Emily Graham

Student

I am interested in the problem of optimal portfolio decision making in the context of a pharmaceutical portfolio, with a particular interest in portfolios containing combination therapies.Combination therapies combine existing drugs and new molecular entities (NMEs) with an aim to produce a synergistic effect. This means that the effect of the combination is greater than the additive effect of the separate components. While combination therapies containing NMEs are an exciting development and hold a lot of promise, they bring some new challenges with them. For example, given the nature of these therapies there will be a huge number of possible combinations. Therefore, there is a need for methods which assist in making the decision of which combination therapies from this large set of possible combinations should be chosen for further development i.e. which drugs to add to the portfolio.Some existing methods for portfolio decision making include real options based methods and modifications of the resource constrained project scheduling problem. While these methods may work in the context of a typical portfolio, they do not take into account combination therapies or the potential to learn across trials with similar combinations. We believe that taking this into account could lead to better decision making and hence better outcomes for the portfolio.Therefore, my project has two main aims: the first is to build methodology which allows information to be shared across studies for similar combinations and the second will be to let this sharing of information feed into the portfolio decision making process itself.

Emily Graham
The MPS Research Unit
Department of Mathematics and Statistics
Fylde College; Lancaster University Lancaster, Lancashire LA1 4YF

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Research Interests

  • Portfolio decision making