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The Trend in Biosimilar Development and Recent FDA Guidance

Statistical Consultancy Team

At the present time, the regulatory and drug development communities are adapting to a rising trend in biosimilar development in a number of therapeutic areas.

The regulatory framework for biosimilars in the US is still evolving; the number of biosimilars approved by the FDA in 2015 was 1, this rose to 4 in 2016 and is set to increase in 2017. The FDA is developing and consulting on draft guidance documents that will shape future trials, and at this early stage there are a number of legal issues to be agreed around licencing conditions, such as the period of exclusivity and the applicability of the biosimilar to all approved indications of the reference product. To put this in context with the European landscape, biosimilars have been approved and used in the EU for over a decade without highlighting any major safety concerns. As of April 2017, there were 28 approved biosimilars in the EU on 11 different biologics. However, there are aspects of the emerging FDA guidance that will almost certainly be reflected in the evolution of trial designs in the future, for products aimed at the US market.

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Topics: Regulatory Requirements, Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamic, FDA, Clinical Study Design, European Medicines Agency, Bioequivalence, PK Analysis, Demonstrating Biosimilarity, Biosimilars

The Logic of a Clinical Research Organization Programmer

Clinical Programming Team

As a statistical programmer at a leading data focused Clinical Research Organization (CRO), we are requested to become involved with many programming activities on a daily basis, centred around dataset or display generation and quality control (QC). Having the opportunity to develop a process/system which can be used by others is rare. To build any system, a lot of in depth thought is required before any programming begins. We take the requirements and build a robust system to address each potential scenario that may arise, including some which should not.

Within this blog we will explain how statistical programmers can work through a simple request to build a robust system using logic, SAS, UNIX and experience. It will provide a flavour of how robust systems are built and other considerations. 

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Topics: Clinical Programming, SAS Programming, Quality Control, SAS Macros, Quality Process Improvement, SAS

The INTO Statement in PROC SQL to Create Macro Variables

Clinical Programming Team

A member of the Quanticate Programming team writes about their opinions of the INTO statement in PROC SQL.

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Topics: Clinical Programming, SAS Programming, Large Datasets, SAS Macros, PROC SQL

Therapeutic Areas for Wearable Devices in Clinical Trials

Statistical Consultancy Team

Wearable devices are currently growing hugely in popularity, with predictions that the market will grow to $25 billion by 20191. Many of these devices, like the FitBit or Jawbone, are fairly cheap and affordable to the public. With the rising prevalence of chronic conditions like obesity due to our increasingly sedentary lifestyles, the use of wearable technology is on the up. Although initially marketed to consumers wanting to track their health and fitness, many wearable medical devices are now being designed and their potential use in clinical trials could completely transform and revolutionise the pharmaceutical industry. The obvious benefits to incorporating wearables in clinical trials are a higher compliance rate and reduced dropout rate, because wearing a device to monitor various vital signs and endpoints can reduce the need for hospital visits. For the same reason, clinical trials could have a much higher uptake and recruitment rate. The large amount of additional data could mean a lower variability, so fewer subjects could be needed to achieve statistical power.  However, this concept is virtually brand new and has major questions that need to be answered before real progress in this area can begin.

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Topics: Therapeutic Areas, Wearables in Clinical Trials, Wearables

The History of Pharmacovigilance Infographic

Pharmacovigilance Team
Where and when did Pharmacovigilance begin? Medical remedies have been recognized by mankind for thousands of years, and so have their potential dangers, side effects, and benefits. During the 20th century there were some serious adverse events associated with medical products and drugs that resulted in pressure on governments, businesses to produce legalization and guidance, as well as the evolution of regulatory bodies to protect the safety of patients. This infographic identifies those significant milestones across the 20th century and into the modern era.
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Topics: FDA, Adverse Events (AEs), Pharmacovigilance, New Pharmacovigilance Legislation, Good Pharmacovigilance Practices, European Medicines Agency, Patient Narratives, Black Triangle

Medical Coding in Clinical Data Management

Clinical Data Management Team

In any clinical trial conduct, recording and storing data in a controlled, consistent, and reproducible manner for data retrieval and analysis is a necessity for regulatory compliance and clinical study success.

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Topics: Adverse Events (AEs), Clinical Data Management, Medical Coding Dictionary, WHODD, Medical Coding, MedDRA

ICHGCP E6 Addendum R2 - What do you need to know?

Gavin Boodoo



The ICH Guidelines for Good Clinical Practice (E6) has morphed into the international standard for clinical trial conduct since its inception twenty years ago. However, within that period, clinical research has changed dramatically and it is a credit to it’s authors that ICHGCP remains relevant today, with only one previous notable update seen in response to electronic data capture (EDC) technologies being widely utilized by the industry. 

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Topics: Good Clinical Practice (GCP), FDA, Remote Monitoring, Quality Assurance, Data Transparency, Additional Monitoring, Technology Trends, Risk Based Monitoring, Centralized Monitoring, ICHGCP E6

The Cost Considerations of Outsourcing to a Clinical Research Organization

Commercial Team

Outsourcing as a business practice has been around for centuries and some economists would argue it has been around since man first started providing services to one another. The concept is based on the premise that a specialist company that focuses on a specific functional area can do a better job faster, and at less cost, than a generalist approach whereby you employ all functional areas needed internally. The practice has become entrenched in many areas of industry including the Pharmaceutical and Biotech industry and has fuelled a boom in companies carrying the acronym CRO (Clinical Research Organization).

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Topics: CRO Selection, Outsourcing Solutions, Strategic Resourcing, CRO Project, CRO Efficiency, Clinical Research Organization, Offshore Locations, Clinical Data Services, Functional Outsourcing

Making Metric Collection Obligatory in Clinical Trial Contracts

Medical Writing Team

Establishing robust metrics at the start of a study, and systems to monitor them in an ongoing manner, should be integral to all work that a Clinical Research Organisation (CRO) performs. There is an expectation from clients that metrics will be used to monitor progress or lack of progress, including deviations from the planned schedule. However, these metrics are sometimes not defined clearly at the outset and often not incorporated into clinical trial contracts. A lot of metrics need to be “balanced” between what is controllable by the CRO and what is controllable by the sponsor. Therefore, the metrics that are incorporated into a contract need to be carefully chosen. Ideally it should be a small and accurate set of performance metrics that will meet the customer’s needs and enforce efficient information flow – it being a breach of contract not to provide and review the metrics.

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Topics: Metric Collection, Clinical Trial Contracts, Clinical Trials, CRO Project, CRO Efficiency, Project Management

Should We Be Integrating Mobile Health Apps in Clinical Trials?

Statistical Consultancy Team

Wearables and mobile health (Mhealth) apps collect subject/patient data from mobile or purpose built devices to record data in real time. The rationale behind this type of technology is to reduce the burden on subjects by eliminating unnecessary procedures, streamlining routine procedures and reducing time spent at clinical trial sites. It is evident from the review of a range of literature that studies integrating some form of mobile health technology can be broadly categorised into a few phases of development: studies on the development of new devices, studies on the validity of functional wearable devices, studies comparing new device and conventional endpoints, and finally those studies which trial the device as a health intervention. This article aims to briefly discuss these phases with reference to examples of recent studies demonstrating some safety or efficacy endpoint relating to a newly developed device.

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Topics: Clinical Trials, Clinical Study Design, Biostatistics Consulting, Technology Trends, Wearables in Clinical Trials, Wearables, mHealth

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