Merck Executive to Give Presentations on Drug Development, Clinical Research

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 1, 2013) - The University of Kentucky Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS) will host a two-part presentation by Dr. Sethu Reddy, vice president and head of U.S. Medical Affairs at Merck & Co., from 1 to 3:30 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 5 in MN 236 at UK Chandler Hospital. The presentation, which is open to the public, will address drug discovery and statistical and clinical significance in clinical research.

Merck is an American pharmaceutical company, and one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. CCTS invited Reddy to share his expertise as part of the ongoing drug development efforts at UK. His presentation will provide a non-promotional industry perspective on drug development and clinical research.

Dr. Philip Kern, director of the CCTS, recognizes the importance of UK’s drug development efforts. “The CCTS is proud to help support drug development at UK,” he said. “Changes in the pharmaceutical industry, along with changes in our community and the regulatory landscape, make drug development a complex scientific endeavor. For this reason, we have developed an integrated program supported by pilot grants, methodologic infrastructure and expertise in translational pharmaceutical research to help investigators develop new drugs and drug targets that will advance the health of Kentuckians.” 

In the first lecture, beginning at 1 p.m., Reddy will discuss, “Bringing Medications from Bench to Bedside.” He will explore the long and complicated process of drug development from early discovery to regulatory approval and marketing.  For example, for every 5,000 to 10,000 compounds discovered, only one will ultimately be approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The drug development process takes an average of 10 to 15 years and usually involves collaboration among industry scientists, academic researchers, and clinicians.

Reddy’s presentation will provide information about the work involved at each stage of the drug discovery and development process and will describe a number of challenges bringing a medication from the chemist's bench to the patient's bedside.

At 2:30 pm, Reddy will continue with the second segment of his presentation, “Understanding Statistical versus Clinical Significance.” Specifically, his presentation will help clinicians better understand what is meant by statistical clinical significance. In evaluating clinical research, statistically significant findings may not always be clinically significant, and Reddy will describe aspects of study design that should be evaluated when determining both the statistical and clinical significance of research findings. A background in statistical concepts and terminology is not needed.

Reddy is a member of the Merck Academy, which is an educational platform dedicated to sharing educational information with the academic and medical communities on subjects drawn from Merck’s key areas of expertise.  The primary audience for Merck Academy is health care professionals interested in expanding their knowledge in areas related to pharmaceuticals and drug development. 

Reddy's primary research interests are clinical endocrinology, including obesity and thyroid disorders, and the epidemiology of diabetes and its complications. He has authored or coauthored more than 120 articles, abstracts, and chapters on these subjects and related topics. Reddy received his medical degree at the Memorial University of Newfoundland and completed his fellowship in endocrinology and metabolism at the University of Toronto. His research fellowship in cellular and molecular physiology was conducted at Harvard Medical School/Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston. He completed his MBA at Cleveland State University. Reddy is a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Canada, the American College of Physicians, and the American College of Endocrinology.

Attendees will have the opportunity to meet Reddy between the two presentations. Refreshments will be provided.

MEDIA CONTACT: Mallory Powell,