Calm Before the Storm: Preparing to Keep Specimens Safe During Natural Disasters

When disaster strikes, the safety of your en-route patient samples depends upon Hurricane Image Covance Blogthe contingency planning that was done in anticipation of the emergency. While many emergencies happen in an instant, immediately impacting our logistics infrastructure – earthquakes, tornados or volcanic eruptions, for example – some, such as the recent series of severe hurricanes and typhoons, have longer lead times.”

When events of this nature occur, our global logistics team is behind the scenes preparing for such events. With more than 25 full-time staff, this team monitors shipments, coordinates with couriers, and oversees all of the operations that are critical to ensuring that patient samples are received at our labs within stability. Even factoring in emergencies, transportation failures impact only about 0.1% of all specimens. Continue reading

Regional Availability of and Reimbursement Models for Biologic Therapies to Treat RA Patients with Moderate to Severe Disease

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease primarily affecting the musculoskeletal system with typical symptoms including swollen and painful joints, joint
stiffness and loss of function, ultimately leading to disability if untreated. RA also has significant systemic featureRA Patientss in many patients that appreciably impact upon their quality of life, including fatigue and depression. Prevalence varies between 0.3 – 1.0% and is more common in women and in developed countries.1

Modern RA treatment paradigms (i.e. “treat to target”) focus on achieving remission/low disease activity to minimize joint damage and disability. Biologic agents targeting key inflammatory mediators (TNF-alpha, IL-1, IL-6), key cells and activation pathways of the adaptive immune system such as B cells and T cell co-stimulation pathways, have revolutionized the treatment of RA and many other immune-mediated inflammatory diseases (IMIDs), and have rapidly been introduced into accepted treatment paradigms2,3 when earlier disease modifying anti rheumatic disease (DMARD) agents such as methotrexate (and others) are insufficient to reach these target goals. Continue reading

TDAR Assays for In Vivo Assessment and Testing

The immune system is the body’s main defense against foreign materials and biologic agents such as bacteria, viruses, chemicals, and foreign cells and tissues. The immune response includes specific action of lymphocytes (one type of white blood cell) and is facilitated by other white blood cells, including neutrophils, monocytes, macrophages, eosinophils and basophils. The immune system can be viewed as a system controlled by negative feedback, meaning that normally it must reduce the effects of disturbance or invaders through self-regulation.Immune Covance Blog Continue reading

Applying Preclinical Biomarkers to Identify Renal Injuries

Identification of new medicines for kidney disease remains an ongoing challenge in drug Male Kidney Image Covance Blogdevelopment. This challenge includes establishing new biochemical measurements (biomarkers) which can sensitively and accurately reflect the status of renal health and any associated changes in renal function. Sponsors are exploring many options to improve the application of biomarkers in preclinical use in order to better inform early phase safety studies and downstream clinical trials.

Katherine Landschulz, PhD, associate director of the translational biomarker solutions laboratory, and veterinarian pathologist Laura Boone, DVM, PhD, recently shared their experiences working on renal disease studies at Covance. They discussed their insights on how biomarkers are being used in preclinical studies to predict safety and advance translational medicine in drug development.

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The Current Status of Clinical Biomarkers for Diabetic Kidney Disease Progression

Of the 422 million people in the world with type 1 and 2 diabetes, 20-30% will develop diabetic nephropathy, also called diabetic kidney disease (DKD) – the leading cause of renal failure in the western world1.

From the perspective of drug developers, testing new therapies to prevent, treat or reverse this serious complication relies on biomarkers for timely and accurate patient identification and efficacy or safety monitoring.

Jennifer Ennis, MD, medical director at LabCorp and D. Walt Chandler, PhD, executive director at LabCorp, recently shared their thoughts on today’s biomarkers to detect and monitor DKD.

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Leveraging Real-World Patient Data to Support Recruitment in Diabetic Kidney Disease Studies

Practicing physicians frequently obtain laboratory assessments of kidney function in their routine management of patients with diabetes. Two tests that are commonly performed are the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) and the urinary albumin toDiabetic Kidney Disease Studies creatinine ratio (ACR). Results of these tests are often used to determine patient eligibility for clinical trials of drugs to treat patients with diabetic kidney disease (DKD).

One challenge that drug developers and clinical trialists face is in choosing eGFR and ACR criteria that support the aims of the clinical study—without hindering recruitment.

To address this issue, researchers at Covance and LabCorp queried a LabCorp database of 329,841 diabetic patients to analyze real-world data. They wanted to understand the distribution of eGFR and ACR values among diabetic patients in the United States and assess how these laboratory parameters predicted renal disease progression.

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Maximizing Real-World Data: Impact of Cardiovascular Disease on Clinical Outcomes in Rheumatoid Arthritis

Current guidance on rheumatoid arthritis (RA) stresses the importance of considering Clinical Outcomes in RAcomorbidity when assessing disease activity and making clinical decisions.1 Comorbidities commonly associated with RA include cardiovascular disease (CVD), lung disease and malignancy.2

The complex relationship between RA and CVD comorbidities

The presence of CVD itself has been shown to increase the risk of death in RA patients by approximately 50%,3 and there is an emerging relationship between RA, CVD and the therapies used to treat them. Continue reading

Covance Central Laboratory Services in Shanghai Helps Clients Navigate Chinese Regulatory Reform

Following the rebrand and restructure of the Chinese regulatory body, the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA), in 2013, the regulation process now includes inspections for all multi-national and local pharmaceutical companies with drug filings in China.

Covance China Shanghai-facility As a continued commitment to meet clients’ needs and conform to local Chinese regulations, the Covance Central Laboratory Services Shanghai team (Covance CLS Shanghai) provides guidance to our clients to navigate CFDA inspections.  Backed by more than 10 years of experience in China, the Covance CLS Shanghai team delivers a deeper understanding of CFDA regulatory and operational requirements and helps clients with a standardized process and corresponding documentation.

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A Practical Business Approach to Data Management for Clinical Trial Efficiency

Today’s clinical trials have become more complex and expensive, pressuring pharmaceutical companies to further improve their clinical trial operations. Clinical trial data management is one area where both sponsors and contract research organizations (CROs) can uncover new efficiencies, increase cost-saving measures and better meet diverse operational reporting needs across the clinical development cycle.

In this blog we begin to examine the current issues with traditional electronic data capture systems and other current “big data” approaches that attempt to address complex operational reporting needs in this historically stagnant and underserved area. We also discuss the use of two distinct data repositories – an operational data warehouse and a clinical data warehouse – the Xcellerate® Clinical Data Hub as part of a new data model through the Xcellerate Informatics Suite to provide a significant technological advance in clinical trial operations. Continue reading

An Analytical Approach to Enhance Recruitment of Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients

No single blood test or physical finding alone can confirm the diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). However, two tests that detect markers of inflammation are often ordered when RA is suspected: erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and C-reactive protein (CRP). Other common tests include rheumatoid factor and anti-CCP antibodies.

RA Map

RA patients in the United States

While the test results are clearly valuable to the requesting physician to inform diagnostic decisions, sponsors can also leverage this information to support patient recruitment in an increasingly competitive space. We recently evaluated how de-identified patient data from these common tests run by LabCorp can support sponsors’ clinical trials in rheumatoid arthritis. Continue reading