Covance Opens New State-of-the-Art Genomics Laboratory in Indianapolis

Covance celebrated the grand opening of its new flagship Genomics Lab in Indianapolis, Indiana on February 14th. Co-located with its established, industry-leading Central Laboratory and Bioanalysis Lab, the site provides greater testing efficiencies and comprehensive scientific solutions to help biopharmaceutical companies develop therapies faster and with a greater probability of success.

The new Genomics Lab adds 16K ft2 of new, dedicated laboratory space to deliver applied genomics solutions from single target to whole genome analysis. The laboratory also consolidates exploratory studies and biomarker development, patient management (CAP/CLIA) laboratory testing and Companion Diagnostic (CDx) development.

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Addressing the Challenges of Data Management for Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Companies: Introducing Laboratory FSPx

The process of ensuring clinical trial records are accurate and fully reconciled between laboratory and clinical data sources can be a point of frustration for today’s pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Whether the data is coming from a contract research organization (CRO), a central laboratory or third-party laboratories, the need for timely availability of clean data based on unique sponsor format/industry requirements has become extremely complex.

“As the complexity of today’s studies grow, sponsors are often working with a greater number of laboratories in their studies,” explained Richard Cesarski, SVP, Patient Solutions, Safety and Data Sciences. “While these labs are specialists in sample management and generating results, their standard report formats may not be aligned to individual sponsor requirements.”

Recognizing this gap between sponsors, their clinical partners and the labs, Covance has launched Laboratory Data Management FSPx (Lab FSPx), a new solution within its Functional Service Provider (FSPx) offering.

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Minimizing Placebo Effect in Inflammatory Bowel Disease Clinical Studies

With 93 Crohn’s Disease (CD) and 168 Ulcerative Colitis (UC) Phase I-III industry-sponsored studies planned and open to enrollment, there is a significant focus on research into new therapies for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)1.

Remission is the main aim of IBD therapy, but IBD studies often face challenges with minimizing the placebo effect2,3,4. Placebo effect can be categorized into placebo response/benefit (patients demonstrating an improvement) or placebo remission (patients achieving remission). Factors believed to impact the level of placebo effect can be contradictory depending upon whether a study’s focus is upon placebo response/benefit or placebo remission5.

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Brexit: Leveraging the Mutual Recognition Agreement to Mitigate Potential Risk With Commercial Drug Product Release Testing

Updated February 3, 2020 – Brexit1 has been completed and the UK will now enter into a transition agreement with the EU until December 31, 2020. Until then, the current GMP regulations will continue to apply. . However, drug manufacturers and contract test laboratories should be proactive in understanding the potential regulatory considerations relating to commercial drug product release testing.

This article provides a brief overview of the EU-US Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) and discusses considerations for implementing viable alternatives for testing to support EU, UK and US drug product releases after Brexit.

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Field Trials for Crop Residue Analysis – What Are the 7 Secrets to Success?

Residues of plant protection products (PPPs) are inevitably present in or on food, even when they are applied in line with good agricultural practice. The upper limit of residue permitted on food or feed is the ‘maximum residue level’ (MRL), which, in Europe, is legislated by the European Commission based on scientific advice from the (EFSA).

MRLs are measured via crop residue field trials, which replicate the real-life agricultural conditions under which a PPP would be used. It sounds a simple enough procedure, but what studies are commonly used and what are the secrets to success?

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Closing the Knowledge Gap with Real-World Evidence (RWE) Studies: The Importance of Starting Early

Successfully demonstrating product safety and efficacy in a randomized clinical trial is a monumental event, but it doesn’t always translate to market access and uptake one it’s launched. Since clinical trials are limited to a controlled sub-set of patients, observations recorded in the clinical trial setting can vary from what actually occurs in clinical practice. That’s where real-world evidence (RWE) can help pharmaceutical companies to inform development planning and also to demonstrate a product’s comparative effectiveness, safety and value from the viewpoints of various stakeholders, including regulators, payers, prescribers and patients.

This article discusses the role of RWE, the different information needs among stakeholders and potential solutions for meeting their evolving requirements.

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5 Different Kinds of Cytokine Release Assays: Weathering the Storm | CRA Post II

In our previous post, we outlined the dangers of Cytokine Release Syndrome (CRS) and the importance of preclinical Cytokine Release Assays (CRAs) when developing monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) that interact with the patient’s immune system. In this second post, we describe the different kinds of assays in use and how these may fit into your drug development program. An alternative type of CRA, peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) blood outgrowth endothelial cell (BOEC) co-culture, will be discussed in more detail in our next blog post.

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In Vitro Cytokine Release Assays: Is There Calm After the Storm? | CRA Post I

What is a cytokine storm? 

Cytokine Release Syndrome (CRS), otherwise known as cytokine storm, is a systemic inflammatory response caused by complications due to disease, infection or an adverse effect of biologic therapy. The clinical symptoms of a cytokine storm are massive release of a potent cocktail of pro-inflammatory cytokines into the general circulatory system, leading to severe multi-organ damage, failure or potentially death. This is an extremely unwanted immunotoxicological side effect in drug development.

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Is a different recruitment strategy required to enroll RA biosimilar studies? How to succeed despite increasing volume of RA biosimilar development programs.

Introduction

RA Biosimilar Recruitment

Although a range of regulatory definitions exist, a biosimilar drug is generally defined as a biological compound that is highly similar to the reference drug, with no clinically meaningful differences in safety, purity and potency.1,2 In addition, biosimilars can be characterized as reducing healthcare costs while maintaining clinical efficacy and safety outcomes similar to the originator biologic.1

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Covance Shanghai Strengthens Safety Pharmacology Capabilities for In-House IND Packages to Serve Asia Clients

Covance Shanghai is pleased to announce an expansion of its general toxicology capabilities to include safety pharmacology studies, allowing our Asia-Pacific clients to more easily complete their IND requirements for CFDA regulations.

What are the new safety pharmacology offerings?

The general tox team in Shanghai is now capable of running cardiovascular safety studies with dogs, using DSI PhysioTel Digital L11 telemeters to monitor drug elicited effects on electrocardiograms and hemodynamic parameters, heart rate and blood pressure. They are also able to run neurological and respiratory studies in rat models.

Team members from Shanghai were trained in these experimental procedures by experienced safety pharm specialists from the Covance Madison site. After several months of personnel training, beginning in June 2018, validation studies at the Shanghai site were completed in early  2019.

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