An article by Captario Head of Science, Stig Johan Wiklund, on selection bias in phase 3 projects!
When making decisions regarding the investment and design for a Phase 3 programme in the development of a new drug, the results from preceding Phase 2 trials are an important source of information. However, only projects in which the Phase 2 results show promising treatment effects will typically be considered for a Phase 3 investment decision. This implies that, for those projects where Phase 3 is pursued, the underlying Phase 2 estimates are subject to selection bias. We will in this article investigate the nature of this selection bias based on a selection of distributions for the treatment effect. We illustrate some properties of Bayesian estimates, providing shrinkage of the Phase 2 estimate to counteract the selection bias. We further give some empirical guidance regarding the choice of prior distribution and comment on the consequences for decision‐making in investment and planning for Phase 3 programmes.