Excellence Is a Team Sport

Excellence Is a Team Sport

Scientific excellence–asking the right question, then designing and conducting a valid study that answers that question and influences future research–is widely accepted as a benchmark for success in research. However, excellence of a more complicated sort is required in Pharma research. For example, excellence in pharmacometric modeling and simulation has to encompass 3 types of excellence: strategic, operational, and technical.

Strategic excellence in pharmacometrics happens when existing knowledge about the disease and the drug is used to formulate goals and objectives and to provide a solid rationale for a specific analysis. Operational excellence is a result of precise data selection and total attention to detail in preparation of high-quality, error-free, analysis-ready datasets. Technical excellence results when pharmacometric scientists use their training and experience to perceive relationships in the data, formulate explanations, and accurately represent the data in the mathematical equations that constitute the model.

An obstacle to the pursuit of excellence in pharmacometrics is that scientists with a broad range of talent and experience are needed. Teams with the requisite strategic, technical, and operational skills must be created. The best teams include scientists with diverse skills and perspectives who have a sense of inquisitiveness and who trust and appreciate the skill sets that others bring to the project. A shared vision of the problem and a commitment to finding common ground for developing solutions are vital. Once the right people are found, an excellent pharmacometrics team will work together to design, conduct, and interpret analyses that answer difficult questions.

With strategic, technical, and operational excellence, modeling and simulation can build a framework for addressing a particular R&D challenge and can have an impact on decision–making at critical milestones. Excellent model-based R&D can truly play a critical role in the synthesis of knowledge that will bring success to drug development programs.

Are you hooked? Visit the Knocked My Socks Off! blog for an example of how a talented songwriter and a talented singer can team up to create a song that gives you goosebumps. And, be sure read the next Pharma of the Future? blog entry, coming soon.