Identifying viable study sites presents a challenge in many clinical trials. Biosimilar development is especially challenging as the number of sponsors preparing to broaden access to today’s blockbuster biologics, by providing lower-cost biosimilar alternative, continues to grow. While this flood of research activity will make a significant improvement for patient access to breakthrough treatments, it has also created an increasingly competitive environment for finding suitable, experienced sites.
Compounding the issue, physicians are often less interested in supporting biosimilar studies, preferring to engage in clinical trials involving novel targets and compounds or those being conducted by larger academic institutions. Additionally, the level of education and training regarding the established development process for biosimilars is generally low. To overcome these hurdles, Covance has expanded its strategy to help sponsors find qualified sites and investigators willing to provide reliable clinical evidence. Continue reading
When it comes to novel drug discovery and development, flow cytometry is known for being both a powerful and versatile technology. It can deliver valuable information to advance early biomarker development, tolerability, clinical studies and even companion diagnostics. But leveraging flow cytometry technologies to answer analytical questions and empower decision making from the research lab to the clinic requires a deep knowledge of cutting-edge approaches.
Virginia Litwin, PhD, principal scientist, hematology/flow cytometry at Covance and her team are examining current trends in rare event analyses assays to ensure that performance is well characterized and fit-for-purpose – particularly in regulated environments. They are also addressing the various hurdles associated with analyzing cellular biomarkers for immunotherapy and adoptive cell therapy. Continue reading
Three biosimilars for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) were approved by the FDA last year, but the regulatory pathway in the U.S. is still considered a new frontier, especially when compared to regulatory guidance in the EU. With our global industry’s growing interest in developing biosimilars, it’s critical that sponsors have a clear understanding of key clinical issues and develop a strategy for navigating today’s regulatory environment. Continue reading
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
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
Among the regulatory pathways for small molecule drugs in the United States, the 505(b)(2) option occupies a middle ground. Intended for modifications of an existing treatment, it requires much more evidence than a generic but allows the sponsor to use data from a previous application. Companies can thus avoid unnecessarily repeating studies and shorten their development time.
At a recent Covance clinical seminar in Shanghai, attendees learned about the intricacies of 505(b)(2), the corresponding hybrid medicinal product pathway in the European Union and the differences from applications for biosimilars or generics. Developers in the Asia Pacific region are eager to better understand this topic because the Chinese pharmaceutical industry is developing rapidly with support from the government. “They view 505(b)(2) as a potentially faster way to market,” said Eric Lang, MD, Vice President and Global Head of Clinical Drug Development Leaders, Early Phase Development Solutions. To succeed, however, sponsors will need to consult with experts who can help them develop a regulatory strategy and consider market access issues as well. Continue reading
The biologics sector continues to offer lucrative opportunities for future growth, but with relatively few contributions for the treatment of CNS indications. High-growth CNS market segments generally share one feature: biologics play a pivotal role in the treatment paradigm, or soon will. Neuromuscular-blocking biologics recently secured regulatory approval for chronic migraine. Alzheimer’s disease is a high unmet need indication currently addressed only by symptomatic treatments, with potential for disease modification biologic therapies to play an important future role.
The example of biologics’ success in the CNS market is highlighted largely by the success of therapies that target the multiple sclerosis (MS) disease process. This success has spurred some drug developers to increase their assets in this space and seek future opportunities for biologics in other CNS diseases. However, one important new reality that is slated to reshape the future landscape of this market is the introduction of biosimilars. Continue reading
With the implementation of the FDA’s abbreviated biosimilar approval pathway, biosimilars have become one of the fastest-growing categories in the biopharmaceutical sector. While these lower-priced alternatives will offer value in terms of cost savings, many stakeholders have voiced concerns over switching to biosimilar products.
Three main stakeholders of market access will determine the commercial success of biosimilars: payors, providers, and patients.
Despite potential cost savings, many payors may be reluctant to aggressively steer utilization toward these agents until they have compelling data to demonstrate safety and efficacy profiles comparable to those of innovator products. Continue reading
Biosimilars, which are new versions of innovator biopharmaceutical products that are marketed after expiration of patents, have emerged as one of the fastest growing development opportunities in the biopharmaceutical sector. In the U.S. alone, industry analysts estimate that biologics worth $80 billion are slated to go off patent by 2015.
Regulatory agencies evaluate biosimilars based on their level of similarity to, rather than the exact replication of, the innovator drug. In the U.S., recent guidance by the FDA says it will “consider the totality of the evidence” when assessing follow-on products. This approach requires sponsors to demonstrate robust chemical comparability to the innovator compound. Continue reading
This is an exciting time for biosimilars. Based on a recent MarketsandMarkets report, the global biosimilars market is expected to be worth $19.4 billion by 2014, growing at a CAGR of 89.1% from 2009 to 2014.
While the opportunity is immense, the risk involved with biosimilar development is still high with large up-front investment required and possible failure of the drug during development stages. Given the nature of biosimilars development, choosing the right CRO with capabilities across the drug development spectrum is critical to market success. Continue reading