Investing in the Future of Precision Medicine

In previous posts on this blog, our scientists have described the current state of precision medicine, particularly how it relates to companion diagnostics (CDx) and immuno-oncology. As an enterprise, we have been focused on this area of medicine essentially from the beginning, more than 20 years ago. LabCorp Diagnostics developed the clinical trials assay and served as the central lab for the testing of HER2-positive breast cancer during the development of trastuzumab. The company provided analytical testing data for the associated immunohistochemistry laboratory test resulting in the first companion diagnostic approved by the FDA. More recently, Covance was instrumental in supporting the drug development efforts for pembrolizumab, the therapy used successfully to treat former President Jimmy Carter’s melanoma, and its associated companion diagnostic. 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
Continue reading

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.
Continue reading

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

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

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

Getting Investigators Onboard: Lab Preferences Make a Difference in Trial Participation

Clinical trials are becoming increasingly complex and competitive, so attracting the best investigator sites to participate in a trial is a crucial step in meeting patient enrollment targets.

Delaying approval by even one day can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars or more, Covance Labs Clinical Trial Participationdepending on the drug. This means that timely trial implementation, including patient enrollment, may add significant value.

Meeting patient enrollment milestones in cooperation with investigators has traditionally been viewed as the responsibility of the contract research organization (CRO). Now, important new data show that a sponsor’s choice of a central lab impacts the willingness of investigators to work with a sponsor on clinical trials. Continue reading

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.

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