Six organizations vie for INFORMS 'science of better' innovation prize

ms. PLATO produced overall time and cost saving and reduced required resources without compromising level of service. Its assistance managing operations design contributed an additional savings.

  • Eli Lilly: Antifolates are among the most promising potential anticancer agents but they carry varied risks of toxicity; although rarely occurring, the combination of toxicities can result in death. Eli Lily was forced to halt clinical development of its antifolate ALIMTA, despite observed anti-tumor activity and more than $300 million invested.

    Operations research helped Eli Lilly resume testing. In addition to collecting standard clinical data, Eli Lilly researchers in the phase 2 clinical development of ALIMTA began collecting patient vitamin deficiency markers and using operations research methods to identify severe toxicities, allowing researchers to quantify the relative risks.

    As a result, the safety of ALIMTA was profoundly improved. In 2004, ALIMTA was approved both in the U.S. and the European Community for treatment of the asbestos-related, difficult-to-treat cancer mesothelioma - ALIMTA is the first and only drug approved - and, with initial chemotherapy, for lung cancer after disease progression. ALIMTA is now under broad clinical investigation worldwide for treatment of other common cancers such as breast, colorectal, and head and neck cancers.

  • General Motors: Using operations research to achieve one of its signature benefits, greater efficiency, GM saved over $800 million through improved productivity at 30 company plants in 10 countries. The savings were realized using novel, state-of-the-art algorithms and modeling systems developed for estimating throughput performance, identifying bottlenecks, and buffer allocation, coupled with improved, global deployment of data collection and performance improvement processes.

  • Nanzan Educational Complex, working with its parent Nanzan University, developed an educa

  • Contact: Barry List
    Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences

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