versions of a single vaccine candidate (with different attributes) can be saved and then compared directly one against another as well as with competing vaccines.
For example, suppose a new vaccine against tuberculosis with some predefined set of attributes is entered by a user as TB Vaccine 1. The multi-attribute utility model will create a value score for this vaccine, and the user can save this specific vaccine as one among many.
Now let the user alter one or more of the attributes for the same tuberculosis vaccine and save the results as TB Vaccine 2. This can be compared against TB Vaccine 1 and other versions. This process thereby allows the user a choice among alternative intensities and distributions if necessary data have been provided by the user.
Phase II enhancements could incorporate, for example, “tornado diagrams” showing how much each candidate vaccine’s score changes in response to, say, a doubling or halving of each attribute’s value. These diagrams give an immediate visual representation of the extent to which the outcomes strongly depend on the value of inputs. The committee will also consider the possibilities to expand and automate the sensitivity analyses in Phase II.
Following the development of SMART Vaccines Beta, a concept evaluation session was organized to obtain feedback from potential users. Each of the 11 consultant evaluators participated in a webinar led by a committee member and staff; four similar webinars were held, with two to four evaluators participating in each session. The evaluators were asked to provide feedback regarding the basic concept, software design, technical features, potential applications, and audiences. In general, the overall concept of SMART Vaccines Beta was received positively, even enthusiastically, with the exception of one evaluator who shared concerns regarding the basis and extension of the work. Many of the features of SMART Vaccines Beta have already been updated in response to the comments from concept evaluators. More important, many features have the potential to be upgraded in Phase II of this study.
The committee’s observations and views on the next steps in the enhancement of SMART Vaccines Beta are presented in Chapter 4.