Optimizing the planning process for pharmaceutical research

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Reference no: EM131034183 , Length: word count:1000

Project Proposal - Optimizing the drug discovery operations

Project description & background-

Today's pharmaceutical industry faces many challenges due to changing economical and scientific conditions. Traditionally they have been based on relatively simple treatments that could be applied to whole population groups rendering high profits. Increases in regulation and demands for more advanced treatments based on ever more complex understandings of disease have led to spiralling costs. This has been combined with a reduction in profits due to end of patent rights to many of their traditional block busters.

This has led to a globalization of the industry with mergers and acquisitions in response to these challenges. These have exasperated issues of operational inefficiency by introducing challenges of geography and cultural boundaries. Many areas of pharmaceutical research are sub optimal relying heavily on manual intervention based on little or no operational information.

The Edge create and market software tools with the target of increasing productivity and efficiency within this scientific environment. Our company goal is to recover one day per week per scientist. Drug discovery involves processes that generate new potential drugs and vast array of tests that characterise them and ensure they are effective and safe treatments for a given disease. Simply put this means:

Making new drugs
Storing them for use
Identifying which tests are required to evaluate if they are safe and effective
Transporting the drug in the right quantity and form (usually powder or liquid) to the test location
Allocating the test to scientists with enough time and equipment to test it
Ensuring the results are evaluated and interpreted before making any further decisions

This project is focused on evaluating and proposing algorithms for optimizing the planning process for a pharmaceutical research project. This will involve evaluating multiple factors in order to identify the optimal solution to generation of test results for a potential drug.

Aims and objectives-

The Edge already provide a software solution to track requests for testing by project teams. This will identify which potential drugs need to be tested and how much of which form of the drug is needed. Each test has a location, quantity, and time requirement. The aim of this project is to be able to evaluate the optimal combination of

Sample of drug - based on location, quantity and form
Test location - based on capacity, time to transport drug, cost and availability of personnel
Personnel - based on availability, location, and cost


An initial meeting will be held to discuss and ensure thorough understanding of the problem space, this will translated into a requirements document stating the required attributes of any solution and a set of test cases with data to evaluate solutions.

You will spend time to research and propose appropriate mathematical techniques to solve the operational problem. These must be provided with an evaluation of their cost (time to implement and computational cost to evaluate answers), and benefits (time saved, reduction of errors, and increased efficiency). This will be done in collaboration with your supervisor and prepared as a report for discussion.

A meeting will be held with the sponsor to discuss the findings and agree a specific implementation to evaluate the proposed solution based on the test cases.

You will spend time to implement the proposed solution using available software tools and collect test data to present a case for the cost and benefits of the solution.

Finally you will present the findings and discuss you evaluation of the research work.

Person specification

We're looking for someone interested in the subject matter, enthusiastic, a good communicator with strong research skills. The ideal candidate would need some experience with software for algorithm development and/or some basic software programming knowledge.

Software/equipment requirements

The candidate should have an interest in software engineering and be able to implement any proposed solutions either in a language or using a mathematical software package. They must be able to document what they have investigated clearly and be able to communicate the benefits and reasons their chosen algorithm is applicable to the given problem space in terms of its quantitatively measured performance, showing its applicability in the given operational space. In other words; they have considered the application of the chosen solution in a real world setting.

You'll need access to a PC and applicable software with internet access.

Reference no: EM131034183

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