Leveraging the Clinical Power of MRI in Preclinical Liver Tumor Imaging

The liver is an ideal organ for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) due to its size, plus the inherent contrast it enables compared to other tissues and lesions; this results from the high iron content which acts as a natural MRI contrast agent. For such reasons, liver tumor MRI is a major area of clinical and preclinical oncology imaging. At Covance, we have been performing liver tumor MRI for over a decade to evaluate mouse syngeneic intrasplenic liver metastasis models, orthotopic human tumor xenografts (PDXs), and GEM models. Liver tumor MRI facilitates use of models with more clinically relevant context, enabling:

Continue reading

The Importance of Stakeholder Research in Rare Disease Drug Development

The approval of novel orphan drug designations continues to grow, while many existing rare disease therapies are receiving approval for expanded indications. With this increase Rare Disease Drug Developmentand broadening class of products, including some that target the same mutation or molecular defect, sponsors face new and significant market access challenges in securing reimbursement.

Leading manufacturers increasingly employ stakeholder research early in development to better identify the needs of patients and providers. This strategy can build in compelling asset value during development, help avoid pitfalls and better inform go/no-go decisions earlier to avoid costly development delays or even dead-ends. Continue reading

Behind the Scenes with Kits & Logistics for Vaccine Studies

Whether large or small, vaccine studies differ from standard drug development in many Kits & Logistics for Vaccine Studies ways. Sarah Slette, Sr. Study Manager, Vaccines & Novel Immunotherapeutics at Covance, explains the unique challenges her team faces and their solutions to rapidly deliver customized vaccine kits to sponsors’ sites across the globe.

Continue reading

The Next Frontier for Cancer Immunotherapy Trials

With its measurable impact on patient survival, there’s no denying that immunotherapy is Cancer Immunotherapy Trialsalready causing momentum in ways that cancer is treated. Drug researchers and developers are identifying new candidates in their growing pipelines and exploring combinations of immunotherapies, while regulatory agencies are providing expedited review and approval of these therapies for new indications at an unprecedented rate.

With checkpoint inhibitors from ipilimumab (Yervoy®) to nivolumab (Opdivo®) to pembrolizumab (Keytruda®) to the most recently approved atezolizumab (TecentriqTM), each breakthrough has provided new insights on how the immune system can be activated and manipulated to fight a variety of cancers. Continue reading

The Development Landscape for Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis

The Development Landscape for Non-Alcoholic SteatohepatitisThe Development Landscape for Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis Q&A

Q&A with Claudia Filozof, MD, PhD, Senior Medical Director in the Phase II-IV Cardiovascular/Metabolic Group and Richard Williams, PhD, JD, Executive Strategist,  Global Regulatory Affairs

Is this a good time to develop a NASH drug, and if so, why?

Claudia: Yes, it’s a very good time. There are multiple companies starting NASH development, and there is a huge unmet medical need with no treatment approved so far. Health authorities also have shown a lot of interest in supporting companies to speed up development. If you have the right compound, there are multiple advantages to starting a NASH program.

Richard: The cost to society will be enormous if we can’t treat this disease. I think most pharmaceutical companies, big and small, see this as a substantial unmet medical need. With this unmet medical need,  regulatory agencies can grant  conditional approval (accelerated approval in the US), where the drug is approved for marketing with the condition that the company later shows it has a clinical benefit based on clinical  outcomes. Continue reading