For both large and small drug development companies, good communication displayed throughout the preclinical testing process is essential to success. Project leaders who exhibit great awareness, flexibility and communication skills can’t be undervalued in the timely and successful completion of a study.
Open communication and confidence to contribute in the lab are very important. The most successful development teams become adept at recognizing an issue, communicating about how to best address the problem and then making the adjustments to get the project back on track. The leader doesn’t have to be at the forefront of that entire process, but acting as the conduit to guiding it along, so that the entire team is involved, invested and always moving forward toward the stated objective.
The project head who delegates responsibilities to leaders assigned to each sector will help maintain parameters of responsibility, clear lines of communication, and definitive and measurable goals. The most effective project teams have members who understand their roles and responsibilities, which is why assigning those roles at the start of a project will help clarify ownership and is essential to mitigating team inactivity. That empowered leadership and organization will prove beneficial to the company when working with outside partners, who will perform their duties far more proficiently under clear and established logistics and project requirements. That understanding is essential to the success of a project.
While every drug development company values good communication among peers to move the project forward, losing sight of roles and responsibilities in each development area can quickly send a project team into a tailspin. The leader in each area must stay constantly vigilant of his team’s activity and encourage them to communicate problems, issues, or new ideas as they arise.
Awareness. It’s important! The stifled team member who feels no confidence speaking up can lead to dissension. It’s always better for the leader who recognizes an unhappy associate to first speak to them privately to understand their issue, before addressing it with the group. Again, recognition, communication and flexibility are key to clearing a path for the entire team to move forward as one unit working toward the same objectives, understanding roles and responsibilities.
Maintaining Confidence with Unexpected Data
During the course of preclinical testing, if something does go wrong, it’s easy to panic. For example, if preclinical testing reveals adverse toxicology findings in a compound, it can be interpreted as a failure in many different ways. But it may not be a failure, because safety analysis provides a prime opportunity to characterize the direct and indirect effects of the drug. Given that reality, the unexpected toxicity and/or technical challenges that arise can prove beneficial, providing the project team with new insight into the unplanned incident and results. Instead of panicking, the best thing a team leader can do is start asking questions, both with the team and testing partners. In other words, don’t let the problem stop the momentum of the study, but continue moving forward to achieve the objective.
A great deal of unexpected insight can be gained by a drug development company as a result of these inquiries and reviews. Ultimately, that found knowledge will shape both the characteristics of preclinical assessments and the First-in-Human (FIH) clinical trials. Working through this data can narrow the focus of safety testing when trying to understand complex molecules.
The drug development companies with a preclinical study environment and leaders who encourage an abundance of questions afford themselves the opportunity to engage in very productive discussions and build stronger relationships with the safety assessment service providers. That’s positive leadership, moving forward for the benefit of all involved to achieve the best outcome for the company.
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WuXi AppTec provides a broad portfolio of R&D and manufacturing services that enable companies in the pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device industries worldwide to advance discoveries and deliver groundbreaking treatments to patients. As an innovation-driven and customer-focused company, WuXi AppTec helps our partners improve the productivity of advancing healthcare products through cost-effective and efficient, socially responsible and sustainable solutions. With industry-leading capabilities such as R&D and manufacturing for small molecule drugs, cell and gene therapies, and testing for medical devices, WuXi AppTec’s open-access platform is enabling more than 5,200 collaborators from over 30 countries to improve the health of those in need – and to realize our vision that “every drug can be made and every disease can be treated.”