Computerworld Names Dimitris Agrafiotis of Covance a 2017 Premier 100 Technology Leader

Agrafiotis’ Leadership in Bringing Xcellerate® Informatics to Market Demonstrates How Software Can Improve Health and Improve Lives

IDG’s Computerworld recently recognized Dimitris Agrafiotis, PhD, chief data officer and Computerworld Dimitris Agrafiotis head of technology products for Covance Drug Development, as a 2017 Premier 100 Technology Leaders honoree. This year’s Premier 100 spotlights 100 leaders from both the technology and business sides of companies for their exceptional technology leadership and innovative approaches to business challenges. Covance is the drug development business of LabCorp.

“The Premier 100 awards program highlights the exceptional work of an elite group of IT executives who are leading their organizations through times of unprecedented change. They are using technology to drive high-stakes business projects and create dynamic growth in their organizations,” said Scot Finnie, editor in chief of Computerworld.

“These 100 men and women are not only strategic business thinkers, but also team leaders who recognize the importance of recruiting and retaining the brightest talent to enable digital transformation and harness the opportunities of cloud, big data, mobile and social. We’re pleased to recognize their leadership and honor their achievements.” Continue reading

Strategic Alliance with Global Specimen Solutions: Introducing Covance SpecimINSIGHT™

The complexity of clinical trials continues to rise. New biomarkers for safety and efficacy continue to emerge, and new types of information – such as genomic profiles – have become critical to submissions for drug approval. Against this dynamic backdrop the Global Specimen Solutions Logocentral challenge facing trial sponsors remains the same: the need to bring together diverse data sets, draw meaningful insights from them and act quickly to maximize return on investment.

Covance and Global Specimen Solutions, Inc. (GSS) have announced a five-year strategic alliance that gives Covance clients access to a comprehensive and integrated solution that includes GlobalCODE®, snapTRACKTM and GSS wraparound services. This will enable near real-time data cleaning across clinical trial data sources which allow interventions to be made during the clinical trial, impacting overall trial execution and data validity. This also allows cross-protocol, cross-program analytics which provide context for data results, assuring robust clinical trial design and operational excellence. Continue reading

TQT Waivers: One Year Later

Overcoming Design Challenges

ICH E14 REGULATORY GUIDANCE 2005 AND 2015

It has been one year since the International Conference on Harmonisation (ICH) rp_Covance-Labs-Safety-Pills-300x200.jpgupdated its 2005 cardiac safety guidelines. The 2015 update allows for specific QT interval analysis based upon concentration effect modeling up to supratherapeutic during Phase I as a reasonable substitute for a Thorough-QT (TQT) dedicated trial.  These Phase I data along with preclinical results are submitted to the FDA prior to Phase III as a waiver request from a separate TQT study. This is good news! A dedicated TQT study involving time-wise comparisons of baseline corrected data is an expensive and lengthy endeavor. It typically takes place after proof of concept but before Phase III. Collection of QT information during an existing Phase I study costs substantially less and can provide go/no-go decisions much earlier. Continue reading

Risk-Based Monitoring – Driving the Evolution of the Clinical Research Associate Role

Over the last 10 years, clinical trials have changed substantially in response to increasing globalization and study complexity, along with new technological capabilities and industry guidelines[1],7. With these noticeable transformations, sponsors are increasingly revisiting their monitoring methods to uncover new efficiencies and develop more robust risk management processes that can enhance ongoing patient safety and data quality.

At the forefront of this movement is risk-based monitoring (RBM) – a broad term for a variety of clinical monitoring methods that combine people, process and technology, enabling project teams and Clinical Research Associates (CRAs) to focus on the most important risks in clinical trials.

Clinical Research Associate Covance CRA Careers

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Shape New Career Possibilities at Covance

With unique career opportunities to advance the future of drug development, Covance employees are part of an exciting journey, delivering novel and comprehensive solutions to advance medicines from early research to clinical trials and beyond.

What does it mean to work with a company that not only invests in you, but carries the vision of creating a healthier future? See how Covance enables Extraordinary Paths, Exceptional People.

To learn more about how you can make a difference in drug development and to explore Covance career opportunities, please visit careers.covance.com Continue reading

Novel Assays Support RSV Drug and Vaccine Development

Chances are you’ve been hit by the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which infects nearly everyone by the age of 2 and usually reinfects exposed people throughout their lifetimes. While most healthy people experience mild to moderate cold-like symptoms, RSV Drug and Vaccine DevelopmentRSV can also cause severe infections. It has earned notoriety as the leading cause of hospital stays for newborns, and RSV-associated infections in infants cause up to 200,000 deaths per year worldwide in developed countries.

With only limited, supportive treatments to help patients with RSV, scientists at Monogram Biosciences, Inc. (part of the LabCorp Specialty Testing Group) recently examined ways to help sponsors develop an RSV vaccine or antiviral medication that can treat or even prevent this illness. Continue reading

The Importance of Stakeholder Research in Rare Disease Drug Development

The approval of novel orphan drug designations continues to grow, while many existing rare disease therapies are receiving approval for expanded indications. With this increase Rare Disease Drug Developmentand broadening class of products, including some that target the same mutation or molecular defect, sponsors face new and significant market access challenges in securing reimbursement.

Leading manufacturers increasingly employ stakeholder research early in development to better identify the needs of patients and providers. This strategy can build in compelling asset value during development, help avoid pitfalls and better inform go/no-go decisions earlier to avoid costly development delays or even dead-ends. Continue reading

Behind the Scenes with Kits & Logistics for Vaccine Studies

Whether large or small, vaccine studies differ from standard drug development in many Kits & Logistics for Vaccine Studies ways. Sarah Slette, Sr. Study Manager, Vaccines & Novel Immunotherapeutics at Covance, explains the unique challenges her team faces and their solutions to rapidly deliver customized vaccine kits to sponsors’ sites across the globe.

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An Insider’s View on Working for Covance

Since starting my drug development journey as quality assurance manager in a laboratory Working for Covance that would later become part of Covance to now serving as the CEO, I’ve witnessed our industry’s notable shift to support more nimble drug development. From improved trial design to companion diagnostics and more predictive insights fueled by advanced informatics, it’s exciting to see bold ideas enable smarter decisions and speed the introduction of groundbreaking therapies.

Progress is evident in many areas—starting at early phases through market access—but one factor remains constant throughout the years: our hard-working employees continue to advance innovation. They are the reason we can deliver unique perspectives that shape new solutions and carry out the vision of a healthier future. Continue reading

The Next Frontier for Cancer Immunotherapy Trials

With its measurable impact on patient survival, there’s no denying that immunotherapy is Cancer Immunotherapy Trialsalready causing momentum in ways that cancer is treated. Drug researchers and developers are identifying new candidates in their growing pipelines and exploring combinations of immunotherapies, while regulatory agencies are providing expedited review and approval of these therapies for new indications at an unprecedented rate.

With checkpoint inhibitors from ipilimumab (Yervoy®) to nivolumab (Opdivo®) to pembrolizumab (Keytruda®) to the most recently approved atezolizumab (TecentriqTM), each breakthrough has provided new insights on how the immune system can be activated and manipulated to fight a variety of cancers. Continue reading