The Awards, which are jointly held by the Royal Statistical Society and PSI (the member organisation for statisticians in the pharmaceutical industry) were presented at the PSI Conference last week (12 May 2015). The winners were announced as follows:
Joint winner, Katrina Gore (pictured left) of Pfizer, was nominated for the prize for her contribution to the development of the Assay Capability Tool (ACT), designed to guide the development of drug discovery assays and to address issues of robustness and reproducibility in research. It has been implemented globally across the PharmaTherapeutics Division of Pfizer. 'The ACT promotes easy-to-follow but absolutely essential experimental design strategies and represents the distilled experience of the provision of over three decades of statistical support to laboratory scientists', explained Phil Woodward, VP of Statistics at Pfizer, when making the nomination.
The other winner was judged to be the team led by Nicky Best (pictured right) at GSK which has implemented a process that has turned beliefs about the chances of success into formal prior distributions. These models are used to design and critique their clinical trial designs, providing an estimate of the probability of trial success. 'We believe that the introduction of elicitation and probability-based portfolio decision-making has shifted GSK's drug development paradigm for the better,' said Sara Hughes, VP and Head of Clinical Statistics at GSK, who nominated the team, adding: 'We have shifted our organisation from frequentism to Bayesianism, largely without mentioning the "B" word'.
PSI chair, Robert Cuffe, said: 'The award is a great chance to celebrate the very best and most influential work that statisticians in industry do. These two entries are worthy winners from different ends of the development spectrum.'