When a patient reads the label on their medicine bottle, he or she naturally relies on the medicine to contain the correct drug, be safe, work as intended and list the correct dosage. The pharmaceutical companies that produce these medicines similarly must rely on their internal manufacturing processes and quality control testing to generate the medicine responsible for this patient trust.
For the development of biologic medicines, the process of generating a quality product is less straightforward than that of a small-molecule medicine, like pain relievers such as aspirin. Selecting the right partner, such as Covance and its ‘Central GMP Testing Laboratory’ model, can smooth the path to validation and consistent manufacturing quality for your biologic. Continue reading
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease primarily affecting the musculoskeletal system with typical symptoms including swollen and painful joints, joint
stiffness and loss of function, ultimately leading to disability if untreated. RA also has significant systemic features in many patients that appreciably impact upon their quality of life, including fatigue and depression. Prevalence varies between 0.3 – 1.0% and is more common in women and in developed countries.1
Modern RA treatment paradigms (i.e. “treat to target”) focus on achieving remission/low disease activity to minimize joint damage and disability. Biologic agents targeting key inflammatory mediators (TNF-alpha, IL-1, IL-6), key cells and activation pathways of the adaptive immune system such as B cells and T cell co-stimulation pathways, have revolutionized the treatment of RA and many other immune-mediated inflammatory diseases (IMIDs), and have rapidly been introduced into accepted treatment paradigms2,3 when earlier disease modifying anti rheumatic disease (DMARD) agents such as methotrexate (and others) are insufficient to reach these target goals. Continue reading
Over the past several years, the scientific community has made tremendous progress in advancing our understanding of the immune system, from the basic functions of its various components to molecular pathways that operate within those components. With new, state-of-the-art tools and technologies, immunologists now have the ability to better understand the mechanisms of immune response to various antigens, thereby aiding them in the development of novel approaches to treat immune-system-related diseases and better design vaccines to combat infectious agents and cancer.
Currently, one of the most sensitive techniques available for the detection, measurement, and functional analysis of immune cells is the enzyme-linked immunospot (ELISPOT) assay. Covance uses the ELISPOT technique in applications such as evaluation of vaccine efficacy and immunogenicity of biological products.