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Boehringer Ingelheim partners with Lifebit to detect global infectious disease outbreaks

  • Lifebit’s deep learning, Natural Language Processing and Artificial Intelligence platform automatically detects and tracks global infectious disease outbreaks using real-world evidence
  • The captured insights can accelerate detection of the latest outbreaks including transboundary diseases and emerging pathogens

Boehringer Ingelheim, a global leader in animal health, announces the beginning of a long-term partnership with Lifebit Biotech to utilize Artificial Intelligence (AI) for the detection and early-reporting of global disease outbreaks using real-world data harvested from scientific publications and other open sources. Utilizing the Lifebit REAL platform, insights into the latest infectious disease outbreaks allow R&D efforts to be prioritized accordingly. 

Scientists and researchers from the two organizations will work side-by-side to combine real-world evidence and the latest AI algorithms to identify infectious disease outbreaks and respond accordingly. Lifebit REAL uses advanced analytic capabilities to automatically notify users of relevant outbreaks, such as transboundary disease spread or the emergence of pathogens, such as COVID-19. The system is built around an active learning architecture: with more relevant data ingested, the accuracy of the system increases.

As an example, over 500 million tweets, 3 million news articles and thousands of scientific papers are published every day. However, with the sea of data being so vast, it is challenging for decision makers to collate meaningful insights that are both useful and actionable. Lifebit’s system alleviates these difficulties by combining precision data harvesting techniques with proprietary cutting-edge AI algorithms to identify signals from all the data noise.

Dr. Eric Haaksma, Head of Animal Health Global Innovation Boehringer Ingelheim, shared: “External innovation is becoming an increasingly important aspect of our R&D playbook. Therefore, we are strategically partnering with Lifebit to leverage AI to monitor and interpret scientific and other sources in real-time, enabling us to track data related to animal diseases. This, in turn, will accelerate the detection process as the vast amounts of scientific relevant information being produced at many levels cannot be feasibly collected and analyzed manually.”

Dr. Maria Chatzou-Dunford, CEO of Lifebit Biotech, added: “At Lifebit we thrive at connecting both, locked-up sensitive biomedical data from around the world and AI-driven automated RWE data insights - so that companies at the cutting edge of science, like Boehringer Ingelheim, can make faster and smarter decisions - delivering insights that change lives.”

About Lifebit Biotech

To cure diseases, researchers need to access and use as much biomedical data as possible, which are often inaccessible and unusable. Lifebit’s patented federated technology securely unlocks access to data-generating insights and delivers more precise drugs faster. Lifebit builds enterprise data platforms for use by organizations with complex and sensitive biomedical data environments. From providing Trusted Research Environments for national precision medicine programs to enabling pharmaceutical companies to discover new drug targets, Lifebit empowers customers across the public and private sectors to transform how they use sensitive and complex biomedical data. More information is available here:

Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health

The lives of animals and humans are interconnected in deep and complex ways. We know that when animals are healthy, humans are healthier too. Across the globe, our 9,700 employees are dedicated to delivering value through innovation, thus enhancing the well-being of both.

Respect for animals, humans and the environment is at the heart of what we do. We develop solutions and provide services to protect animals from disease and pain. We support our customers in taking care of the health of their animals and protect our communities against life- and society-threatening diseases.

Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health is the second largest animal health business in the world, with net sales of 4.1 billion euros in 2020 and presence in more than 150 countries. For more information visit:

Boehringer Ingelheim

Boehringer Ingelheim is working on breakthrough therapies that improve the lives of humans and animals. As a leading research-driven biopharmaceutical company, the company creates value through innovation in areas of high unmet medical need. Founded in 1885 and family-owned ever since, Boehringer Ingelheim takes a long-term perspective. Around 52,000 employees serve more than 130 markets in the three business areas, Human Pharma, Animal Health, and Biopharmaceutical Contract Manufacturing. Learn more at