At a recent conference Adam Hamm, Director Biostatistics at Cytel, presented his thoughts on Best Practices and Operational Considerations for Adaptive Designs and Interim Analyses. In this blog, we share some highlights from his presentation, drawing out some of the key operational priorities from the biostatistician's point of view.
Apr 25, 2017 6:24:00 AM
Apr 19, 2017 5:19:08 AM
The ASCPT is the largest scientific and professional organization serving the disciplines of Clinical Pharmacology and Translational Medicine, and its annual conference is one of the most important events on the calendar for those involved in Quantitative Pharmacology and Pharmacometrics (QPP). Cecilia Fosser, Nand Kishore Rawat and Tina Checchio represented Cytel’s expanding QPP team at this year’s event in Washington DC. In their experience, the meeting represents an excellent opportunity to keep up to speed with new trends and techniques within the space, and the quality of presentations is consistently high. In this synopsis, we summarize some of the particular highlights from the sessions that our team members attended, along with other takeaways from the event.
Apr 11, 2017 10:29:00 AM
In a January 2017 paper (1), the FDA reviewed 22 case studies where promising Phase 2 trials did not result in efficacy, safety or both being confirmed in a Phase 3 trial.
At the outset, the authors of the paper are careful to state that the aim is not to assess why these unexpected results occurred, but rather to demonstrate how different trials contribute to developing our scientific understanding of the product.
Apr 5, 2017 11:39:42 AM
Statistical programmers at all levels can make a significant impact on streamlining delivery, improving efficiency, and importantly ensuring quality. At a recent PhUSE Single Day event , Cytel's Sunil Gupta gave a very well received presentation on how best to achieve high quality deliverables while maintaining efficiency, noting that 3 key components should be observed:
Mar 29, 2017 8:29:00 AM
With an increasing interest in platform designs and other innovative designs that involve multiple comparisons over multiple stages, the importance of Multi-Arm Multi-Stage ( MAMS) designs is set to rise.
Mar 24, 2017 9:27:00 AM
Robust go/no-go (GNG) decision-making is essential for effectively managing risk across a clinical portfolio. In early phase development, it is particularly important to have the correct tools in place to terminate ineffective compounds quickly, while accelerating promising ones through the process.
Mar 20, 2017 9:54:00 AM
In the randomized clinical trial (RCT), the process of deciding the randomization method and implementing is critically important. Unfortunately, it is not unheard of for problems to arise. In an article (Downs et al 2010 1), it is noted that as well as initial errors of trial design, problems can arise from errors with programming of the randomization or even human error during the course of the trial. Maintaining the rigor of the RCT relies on robust and reliable randomization with no errors. If treatment allocation is inadequately concealed then overestimation of treatment effect can occur, and the ‘randomized’ control trial becomes effectively ‘non-randomized’ – putting the entire study at risk (2).
Mar 10, 2017 7:19:33 AM
At the recent Biosimilars Summit in Philadelphia, Cytel's Pantelis Vlachos presented on statistical challenges and flexible approaches in biosimilar development. In this blog we summarize some of the challenges and share the slides from talk.
Mar 2, 2017 8:45:00 AM
We continue our case study series with this example of a Phase 3 design that uses Bayesian decision making combined with frequentist final analysis.
Clinical Development Background
Our biopharmaceutical client’s lead drug candidate is a late clinical-stage cancer immunotherapy for treatment of a rare oncology indication. Clinical development of therapies in this indication faces inherent challenges of patient recruitment and scarcity of data.
The sponsor had previously conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase 2 study. Moving into a confirmatory clinical trial setting, they came to Cytel for support with a trial design to address their key questions:
Feb 27, 2017 7:39:00 AM
It’s been hard to miss the prevalence of estimand-related discussions in the last year. This is a topic which is very much at the forefront of statistics discussions right now. We are lucky enough to welcome Mouna Akacha to the blog to give us the lowdown on estimands and the problems and opportunities they represent for the global biopharma industry.
Mouna is a Consultant in the Statistical Methodology Group of Novartis Pharma AG, based in Basel, Switzerland. She has a wide range of research interests including topics on missing data, longitudinal data and recurrent event data and is an active participant in the current estimand discussions.
Read on to find out everything you ever wanted to know about estimands but were afraid to ask…..
Feb 21, 2017 9:39:07 AM
In a previous blog, we provided an overview of basic data structures in R. In this follow up piece, we will provide a snapshot of basic syntax in R for programmers who want to get up to speed in this increasingly important programming language.
Feb 15, 2017 9:33:05 AM
Outsourcing solutions should never be a one size fits all process, and smaller and emerging biopharma companies may have different priorities and processes when working with external vendors to larger pharmaceutical organizations.
Feb 9, 2017 7:34:58 AM
In this blog, Adam Hamm, PhD, Director Biostatistics at Cytel shares some of the most important knowledge he uses in his day to day work as a biostatistician working extensively in oncology research. Adam has broad experience with statistical analysis and methodology over all phases (I-IV) of development, in particular working in the oncology arena.
As a Director of Biostatistics at Cytel, I work on design, statistical analysis and reporting projects for a range of biotechnology and pharmaceutical sponsors. During my career, I’ve developed a particular focus on oncology trials, so in this blog I’ll share some insights into the knowledge which I have found particularly vital as a biostatistician working in this area. This knowledge spans specific statistical methodologies and understanding of the clinical issues across the phases of clinical development. The summary is not exhaustive, but provides a glimpse into the broad exposure which is needed for a biostatistician to develop a fully rounded understanding in the area. To learn more, read on...
Jan 30, 2017 9:50:24 AM
Single ascending dose (SAD) and multiple ascending dose (MAD) studies are typically the first in human studies. They seek to gain information on safety and tolerability, general pharmacokinetic (PK) and pharmacodynamic ( PD) characteristics, and of course identify the maximum tolerated dose (MTD).
Conventionally, SAD and MAD studies were conducted separately, but increasingly are combined into an ‘umbrella’ protocol which addresses both SAD and MAD objectives.
Jan 23, 2017 10:35:00 AM
As a group, Cytel had over 40 successful regulatory interactions last year, many of which supported approvals for innovative trial design approaches. In this blog we look at some of the key success factors for regulatory interactions regarding adaptive designs.
Jan 19, 2017 7:05:00 AM
R is on the rise in biopharma, and as we have previously discussed on the blog, it is now time for SAS programmers to get up to speedwith this popular and powerful programming language. Indeed, one of the advantages of R is its ability to integrate with other languages like C, C++, Python and SAS. Its strong graphical capabilities allow output in PDF, JPG, PNG, and SVG formats and table outputs for LaTeX and HTML. Importantly, as an open source resource, there is a strong community around R and extensive support for users in the form of forums like R-bloggers, StackOverflow and GitHub Repository
In this blog, we’ll provide an overview of R basic structures for programmers.
Jan 16, 2017 8:41:00 AM
The Global Cardiovascular Clinical Trialists Forum is a key event bringing together leading experts from across the spectrum of opinion leaders, clinical trialists, investigators, regulators, statisticians and practitioners to address the most pressing questions in cardiovascular clinical development today. At the December conference, eminent biostatisticians Cyrus Mehta and Stuart Pocock led a packed workshop tackling the advantages and limitations of adaptive designs within this space.
Jan 5, 2017 8:45:00 AM
Nonlinear Mixed Effects Modeling (NONMEM) is a type of population pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics (popPK/PD) analysis used in Clinical Pharmacology research. The population PK approach combined with pharmacodynamics modeling, allows integrated analysis, interpretation, and prediction of the drug’s safety, efficacy, dose-concentration relationship, and dosing strategy.
Dec 15, 2016 11:53:14 AM
In April, we interviewed NIHR research fellow Munya Dimairo about the paper, ‘Adaptive designs undertaken in clinical research: a review of registered clinical trials’ (Hatfield et al, 2016), for which Munya was a co-author.
During the previous interview, we discussed the barriers to uptake of adaptive designs, and the urgent need for a cross-sector discussion and work on reporting guidance of adaptive design. As a follow up to this, Munya is now Lead Investigator of the ACE project which aims to develop a consensus-driven reporting guidance tailored for Adaptive designs in the form of a CONSORT extension. The ACE Project is funded by the NIHR and is led by a multidisciplinary Steering Working Group of international experts in collaboration with the CONSORT Executive Group and the MRC HTMR Adaptive Designs Working Group. The goal is to enhance transparency, credibility, reproducibility, and replicability of adaptive trials as well as facilitate uptake of ADs in clinical trials research when appropriate.
We are delighted to welcome Munya Dimairo back to the blog to give us the inside scoop on this project.
Dec 2, 2016 9:19:10 AM
At a recent Pfizer/ Cytel seminar on rare disease and oncology development, Cytel’s Lingyun Liu presented innovative work on a patient enrichment design. In this blog, we share some design and operational considerations. This approach can help mitigate against underpowering of a clinical trial where there is uncertainty and heterogeneity of treatment effect among subpopulations.