Open Source Tools in Pharmacometrics

October 28, 2016

The 7th American Confernce in Pharmacometrics was held in Seattle, Washington from October 23 - 27, 2016. On the last day of the conference, there was a session named - “An Overview of Consortia and Open-Source Approaches to Quantitative Drug Development Tools”. This was the first time in my short experience in this field that there has been a discussion on the concept of “sharing” in pharmacometrics. It was bold, new and exciting to see initiatives being taken in our community towards being more collaborative.

You can find the list of speakers and topic session in the conference program page here. In the spirit of the topic, all the speakers decided to share their presentations and collaboratively work in the Open Science Framework (you need to sign up to the website to use it). All presentations made there will be posted here eventually.

I would like to summarize to the best of my ability, the overall message of that session.

  1. There was a clear understanding that there needs to be a shift in the culture of doing science in pharmacometrics to be more open and collaborative.
  2. There was renewed enthusiasm to work on grander challenges in a consortia setting. Many different consortia were introduced and some of them are listed here:
    • C-Path Initiative - develops models in consortia for Alzheimers, TB and Polycystic Kidney Disease
    • Quantitative Systems Pharmacology (QSP) consortia
    • The Right Dose Consortia
    • NeuroD Community of Practice under the C-Path initiatives
  3. There was discussion on the opportunities that we as a community have to influence precision dosing in the clinic and not just to influence drug development projects.
  4. A common interest towards crowdsourced incentive based solutions to
    • Convert published literature models into R based models
    • Submit these R based models to the DDMore Model Repository
    • Develop a crowdsourced meta analysis database that allows micro-contributions from researchers all around the world
    • Develop an incentive platform to solve grand challenges in the quantitative clinical drug development and clinical therapeutics
    • Develop training material that are freely accessible to the community
  5. A new R-based non-linear mixed effect modeling engine called nlmixr
  6. Drive towards pre-print publications using the bioarxiv platform
  7. The most important aspect - there was huge shout out to the champions and their open source tools that are already available in pharmacometrics. The banner image is a timeline and list of the many open source tools available in pharmacometrics as of today.

There was a lot of enthusiasm at the end of the session about the prospects of an open and collaborative community in pharmacometrics. One of the ideas that was a result of this session is the Osmosis Project that stands for Open Source Modeling and Simulation Solutions, a term coined by Marc Gastonguay of Metrum Institute. The project will work closely with the excellent efforts of the DDMore consortium and its various aspects. More details will follow up in subsequent posts. Keep an eye out!

comments powered by Disqus