Sumitomo Pharma's DX/03

Accelerating DX

Utilizing technology and talents to accelerate DX

Sumitomo Pharma's DX Strategy

In our Mid-term Business Plan 2022 (FY2018 to FY2022), DX is positioned as one of our initiatives to rebuild our business foundation by establishing a growth engine and building a flexible and efficient organizational foundation. We have built a DX promotion system that realizes the integration of not only IT and digital, but also our group companies and each department to allow rapid decision-making. We have also been working to raise the level of digital literacy (skills) and mindset of the entire company and develop digital workplaces. Further, through a strategic alliance with Roivant Sciences completed in December 2019, we acquired DrugOME and Digital Innovation, which are healthcare technology platforms, and the talents to utilize them, to further accelerate the Group's DX efforts. By making full use of these systems, technologies, and talents, and by setting quantitative targets linked to sales and R&D milestones, we will improve the accuracy of drug discovery, shorten the development period, and stably manufacture drugs that are safer and more reliable, so that we will generate innovative pharmaceuticals and healthcare solutions as well as deliver value to a wider range of healthcare professionals, patients, and their families.
To contribute to the health and wellbeing of people, we will accelerate our DX efforts by focusing on the creation and enhancement of business value, and promote our transformation into a data-driven pharmaceutical company, new value creation and operational reforms to achieve sustained growth.



CDO - Chief Digital Officer

DX Promotion System

Effective December 2019, Dan Rothman, then Chief Information Officer of Roivant Sciences, assumed the role of Chief Digital Officer for the entire Sumitomo Pharma Group. In addition, we have established a Global Data Design Office in Japan and are working closely with Sumitovant, a company newly established through a strategic alliance with Roivant Sciences, to promote the use of DrugOME and Digital Innovation to improve the efficiency of R&D for new drugs and drive DX across the entire Group, including overseas subsidiaries.
For quick and flexible decision-making on DX projects, we have established a Digital Transformation Committee in Japan comprised of the Global Data Design Office, Global Corporate Strategy, and IT & Digital Transformation, as well as a cross-organizational working group to promote AI and Data utilization. Under this framework, we are promoting the use of DX for the Group's advanced technologies.

Dan Rothman (left), Chief Digital Officer (CDO) of the Group

Presentation Movie

  • Dan Rothman, CIO of Sumitovant, CDO of Sumitomo Pharma Group
    About DX (Sumitovant Meeting March 23, 2021)



About DrugOME

DrugOME is a system that leverages diverse data points to promptly deliver quality solutions to varying business issues. The DrugOME team consists of data scientists with advanced expertise in computational research and capabilities. The team communicates and works closely with broader business teams to solve for issues or drive capabilities. We are promoting the use of DrugOME in various situations in our value chain, such as evaluating the feasibility of development compounds using real-world data, optimizing development plan and clinical study designs, making clinical studies more efficient (selection of facilities and recruiting patients), and early acquisition of promising pipelines.


Presentation Movie

  • Bill McMahon, Chief Algorithmic Analytics Officer, Sumitovant
    About DrugOME (Sumitovant Meeting March 23, 2021)


Digital Innovation

Promotion of Digital Innovation

Digital Innovation is a system for digitally resolving issues and improving operational efficiency in response to various challenges faced in the course of business activities. Dedicated engineers called Digital Innovators (DI) are assigned to each business department, listen directly to the needs within the company, and develop or offer new applications (apps) or automation solutions tailored to the business of that department. As a common platform is used at Group companies, the applications created by each DI can be shared among departments and Group companies. Through DX activities, including Digital Innovation, we will further strengthen the Group's overall digital capabilities and advance operational reforms.


Sumitovant Meeting

In March 2021, we held a meeting on the business of Sumitovant, a subsidiary of the Company, for securities analysts, institutional investors, and the media. The presentation material is publicly available, so please refer to it as needed.

* Sumitovant promotes the use of healthcare technology platforms in the Sumitomo Pharma Group.

●Click the following link for the presentation material of Sumitovant Meeting.

System Development Suitable for DX

We develop applications by leveraging the strengths of both external partners and in-house agile development in parallel.


Aadvanced Technology Utilization

Utilization of advanced external technologies

We are pursuing the creation of an ecosystem by developing applications in collaboration with external partners who have cutting-edge core technologies. We are undertaking initiatives in various areas, including image analysis AI and talent management, one of the HR Tech (Human Resources Technology) areas, and in some of these areas, the results are already being applied to actual business and beginning to deliver unprecedented value.

●Click the following link for the article about HR Tech in Sumitomo Pharma.
Analyzing Factors for the Production of Results with Talent Management - Sumitomo Pharma
by Nikkei BP HumanCapital ONLINE 07/07/2021 (in Japanese only)


Team Development

In-House Development by Dedicated Teams

We use in-house development for systems with no precedent nor definite requirements, or systems subject to changing development priorities according to the customer's business conditions. Such development is made possible by dedicated teams whose members come from various internal and external departments and a high level of collaboration between them and business departments. Our in-house development teams utilize design thinking and agile methodologies to deliver valuable digital tools quickly and continuously, with customer satisfaction as the top priority.
They develop a wide range of applications, including predictive analysis of clinical study subject entries, drug discovery-related integrated platforms, pharmaceutical information search applications, clinical study-related document creation support applications, side effect information extraction applications, and telework communication support applications.


Infrastructure to Promote DX

We are developing an infrastructure platform that will allow us to make more effective use of systems and digital technologies developed both inside and outside the company and the data stored in them. This infrastructure platform will enable the company-wide use of data that was previously held independently by each department, and promote the effective use of unstructured data (e-mail, documents, images, video, audio, etc.), making it possible for all employees to easily utilize and analyze data.
We also use business intelligence (BI) tools to visualize data and promote data use with the aim of realizing data-driven decision making. We are also working on developing a citizen developers model that uses PowerApps and PowerAutomate. Employees creating and sharing their own apps further accelerate our digitalization progress.

Organizational Culture Reform to Support DX


Agile Application to Office Work

To improve our flexibility and agility in responding to changes in the business environment, we have formed a virtual team to promote agile together with Sumitovant and are promoting the adoption of agile work styles.

We are gradually introducing agile as shown in the figure below, and this applies to all office work, not only system development. Agile work styles that focus on customer value and quick and iterative improvements are beginning to foster self-disciplined and independent teams and create behavioral changes.


DX Human Resources Development

Developing DX Human Resources to Maximize Value

DX is realized with technology and people. In order to produce talents who can contribute to the realization of diverse well-being by integrating human knowledge and values with technology, we are implementing a variety of human resource development measures.
In the two years since 2018, we have raised the level of digital literacy across the company with Digital Festivus, an internal event that fosters a culture of enjoying digital while experiencing the latest actual technologies, and Digital Terrace, a seminar series that provides an overview of advanced digital technologies such as AI, IoT, 5G, and blockchain.
In 2021, we are implementing an in-house open-recruitment-type data scientist training program to develop 100 Assistant Data Scientists* over a period of three years to foster human resources with greater digital proficiency. This will allow us to add new knowledge and insights from data to our own knowledge and experience in the field, and to continuously implement activities that maximize business value in all of our departments.
At the same time, we are implementing an educational curriculum to improve planning ability for solving internal problems digitally. Going forward, we plan to further promote the penetration and spread of digital technology and train citizen developers so that anyone in the company can easily and quickly automate familiar tasks using digital technology with no or minimal coding.

* Based on "Skill Checklist Ver. 3.01" by the Japan Data Scientist Society.