PK/PD Modeling and Simulation – A Brief Overview and Upcoming Blog Series

The year I graduated from college was the same year an old family friend was retiring. He had spent the majority of his career designing and deploying farm equipment across the United States. When I asked for advice as I entered the workforce he told me a story.

Three months into retirement, a company in California asked him to fly out and consult with their mechanics on why a piece of equipment wasn’t working. He flew out, spent 5 minutes at the company’s site, drew an “X” in chalk on the equipment, and flew home.  They called the next day and asked what they needed to do. He directed them to the “X”. As simple as an “X” is, it represented years of experience and understanding of the intricacies of the machine and what could potentially go wrong.

He said the moral of the story was, “It’s good to know where to put the X”. Continue reading

Charting a Regulatory Course for Diabetic Kidney Disease Treatment

As the diabetic epidemic grows, so does the prevalence of diabetic kidney disease (DKD), a frequent complication of both type 1 and 2 diabetes. Diabetic nephropathy is the leading cause of end-stage renal disease, and despite its global health burden and increased prevalence, no specific regulatory guidelines exist for developing drugs for diabetic renal disease.

Diabetic Kidney Disease Treatment Continue reading

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
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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

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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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