4 years ago

Predicting drug safety and communicating risk: benefits of a Bayesian approach.

Stanley E Lazic, Nicholas Edmunds, Christopher E Pollard
Drug toxicity is a major source of attrition in drug discovery and development. Pharmaceutical companies routinely use preclinical data to predict clinical outcomes and continue to invest in new assays to improve predictions. However, there are many open questions about how to make the best use of available data, combine diverse data, quantify risk, and communicate risk and uncertainty to enable good decisions. The costs of suboptimal decisions are clear: resources are wasted and patients may be put at risk. We argue that Bayesian methods provide answers to all of these problems and use hERG-mediated QT prolongation as a case study. Benefits of Bayesian machine learning models include intuitive probabilistic statements of risk that incorporate all sources of uncertainty, the option to include diverse data and external information, and visualisations that have a clear link between the output from a statistical model and what this means for risk. Furthermore, Bayesian methods are easy to use with modern software, making their adoption for safety screening straightforward. We include R and Python code to encourage the adoption of these methods.

Publisher URL: http://doi.org/10.1093/toxsci/kfx236

DOI: 10.1093/toxsci/kfx236

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