Follow-Up Thread for "The Role of R in Drug Discovery, Research and Development" Webinar


A webinar presentation by Roche & Genentech, hosted by RStudio
Live on July 17th at 11:00AM - 12:00PM EDT


The analytics required to bring a novel molecule to market involves the collective effort of hundreds of quantitative scientists, with incredibly diverse training, tools and workflows. In this talk, speakers from Roche/Genentech will discuss the diverse ways R can be used in different stages of the pharma lifecycle, spanning research and discovery, through to development and market access.

Speakers and Topics

Enabling collaborative software development with inner and open-source

Presented by: Michael Lawrence - Scientist, Genentech Research and Early Development

Adapting to the rapidly changing requirements of science requires collaborative software development across the enterprise, industry and field. The principles of open and inner source provide an effective model of collaboration that breaks down silos through decentralized, bottom-up participation. We will present a framework for accommodating grassroots development within a traditional corporate structure.

Self-service statistics with Shiny

Presented by: Sebastian Wolf - Scientific Software Developer, Roche Diagnostics

QA processes in Roche Diagnostics are dependent on statistical evaluations. As such evaluations follow certain standard operating procedures, the biostats department decided to enable users doing them by themselves. The R-Shiny app bioWARP brings standard procedures such as linear regression or equivalence tests to people who cannot code R. It saves them the time they would have spent consulting a Biostatistician or using validated Excel sheets.

Analyzing Clinical Trials Data using R for Decision Making and Regulatory Submissions

Presented by: Adrian Waddell - Data Analyst, Roche Pharmaceutical

Using R to generate the data analysis results of clinical trials to be included in a submission with the health authorities requires a complete ecosystem of tools, processes and environments. At Roche, we are currently developing such an ecosystem and, in this presentation, I will introduce some of its components. These include: a set of R-based tools to create tables, listings and graphs (TLGs) ad-hoc; a framework to create custom interactive web-applications using shiny for exploratory analysis that support dynamic subsetting and provide reproducibility of the TLGs. Additionally, I will show a proof-of-concept project for streamlining the creation of datasets and TLGs for health authority submissions.

Building a data science team to enable Personalised Healthcare (PHC)

Presented by: James Black - Associate Director, Personalised Healthcare Data Science, Roche Pharmaceutical

Modelled on the tidyverse, Roche/Genentech built a suit of interlocking packages to abstract infrastructure and repetition from our analyses, as well as a common philosophy that underpins this ecosystem. We will also talk about how we integrated these packages into a workflow that included meta-data collection, version controlled code, and a unified online results portal. Finally, we will share our experiences, both positive and negative, introducing this new workflow and the culture and competency shifts that resulted.

About Roche & Genentech

Roche is a global pioneer in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics focused on advancing science to improve people’s lives. The combined strengths of pharmaceuticals and diagnostics under one roof have made Roche the leader in personalised healthcare – a strategy that aims to fit the right treatment to each patient in the best way possible.

Roche and Genentech are data science leaders within the pharmaceutical industry and as valuable partners, they have leveraged RStudio's enterprise-ready data science tools to develop and share insights at scale.

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On one of Michael Lawrence's slides was a logo for a project called CEDAR, which IIRC stood for "Computational Environments for Data Analysis and Research". I wasn't able to find any information online. Is this an internal project or does it have a public online presence somewhere? I'm interested in learning more.

Where can we find the recording and slides of this webinar?

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No slides yet, but the video got posted here:


Thank you very much!

Indeed that is an internal infrastructure project, relying on multiple software components, the most externally relevant of which are already open-source and on CRAN: switchr and GRANbase.


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