The Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Authority (MHRA) held a tender to entrust the development of a system based on artificial intelligence.
The tender, worth £1.5 million, was won by Genpact, which will develop AI software to screen the high volume of adverse reaction (ADR) reports to Covid-19 vaccines that the drug agency expects, so that no symptoms or manifestations are missed.
The company is a subsidiary of the US GenPact group that owns Cora PharmacoVigilance, a tool based on artificial intelligence and machine learning that can be used to identify patterns in data to predict potential side effects.
The decision was taken because the timeframe for the development and testing of vaccines against Covid-19 were so accelerated that an accurate analysis of their safety was not possible. For this reason, it may be difficult to predict how the new vaccines will interact with the immune systems of millions of people.
The MHRA told the Financial Times that, based on historical vaccination data, between 50,000 and 100,000 ADR reports are expected for every 100 million doses administered to patients over a period of 6-12 months.
This is a timely and appropriate decision that sees the use of artificial intelligence for the analysis and measurement of the pharmacological risk of vaccines.