Throughout the world, kidney disease is far more common than most people realize. It’s not a stretch to call it a “hidden epidemic,” as the number of people living with kidney disease (850 million) is roughly twice that of those living with diabetes.(1)
The health issue presented by chronic kidney disease (CKD) is magnified by the high prevalence of associated cardiovascular (CV) disease in these patients. Patients with CKD most commonly die from CV events.(2) Also, among patients with CV disease, 30 to 60 percent have kidney disease.(3)
Pharmaceutical companies are increasingly relying on biomarkers to deliver precision medicine in immuno-oncology. Biomarkers can accelerate drug development and reduce the overall cost; they also allow sponsors to identify failed treatments sooner so that resources are not wasted on expensive, late-stage trials with unsafe or inactive compounds. Finally, these tests lead to better outcomes for patients, which help companies make a stronger case for reimbursement.
However, biomarker discovery requires substantial time and resources. While expenses will likely be outweighed by increased development efficiency, companies must ensure that drug and diagnostic timelines are closely aligned so that the treatment and test can launch simultaneously. Technical, workflow and commercial factors are critical to the successful use of immuno-oncology biomarkers. Continue reading
“Affinity” is defined as, “a spontaneous or natural liking or sympathy for someone or or something.” This concept applies also to the biologics (large molecules) we help to develop. Drugs like monoclonal antibodies (mAb) or bispecific antibodies are ideal drug candidates since they have very high affinity to bind to their target substance or site. Given the variability of the targets, safety profiles, and therapeutic windows, it is important to understand the characteristics of the affinity of the target and how to translate phenomena such as target mediated drug disposition (TMDD). Continue reading
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
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.
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
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 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
Biosimilars have dominated the headlines in the U.S. with several FDA approvals, legal battles and questions around reimbursement, placing an increased focus on how 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
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 at 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:
- Quality and safety
- Timeline reduction
- Cost efficiency
As biosimilars to treat rheumatic diseases begin get approval from the FDA, biosimilar development remains a hot topic in drug development. Sponsors estimate a 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