A model-driven approach to analyzing and capturing pharmaceutical research processes
A model-driven development approach to pharmaceutical research that is anticipated to streamline the research process and bring new drugs to market more quickly and cost-effectively.
Despite year-to-year increases in research and development budgets, the number of successful new chemical entities continues to decline. Drug companies are looking for new ways to make research processes more efficient, to manage information better and to improve collaboration among research groups. This shift from a traditional artisan approach to an organized, streamlined discovery process is often termed the “industrialization of discovery processes.”
IBM Research teamed with Bayer HealthCare Research, a leader in the health care and medical products industry, to develop an innovative approach to industrializing drug discovery. The collaboration involved formal modeling of research processes. Business operations models were defined in several joint exercises, formally describing specific research processes. These operations model were transformed into an abstract IT solution model, which was subsequently mapped into runtime components. A prototype system was built and validated, and researchers found that such modeling concepts are aligned with current thinking in pharmaceutical research.
What IBM did
IBM researchers focused on analyzing the assay development phase of the drug discovery process. Assay development is part of the early phases of drug discovery; its goal is to establish instructions and protocols for running costly high-throughput screening experiments. Using a model-driven approach, IBM researchers first built an operations model by identifying key business artifacts relevant to assay development and by modeling the artifacts' life cycles and interactions.
The team then developed a solution composition model, derived directly from the initial business operations model. The solution composition model contains IT-level abstractions for the business artifacts and their interactions with people, other artifacts and processes. The critical component of this solution composition model is the adaptive business object, a component model describing the integration of people, processes and information. The solution composition model was then included in an implementation using the IBM WebSphereŽ platform.
This prototype project used the strength of IBM’s research expertise and an innovative model-driven approach to help Bayer bridge the gap between business goals and IT capabilities – a key component of IBM’s strategic vision for On Demand Business.