Achieving Compliance with E6: Exploring the Workflow Challenges

Most sponsors are well aware of the recent revision (R2) of ICH GCP E6, which outlines recommendations to unify standards across the EU, Japan and the U.S. with defined requirements for sponsors regarding the role of monitoring and risk management, there are many factors to consider for a successful implementation.

This article discusses a variety of challenges sponsors may face when preparing to address these recommendations and also examines opportunities to drive greater efficiencies in today’s complex trial ecosystem.

Addressing varying levels of adoption

According to the latest revision, sponsors are tasked with a requirement to employ an adaptable quality management system and are expected to maintain oversight of CROs. But with various tracking systems, vendor logs, CTMS and monitoring platforms, seeing the complete picture can be an overwhelming, error-prone effort. Continue reading

Experiencing the Impact of a Life-Changing Treatment Sven’s Story

Sven, Senior Study Director, Toxicology at Covance, discovered his team’s work had Covance Careers unpredictably reached his home – and impacted his family’s life.

In January 2016, Sven’s 3-year-old daughter was complaining about pain in her legs. At first, it seemed like natural growing pains, but it then became difficult for her to walk in the mornings. An ultrasound with an orthopedic doctor revealed a high level of swelling in her knees and she received a diagnosis of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis – a disorder where the body’s immune system attacks its own cells and tissues. Continue reading

Target-Mediated Drug Disposition

“Affinity” is defined as, “a spontaneous or natural liking or sympathy for someone or or datasomething.” This concept applies also to the biologics (large molecules) we help to develop. Drugs like monoclonal antibodies (mAb) or bispecific antibodies are ideal drug candidates since they have very high affinity to bind to their target substance or site. Given the variability of the targets, safety profiles, and therapeutic windows, it is important to understand the characteristics of the affinity of the target and how to translate phenomena such as target mediated drug disposition (TMDD). Continue reading

Challenges in the Diagnosis of NAFLD, NASH and Comorbidities in the Pediatric Population

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the accumulation of fat or lipids in the liver in NASH NAFLD Blogthe absence of significant alcohol uptake or viral infection. Within NAFLD there is a spectrum of disease ranging from excess storage of fat in the liver (NAFL) to fat plus inflammation (called nonalcoholic steatohepatitis or NASH), to liver fibrosis and cirrhosis, or end stage liver disease with loss of liver function. NASH is the most common cause of liver disease in developed countries, largely due to the increased prevalence of obesity and type 2 diabetes. A percentage of patients with NASH and liver fibrosis will progress to liver failure or hepatocellular carcinoma or liver cancer. In fact, NASH is expected to be the number one cause for liver transplantation in a few years, making it critical to identify high-risk patients early. Continue reading

5 Tips for Proactively Managing Risks in Your Clinical Studies

Facing ever-increasing costs of running a clinical trial, sponsors must ensure they are properly directing their budget and resolving the areas of highest risk while maintaining patient safety and data integrity.

How can sponsors implement a robust process to allow earlier identification of emerging risks during the course of a trial? This article covers five tips for defining risk levels, categorizing risk and maintaining oversight to ensure that risks and responses are appropriately identified, documented, tracked and managed throughout the life cycle of a study. Continue reading

A Creative Solution to Address the Biosimilar Boom

Identifying viable study sites presents a challenge in many clinical trials. Biosimilar Biosimilars Covancedevelopment is especially challenging as the number of sponsors preparing to broaden access to today’s blockbuster biologics, by providing lower-cost biosimilar alternative, continues to grow. While this flood of research activity will make a significant improvement for patient access to breakthrough treatments, it has also created an increasingly competitive environment for finding suitable, experienced sites.

Compounding the issue, physicians are often less interested in supporting biosimilar studies, preferring to engage in clinical trials involving novel targets and compounds or those being conducted by larger academic institutions. Additionally, the level of education and training regarding the established development process for biosimilars is generally low. To overcome these hurdles, Covance has expanded its strategy to help sponsors find qualified sites and investigators willing to provide reliable clinical evidence.    Continue reading

Immuno-Oncology Studies: Optimizing Design, Recruitment and Execution

The rise of immunotherapy has been meteoric — there are now well more than 1,000 Purple DNA Strandimmuno-oncology (IO) trials ongoing according to clinicaltrials.gov. Finding and enrolling the appropriate patients for these potentially revolutionary treatments has presented a profound challenge, one that was recently covered in the aptly titled New York Times article: A Cancer Conundrum: Too Many Drug Trials, Too Few Patients. Another piece of the puzzle is clinical trial design, which can be especially elaborate when testing combination treatments in IO. Exacerbating these issues, IO trials are an increasingly competitive race to market. There is great value assigned to reducing development times and being the first drug approved within a class or for a specific indication.

This blog article discusses the current state of immuno-oncology studies, strategies for enhancing patient recruitment, the role of companion diagnostics and solutions for dealing with the complexity of IO combination studies. Continue reading

PK/PD Modeling and Simulation – A Brief Overview and Upcoming Blog Series

The year I graduated from college was the same year an old family friend was retiring. He had spent the majority of his career designing and deploying farm equipment across the United States. When I asked for advice as I entered the workforce he told me a story.

Three months into retirement, a company in California asked him to fly out and consult with their mechanics on why a piece of equipment wasn’t working. He flew out, spent 5 minutes at the company’s site, drew an “X” in chalk on the equipment, and flew home.  They called the next day and asked what they needed to do. He directed them to the “X”. As simple as an “X” is, it represented years of experience and understanding of the intricacies of the machine and what could potentially go wrong.

He said the moral of the story was, “It’s good to know where to put the X”. Continue reading

ELISPOT Addresses the Complex Questions Arising From Vaccine and Novel Therapies

The accelerated arrival of novel vaccines and immunotherapies into the clinical space spurred the emergence of fields like personalized medicine, immuno-profiling and immuno-monitoring built around increasingly sophisticated testing platforms. Among them, immunoassays in the ELISpot (Enzyme-Linked ImmunoSpot) family are the most frequently used functional assays for single-cell analysis.

ELISPOT ChartUsing 2017 data from Trialtrove (Citeline.com), we found that ELISpot assays were used in more than 160 open clinical trials (Figure 1). The main drivers for this rising clinical usage are:

  • The increased prevalence of infectious and chronic diseases as the population ages in developed countries
  • Extensive use of immunoassays in oncology new vaccines and immunotherapies
  • Technological developments, such as test automation and rapid analysis
  • Growth in the biotechnology sector

Continue reading

Meet Me in 5: Building a Long-Term Career at Covance

Our ongoing “Meet me in 5” series covers 5 people, topics or questions to illustrate how Rob Davie CovanceCovance nurtures exceptional people, provides an energized purpose and enables extraordinary potential in its employees’ careers.   

In this article, Rob Davie, vice president & general manager, global clinical development at Covance, shares his thoughts on career ownership, the benefits of our global culture and our competitive advantage.

  1. No two days are ever the same

Rob Davie didn’t originally plan to stay at Covance for 19 years and counting. He first joined Covance after working with a large pharmaceutical company and planned to eventually return to the pharma industry after gaining knowledge and experience with a global contract research organization (CRO). Continue reading