, where he oversees informatics strategy for complex data projects, and runs an operational clinical data services group. Previously Peter served as Senior Vice President, Innovation at Nordion, where he led discovery and clinical programs in oncology, cardiology and nuclear medicine. Peter did his graduate training in microbiology and genetics at Columbia University, and post-doctoral work in genomics and bioinformatics at Stanford University.
What do you think the biggest impact that Big Data has had on the pharma industry?
Big Data is having impact from two directions. First, next generation sequencing and large scale clinical genomics is driving a major expansion into precision medicine. Second, the availability of real-world healthcare data from medical and hospital practices is providing new insights into how patients actually fare on a given therapy. Each of these sources is enabling greater and better data-driven decision making in pharmaceutical development and commercialization.
How do you see the use of data in pharma developing in the next 5 years?
Genomics and real-world healthcare data will continue to grow in impact. The next major step will be convergence, with large medical record databases that also include patient genotype information. Pharma will increasingly leverage the insights that emerge over time from that convergence to identify the most appropriate sub-populations in order to reduce safety risks and optimize efficacy.
What will the audience take away from your presentation at the Big Data & Analytics for Pharma Summit?
My talk will touch upon the industry dynamics that are accompanying these shifts towards greater use of Big Data, along with some examples of Big Data projects at Pfizer.