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Wednesday, June 21 • 2:00pm - 3:15pm
#353: What Do the Experts Believe? Translating Expert Knowledge and Judgment Into a Quantitative Belief Distribution

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Component Type: Workshop
Level: Basic
CE: CME 1.25; IACET 1.25; RN 1.25

In drug development, we are regularly required to make decisions (e.g. whether to progress a new molecular entity or new biologic to the next phase of development or what doses of a compound to test) or to design a clinical trial in the face of imperfect evidence about the efficacy and safety of the asset.This can result in making incorrect decisions or assumptions which can lead to failure, false conclusions and/or wasted resources. In these situations, one option is to ask the experts what they believe, and to formally quantify these beliefs and the associated uncertainty.

Prior elicitation is a scientific, structured methodology which to translate expert knowledge and judgment into a quantitative belief distribution that captures the best estimate of what is known “right now” about the true value of the unknown quantity(s) (e.g. true treatment effect of a particular asset), as well as quantifying the uncertainty around the estimate of the true value. The resulting belief distribution can then be used to calculate the probability of success of a new study(s), aid in the evaluation and development of study design and/or integrate into the interpretation of study results (i.e. Bayesian approach).

In this workshop, participants will be introduced to the concepts of prior elicitation, the Sheffield Elicitation Framework (O’Hagan and Oakley) and some of the benefits and challenges of conducting an elicitation. The concepts will be further illustrated through participation in a mock elicitation about a hypothetical new drug.

Learning Objectives

Discuss a structured methodology (Prior Elicitation) to improve the development of reliable assumptions based on expert knowledge; Describe what a prior elicitation is and the benefits and challenges (which will be illustrated through participating in mock elicitation); Identify where a prior elicitation may have value in their work.


Timothy H Montague


What Do the Experts Believe? Translating Expert Knowledge and Judgment Into a Quantitative Belief Distribution
Timothy H Montague

Michael Sonksen


Timothy Montague

Director, Clinical Statistics, GlaxoSmithKline
Tim is a director of clinical statistics at GSK, with over 20 years experience in the pharmaceutical industry across all phases of development and wider range of therapeutic areas. Currently, Tim leads a global team of statisticians supporting clinical development across a diverse... Read More →


Michael Sonksen

Research Scientist, Eli Lilly and Company
I've worked at Eli Lilly and Co and a statistician for about 3 years. Before that I was an Assistant Professor and the University of New Mexico. I'm very interested in applying Bayesian methods to drug development.

Wednesday June 21, 2017 2:00pm - 3:15pm CDT
S401bc McCormick Place 2301 South Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Gate 4 Chicago, IL 60616
  09: TranslSci-Preclin-Clin-ProdDev, Workshop