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

Finding the Other 90%: Attracting Naïve Patients to RA Studies

A recent study by Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development, based on a survey of 2,000 physicians and nurses primarily in the United States and Europe, found that 91% of physicians feel ‘somewhat’ or ‘very’ comfortable discussing the opportunity to participate in a clinical trial with patients, but actually refer less than 0.2% of their patients into clinical trials.1 In conjunction, more than 80% of patients Attracting Naïve Patients to RA Clinical Studies say they are willing to participate in clinical research studies, but only around 10% actually do so.2 It is further reported that while 85% of patients are generally comfortable presenting any clinical research information they find to their doctor, only 17% have actually done so.3 And what of those patients that are interested in participating in a clinical study only to find they are ineligible? When queried on next steps after finding out he/she did not qualify, 36% stopped looking for a clinical research study to participate in.3 This latter fact is a staggering waste of potential when you consider that there are currently >130 planned or ongoing industry-sponsored Phase II-III rheumatoid arthritis (RA) studies to choose from (>210 when you consider any type of study sponsor).4
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Patient Centricity and the Role of the CRO

Biopharmaceutical companies both big and small have witnessed the shift toward patient-centric practices in the current healthcare landscape. As a result, many are now including or planning to incorporate the voice of the patient in their drug Patient Centricity and the Role of the CROdevelopment strategy.

How do clinical research organizations (CROs) respond and support this increasing focus on patient-centric practices? We recently spoke to Jonathan Zung, PhD, group president, clinical development and commercialization services at Covance to understand his view on the patient centricity imperative and how it impacts clinical development activities.
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A Holistic View of the Biosimilars Landscape: Key Factors for Clinical and Commercial Success

Biosimilars have dominated the headlines in the U.S. with several FDA approvals, legal battles and questions around reimbursement, placing an increased focus on  Biosimilars Landscape: Key Factors for Clinical and Commercial Successhow to successfully navigate this relatively new pathway from end to end.

Starting with the regulatory environment to CMC bioanalytics and pharmacodynamics, learn how drug developers can understand regulatory differences and identify a fit-for-purpose program. We will also cover how to proactively identify key issues for both PK equivalence and Phase III equivalence studies, and initiate market access and commercialization approaches. Continue reading

Stepping Up the Game: Measles, Mumps, Rubella and Varicella (MMRV) Concomitant Testing Support for Vaccine Evaluation

The introduction of vaccines against Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR), and Varicella (the “V” in MMRV vaccines) led to a drop in the incidence of these diseases by 89% (Varicella) and 99% (MMR). These effective vaccines are a core component in most pediatric immunization programs across the world. Hence, every time a new pediatric vaccine is added to the existing immunization schedule, clinical evidence must be provided that the newcomer does not adversely influence the immunogenic response to the MMRV-licensed vaccines. These required non-inferiority studies when vaccines are co-administered (known as concomitant vaccine testing) come with their own challenges.

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Phase I cGMP Drug Manufacture at the CRU: 3 BIG Benefits

Using a cGMP pharmacy at your CRU for Phase I drug manufacturing yields benefits in quality and safety, timeline reduction and cost efficiency.

The regulatory environment continues to move toward requiring drug manufacturing cGMP pharmacy Covance Blogat current good manufacturing practice (cGMP)-compliant pharmacies. This trend and other factors make it increasingly attractive to use cGMP compounding on-site at your CRU for early development. Let’s look at Three Big Benefits for Phase I drug manufacturing:

  1. Quality and safety
  2. Timeline reduction
  3. Cost efficiency

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The Biosimilars Landscape: What All Developers Need to Know

As biosimilars to treat rheumatic diseases begin get approval from the FDA, biosimilar development remains a hot topic in drug development. Sponsors estimate Covance Contract Research Org Biosimilars Webinar 2a 35% growth of biosimilars in their development pipelines by 2020, but face a wide variety of regional and global markets along with shifting guidelines and recommendations, stressing the need to understand this rapidly changing landscape. What is the real potential for clinical and health-economic benefits offered by these agents?  Continue reading

Understanding Regulatory and Market Access Considerations With Drug Abuse Potential

Each assessment for abuse liability is as unique as the molecule in question, reiterating Regulatory And Market Access Considerations With Drug Abuse Potentialthe importance of early awareness, understanding the current regulatory landscape, and being able to plan your development and post-marketing accordingly.

In our previous blog post, we focused on the value of early drug abuse potential testing. In this blog, we’ll delve into important regulatory and market access considerations for abuse liability testing that can help drug developers maximize the potential of their molecule.

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Important Early Considerations For Assessing Drug Abuse Liability

covance blog drug abuse

Assessment of abuse potential of compounds in development is one of the most complex regulatory requirements and constitutes a critical exercise for sponsors and regulators. The strategy for the assessment of abuse potential cannot be customized and requires individual evaluation of the compound, its target indication and the entirety of the nonclinical and clinical safety database. In July 2016, the United States Congress passed the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) bill to address prescription opioid abuse and overdoses that have killed more than 165,000 people between 1999 and 20141.

Given this increased spotlight and focus on preventing opioid abuse and deaths in the US and abroad, it has become more critical than ever to better understand the abuse liability potential of a drug as early as possible in the development process. As part of the overall assessment of drug safety for a New Drug Application (NDA) in the United States or a Market Authorization Application (MAA) outside the United States, drug abuse potential testing is required – regardless of indication – on any drug that is active in the brain. This encompasses all properties of the drug (e.g., chemical, pharmacological, pharmacokinetic, clinical safety, etc.).

In the first of a two-part blog, we share important early considerations for abuse liability testing to help drug developers test the abuse potential of their molecule and better understand their path to viability in this changing landscape.

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Fierce Innovation Awards Recognize Xcellerate® Trial Design As Best Data Analytics/Business Intelligence Technology

Covance is proud to announce that Xcellerate® Trial Design has been selected as the Fierce Innovation Awards Recognize Xcellerate® Trial Design winner of the Fierce Innovation Awards: Life Sciences Edition in the Data Analytics/Business Intelligence category. The Fierce Innovation Awards: Life Sciences Edition recognizes outstanding innovations that are driving improvements and transforming the life sciences industry. Xcellerate Trial Design was recognized for its innovative approach to improving site selection, forecasting resource demand and optimizing of clinical trial design. Continue reading