Wayra (Telefónica) joins AstraZeneca to promote innovative initiatives in the health sector

Wayra and the pharmaceutical company, AstraZeneca, have signed a collaboration agreement to promote innovation initiatives within the health sector.

Through this alliance, Wayra will provide AstraZeneca with access to the entrepreneurial ecosystem and its network of investors, while will identify startups whose solutions can be applied to the main health challenges to which the pharmaceutical company wants to contribute. Companies will be able to test their solutions in real environments, with a special focus on the areas of oncology, cardiovascular, renal and metabolic, respiratory and vaccines and immunotherapies.

For its part, AstraZeneca is intensifying its commitment to innovation to improve the lives of patients through science and technology. The company is immersed in a process of digital transformation to maximize the scope of all its activity, and one of its priorities is to get closer to the innovative ecosystem. In this sense, last year it reached an important milestone with the creation of the A.Catalyst Network, AstraZeneca’s interconnected global network that has the objective of catalyzing all the innovation that is being worked on worldwide and that already has more than 20 hubs500 agreements, 100 solutions under development, 300 startups involved and 20 solutions scaled.

One of the main activities with which both companies are already working is the ‘CKD Challenge’ (Chronic Kidney Disease). The initiative aims to promote the development of innovative technological solutions to speed up diagnosis and reduce the burden of chronic kidney disease (CKD), a serious, progressive and little-known pathology that affects one in seven adults in Spain, 15% of the total population1.

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To meet this challenge, both Wayra and AstraZeneca seek to identify innovative solutions that contribute to making an early diagnosis of CKD relying on the most disruptive technologies such as digital biomarkers, artificial intelligence and machine learning, Big Data and data science, wearables, medical devices, connected care and the Internet of Things (IoT / IoMT)

Candidates who want to participate in this action will have to complete a form before September 8 through the platform, where you will also find the application requirements. The projects will be evaluated by a panel of experts based on six dimensions: the use of technology, the value proposition to respond to an unmet need, the potential to improve health care and quality of life, the degree of maturity of the project, the feasibility to be implemented and the degree of innovation.

For Wayra, collaboration is everything. In an open innovation ecosystem, it is essential to build strong collaborative ties with third parties that also believe in innovation and digital transformation. In this way we will maximize our joint efforts to scale the best startups. We are very pleased to be able to accompany AstraZeneca in its commitment to working together with entrepreneurs”explains Paloma Castellano, director of Wayra Madrid.

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