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 19, 2017 5:19:08 AM
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...
Sep 2, 2016 10:30:00 AM
May 10, 2016 8:00:00 AM
We were fortunate to welcome Björn Bornkamp of Novartis to the EUGM 2016 presenting work he has developed jointly with Marius Thomas (1) on methods of adjusting treatment effect estimates in subgroup analyses with a focus on early phase trials.
Apr 22, 2016 9:30:00 AM
FDA draft guidance on “Co development of two or more unmarketed investigational drugs for use in combination” notes that:
“Combination therapy is an important treatment modality in many disease settings, including cancer, cardio-vascular disease, and infectious diseases. Recent scientific advances have increased our understanding of the pathophysiological processes that underlie these and other complex diseases. This increased understanding has provided further impetus for new therapeutic approaches using combinations of drugs directed at multiple therapeutic targets to improve treatment response or minimize development of resistance.” In this setting, it’s important to be able to design dose escalation studies which can identify the synergistic activity of compounds, and less toxic combinations.
Apr 7, 2016 10:30:00 AM
Francois Beckers, Global Head of Biostatistics & Epidemiology at Merck KGaA joined us at the East User Group Meeting in March and presented case studies of Merck KGaA’s experiences with Blinded Sample Size Re-estimation in early phase studies, more specifically in the context of biosimilar studies.
Mar 29, 2016 11:00:00 AM
On March 16th and 17th the 5th East User Group Meeting took place in London. This very successful 2 days saw a variety of talks on aspects of clinical trial design innovation. Over the next couple of weeks, we will be reviewing some of the key topics which were addressed during the meeting.
In this post, we'll take a look at Paul Frewer of Astrazeneca's presentation on Decision Making in Early Phase Clinical Development. This talk was very well received by the delegates and prompted plenty of discussion afterwards.
Nov 12, 2015 4:00:00 PM
Last week Cytel joined forces with Sanofi/Genzyme to devote a full day of workshops and talks related to modern methods in early phase oncology. Patrick Mitchell, an Associate Director of Statistical Sciences at Astra Zeneca, gave this talk on Bayesian go/no-go decision-making in an early phase oncology event study.
Astra Zeneca recently invited Cytel to take part in a collaborative initiative to develop software for go/no-go decision-making. Pat demonstrates the uses of this proprietary software in early phase oncology.
Oct 19, 2015 5:15:40 PM
It is often necessary to pool safety data from late phase studies, in preparation for regulatory submission. Some of our clients have also begun to add Phase 1 safety data to this pool. On some occasions this is required by regulators. In many cases, however, these Phase 1 data simply provide further evidence that a new therapeutic lives up to the promise of safety across patient populations.
Sep 4, 2015 10:30:00 AM
Our Client's Challenge:
Can knowledge of the relationship between biomarkers and clinical endpoints help us to optimize an early development program and improve the probability of selecting the right dose in Phase 3?
Our client approached us hoping to expedite dose-finding with biomarkers in Phase 1b, and to design an optimal Phase 2b clinical endpoint trial to maximize probability of correct Phase 3 dose selection.
Sep 1, 2015 4:01:39 PM
If you’re in the practice of conducting early phase clinical trials, you’ve probably heard that modern trial designs include a number of new methodologies. There’s CRM and BLRM, model-based methods versus rule-based methods, and a number of other developments that might affect your clinical strategy. Each of these methods affects operational, financial and regulatory objectives in unique ways.
As a part of this year’s Joint Statistical Meeting, Cytel statisticians created a primer to go along with a workshop for early phase clinical trial design.
In the primer you will find:
- 1. An overview of 3+3, CRM, BLRM and mTPI methods
- 2. A synopsis of basic concepts like Bayesian and frequentist statistics, models and rules, etc.
- 3. Reflections on regulatory considerations
- 4. Case studies and topical exercises with Cytel’s high-powered simulations
- 5. A solution guide for those with access to Cytel's East software
Click to download the Primer
Aug 10, 2015 2:32:34 PM
When approaching a Phase 3 clinical trial, the need to ‘de-risk’ the massive investment often leads sponsors on a quest for the perfect risk mitigating adaptation. While a strategically planned clinical trial design can be an important step in giving a new medicine its best possible chance of success, there are a number of other ways that a trial sponsor can minimize study risk.
May 20, 2015 5:56:47 PM
Seamless adaptive clinical trials have gained popularity for reducing the projected time it takes to complete the process of drug development. However, a study by Cuffe et al., shows that despite a tremendous amount of statistical knowledge about seamless trials, sponsors remain unsure about how to calculate the financial and operational costs of a seamless clinical development program . This in turn results in many unnecessary risks and missed opportunities. This post offers advice on what you need to keep in mind in order to implement a successful seamless adaptive clinical study.
Apr 23, 2015 3:53:00 PM
Last week the Cytel Blog discussed the benefits of using the Adaptive Maximizing Design [AM Design] for dose-finding trials involving clinical utility limiting therapies. However, there are other ways that a dose-finding trial can make use of frequent-adaptation maximizing designs. Here we look at what happens to early phase clinical development when an AM Design combines with another adaptive design that is slowly gaining popularity, namely the Sequential Parallel Comparison Design.
Jan 22, 2015 9:00:00 AM
The Journal of the American Medical Association recently published an article entitled ‘The Anatomy of Medical Research: US and International Comparisons.’ The stated objective of the study was to “quantify total public and private investment and personnel (economic inputs) and to evaluate resulting patents, publications, drug and device approvals, and value created (economic outputs)“ 
Amongst the many findings of this comprehensive study, a vital observation is the reduction of early phase spending by about 4% per year from 2004 to 2012. One attribution for this decline involves the financial constraints placed upon proof-of-concept trials, particularly when compared to the expected financial benefits of Phase 3 trials and medical devices. According to the authors, “Many new basic discoveries that have probable clinical value are stymied by financial constraints at the critical proof-of-concept stage, where utility in humans is demonstrated.”  They add that the number of new discoveries that will be underfunded at the proof-of-concept stage is expected to increase.
Jan 20, 2015 10:30:03 AM
According to a recent Cytel Whitepaper on Adaptive Clinical Trials, 50% of Phase 3 trials eventually fail. This new Cytel Infographicoffers a breakdown of why so many drugs fail in Phase 3.
Dec 18, 2014 3:40:00 PM
Earlier this week, we at Cytel enjoyed a riveting in-house discussion on the uses of Bayesian decision rules for Go/No-Go (GNG) decision-making. GNG rules establish the trajectory of a particular clinical program’s development by assessing whether or not a trial has met particular objects (e.g. target regions for PK, PD and safety endpoints.)
Traditionally, statisticians have used p-values and confidence intervals to construct GNG rules. However, moving to the Bayesian paradigm opens up exciting new possibilities for clinical development strategy. Our discussion earlier this week centered around three key benefits of using Bayesian statistics for GNG decision-making:
Nov 18, 2014 4:32:00 PM
Statisticians and scientists at Novartis have been at the forefront of developing a new method in early phase oncology trials called the BLRM. Many believe that the BLRM, (short for the Bayesian Logistic Regression Method,) allows for the construction of clinical trials that have the dual benefit of improving treatment for patients participating in the trials, and allowing the trial to complete in a more timely and efficient manner.