The new FDA regulations for the Nutrition Facts labels and Supplement Facts labels went into effect this month. With a refreshed design reflecting updated information about nutrition science, the new label is intended to better inform consumers about their choices.
While manufacturers have two or up to three years to revise or correct their product labels, we’ve seen many proactive companies consider the impact of these regulations on their future ingredients, processes and claims.
To enter the rapidly growing mobile health space, companies must overcome the crucial hurdle of validation. This process demonstrates that the app – in combination with the underlying technology platform / device – performs comparably to traditional products on the market, ensuring that patients and providers can rely on the output to make appropriate medical decisions.
Mobile health apps offer functions ranging from data collection to running algorithms, and underlying all of those features is the need for a quality system. To show that their product is reliable, developers need to take a variety of measurements, confirm that data transmission and analysis work correctly and test the app on multiple devices. Continue reading
Among the regulatory pathways for small molecule drugs in the United States, the 505(b)(2) option occupies a middle ground. Intended for modifications of an existing treatment, it requires much more evidence than a generic but allows the sponsor to use data from a previous application. Companies can thus avoid unnecessarily repeating studies and shorten their development time.
At a recent Covance clinical seminar in Shanghai, attendees learned about the intricacies of 505(b)(2), the corresponding hybrid medicinal product pathway in the European Union and the differences from applications for biosimilars or generics. Developers in the Asia Pacific region are eager to better understand this topic because the Chinese pharmaceutical industry is developing rapidly with support from the government. “They view 505(b)(2) as a potentially faster way to market,” said Eric Lang, MD, Vice President and Global Head of Clinical Drug Development Leaders, Early Phase Development Solutions. To succeed, however, sponsors will need to consult with experts who can help them develop a regulatory strategy and consider market access issues as well. Continue reading
For many technology companies entering the mobile health space, meeting US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requirements may be unfamiliar territory. The guidelines can appear convoluted and contradictory at first glance, and some devices and/or applications (apps) fall into regulatory grey areas.
To make progress in this rapidly changing field, companies need to find a way to work within the regulations while encouraging creative development. Consulting with experts and the FDA, considering key design issues, taking precautionary quality measures and assessing global requirements will increase the chances that a company can bring a safe and successful mobile health device and/or app to market.
The Importance of Clinical Research Associate Training to Support Effective Trials
The clinical trial landscape is witnessing an increase in Phase III trials that average more than 3,500 patients. As more of these large trials continue to emerge, many contract research organizations (CROs) and sponsors are struggling to recruit qualified clinical research associates (CRAs) to support the influx of work.
Lack of experienced talent represents one of the main challenges facing the market, impacting sponsors and CROs alike with increased costs and extended timelines. Yet the urgent need for qualified CRAs will continue given that the demand in the field is projected to grow by 36.4% from 2012 to 2022 in the US, an issue also reflected worldwide.
As any drug developer knows, clinical trials generate a lot of raw and electronic data from multiple sources. Yet tracking progress and reviewing results from each separate database can be cumbersome in traditional environments. This “rear-view” mirror approach to monitoring doesn’t support preventative planning to mitigate future risks and can account for 20-30% of a trial’s costs.
Recognizing the opportunity increase efficiency and deliver information faster, Covance created Xcellerate® Monitoring, a platform that integrates clinical trial data to help sponsors proactively decrease the inherent risks associated with clinical trials.
At a recent clinical seminar in China, Dimitris Agrafiotis, PhD, Vice President, Chief Data Officer discussed how Xcellerate Monitoring tracks quality, patient safety and protocol compliance in clinical trials. Continue reading
Drug development in China is progressing quickly, due in part to shifting regulations, increased innovation and growing opportunities for global partnerships. However, making the most of market opportunities requires not only a focus on the intended end results but also careful, early phase planning. At a recent clinical seminar in China, a panel of Covance market access experts shared their thoughts on how to increase a product’s commercial potential.
Incorporating a business case
“In China, we discussed the theme of ‘beginning with the end in mind,’” said Eric Lang, MD, Vice President and Global Head of Clinical Development Leaders, Early Phase Development Solutions. “We find that a lot of biopharmaceuticals are focused more on the science of their treatment and don’t realize that they also need a strong business case to develop a product,” he said. Continue reading
Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) can lead to serious conditions such as cirrhosis and its complications, liver cancer and hepatic transplantation. Many patients eventually die from liver-related problems or cardiovascular disease. The challenge in developing drugs for NASH is to demonstrate an improvement in clinical outcomes. Cirrhosis takes several years to develop, and it is impractical to perform such long studies to identify treatment benefits. Therefore, to expedite the process and deliver new drugs to patients, biopharmaceutical companies have to consider surrogate endpoints that are reliable, can be obtained within a reasonable amount of time and are associated with progression of the disease.
A range of liver-related outcomes
NASH patients face many potential disorders and complications. In addition to overall death and liver-related mortality, the following endpoints should be evaluated in a clinical outcomes study:
- Portal hypertension. Chronic injury to the liver results in a wounding response that leads to fibrosis, scarring and ultimately replacement of normal liver architecture with regenerative nodules. As a result of these changes, portal hypertension develops.
- The accumulation of fluid in the abdomen results from portal hypertension. Using diuretics and reducing sodium intake often helps, but some cases are difficult to treat.
What to Expect When Submitting Your First SEND Dataset to the FDA
With the December 17, 2016* requirement for the FDA Standard for the Exchange of Nonclinical Data (SEND*) fast-approaching, our Covance SEND action team prepared a dataset for test submission to the FDA. This helped us to better understand the FDA’s SEND submission requirements, build experience and confirm our readiness to help clients submit their SEND datasets.
During this process, we uncovered a couple of significant learnings:
- Allow for adequate time to prepare and submit to the FDA
- The process to deliver our first test submission took more than two months from kickoff to FDA notification
- It’s important to start early to understand the preparation time needed for submissions
- For test submissions only, the dataset must be submitted on a physical CD and sent to the FDA via postal mail
- This came as a surprise to us, since SEND is a streamlined electronic format of the data
- (Note: In a real submission, the SEND datasets will appear in a specific location labeled “tabulations” in the submission folder structure as described in section 7 of the FDA CDER/CBER Study Data Technical Conformance Guide).
Demonstrating the efficacy, safety and differential benefit of a new drug relies on collecting and analyzing enormous amounts of data generated in a clinical trial. Yet this process of extracting knowledge from data is often the source of many inefficiencies.
We recently spoke with Dimitris Agrafiotis, PhD, Vice President and Chief Data Officer at Covance to hear his thoughts on how informatics has affected drug development and will continue to transform the pharmaceutical industry.
Q: Why is informatics important in a global context?
More and more major businesses and industries are being run on software and delivered as online services―from movies to agriculture to national defense. Many of the winners of this new economy are Silicon Valley-style technology companies that are invading and overturning established industry structures. Continue reading