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. Continue reading
Each assessment for abuse liability is as unique as the molecule in question, reiterating the 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.
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.
I am a scientist, and sometimes my workspace is more like a kitchen. For over 30 years, I’ve led custom research studies for companies needing scientific evidence that their food products are safe. Often that means meticulously recreating food manufacturing processes in the lab.
The importance of this work is obvious—ensuring food safety is critical for companies to protect consumers and their brand reputations. Although some situations require in-plant studies, with which Covance can also assist, there are reasons for conducting these studies in the lab rather than on-site. Laboratory studies minimizeisruptions to manufacturing operations. More importantly, they also avoid potentially introducing pathogens, spoilage organisms or surrogates into the plant during testing. Critically, they definitively yield scientifically valid results. Continue reading
There’s no denying that studies are only as strong as their resulting data—and nonclinical studies produce a lot of data. A two-week study can easily generate more than 2 million results, while a two-year study can contain upward of 500 million data points. In an effort to process and easily interpret these massive data files, the FDA has developed SEND (Standard for Exchange of Nonclinical Data).
While it’s easy to think of SEND as another obstacle, it’s actually an opportunity to reveal new insights and gain efficiencies in data management. Exchanging information in a standard format can ease knowledge transfer between internal and external databases, as well as provide a common framework to support a more robust submission process. Coupled with the emergence of new tools for visualization and statistical analyses, SEND has the power to revolutionize the way data drive drug development decision making. Continue reading
“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts” is often quoted to inspire teamwork and synergy but it can also apply to drug development. Studies that assess endpoints in isolation have value and can achieve the desired outcome. Yet, many times a more complicated picture emerges and assessing multiple endpoints in a combined study reveals a more holistic view.
Inspired by the 3Rs—reduction, refinement and replacement of animals used in safety testing—the possibility of integrating multiple endpoints into one study is shaping new best practices in early drug development. Integrated solutions can maximize the value of each study to provide a better understanding, reveal earlier decision points and produce greater confidence in clinical outcomes.
While the concept seems straightforward, it’s not only a combination of otherwise standalone studies. Integrated solutions require a unique blend of fit-for-purpose experimental strategies tailored to each unique drug development program and the relevant endpoints. Continue reading
Debate around best practices for safety pharmacology continued on December 11, 2014 as global regulators, drug developers and scientists from contract research organizations gathered in Silver Spring, MD for a workshop on the Comprehensive in vitro Proarrhythmia Assay (CiPA) and the clinical QT testing initiatives that stand to create a new paradigm in cardiac safety testing and drug development.
So, what led to the proposal for this sweeping change and why the debate? Continue reading
When developing a biologic, great science does not always translate into a great product. Doing the rights studies, the right way, is paramount to realizing the product’s potential. Knowing which studies to conduct, when to conduct them and interpreting the data in the context of the product’s development, can make the difference between success and failure.
For Biologics, “The Product is the Process”
Biological medicines, including therapeutic proteins, DNA vaccines, monoclonal antibodies, and fusion proteins are large, complex molecules that cannot be fully defined by physicochemical analytical methods. They are manufactured from genetically modified living cells using processes that are usually complex. Biological medicines are often 200 to 1,000 times the size of small molecule drugs, and because of the biological nature of the starting materials, the manufacturing processes have inherent variability and product heterogeneity. Continue reading