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Multiobjective strategies for New Product Development in the pharmaceutical industry

Computers & Chemical Engineering
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.compchemeng.2011.10.004
  • New Product Development
  • Portfolio Management
  • Discrete Event Simulation
  • Optimization
  • Multicriteria Genetic Algorithm
  • Computer Science
  • Economics
  • Mathematics
  • Medicine
  • Pharmacology


Abstract New Product Development (NPD) constitutes a challenging problem in the pharmaceutical industry, due to the characteristics of the development pipeline. Formally, the NPD problem can be stated as follows: select a set of R&D projects from a pool of candidate projects in order to satisfy several criteria (economic profitability, time to market) while coping with the uncertain nature of the projects. More precisely, the recurrent key issues are to determine the projects to develop once target molecules have been identified, their order and the level of resources to assign. In this context, the proposed approach combines discrete event stochastic simulation (Monte Carlo approach) with multiobjective genetic algorithms (NSGAII type, Non-Sorted Genetic Algorithm II) to optimize the highly combinatorial portfolio management problem. In that context, Genetic Algorithms (GAs) are particularly attractive for treating this kind of problem, due to their ability to directly lead to the so-called Pareto front and to account for the combinatorial aspect. This work is illustrated with a study case involving nine interdependent new product candidates targeting three diseases. An analysis is performed for this test bench on the different pairs of criteria both for the bi- and tricriteria optimization: large portfolios cause resource queues and delays time to launch and are eliminated by the bi- and tricriteria optimization strategy. The optimization strategy is thus interesting to detect the sequence candidates. Time is an important criterion to consider simultaneously with NPV and risk criteria. The order in which drugs are released in the pipeline is of great importance as with scheduling problems.

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