Project Management in Drug Discovery: Current Practices and Opportunities

Charles W. Locuson, PhD, PMP

Abstract
The demand for drug discovery organizations to produce viable drug candidates is critical, as they try to progress pipelines in a pharmaceutical industry facing increased complexity and costs. Drug discovery organizations utilize project management processes to varying degrees to advance their pipelines. Yet, exactly how project management practices are implemented across organizations—and how effective they are—does not appear to be information that is available. In order to understand the current state of project management practices, a survey of drug discovery scientists from the pharmaceutical industry, academic institutions, and government agencies was initiated. Survey respondents overwhelmingly point to project management practices as a valuable asset to project teams and have offered several actionable suggestions that would further enhance the effectiveness of project management in drug discovery.

Methods
Drug discovery scientists were solicited to complete a brief, ten-question, anonymous survey related to project management practices. The survey questions specifically targeted scientists who directly support drug discovery project teams (Pre-Investigational New Drug Application or similar metric) so that the answers were less biased toward the clinical development project management goals of the organization. Respondents were informed that …

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