The Cytel blog keeps you up to speed with the latest developments in biostatistics and clinical biometrics.

Year-End Roundup: Your Favorite Blog Posts of 2020

December 21, 2020

2020 has been an unusually difficult year as the global pandemic impacted all of our lives. This year, the Cytel blog saw a lot of activity as we tried to keep our readers abreast with the latest updates on the COVID-19 clinical trials, and covered other trending and important topics such as, the growing adoption of Synthetic Control Arms, master protocols, Head to Head Comparisons and Bayesian methods. We also collaborated with several experts from both within and outside the company to conduct several series of webinars and provided summaries through our blogs.

Continue reading to learn about the top 10 Cytel blogs that resonated most with our community in 2020.

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2020 Recap by Yannis Jemiai, Chief Scientific Officer, Cytel

December 17, 2020

As Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. Yannis Jemiai plays a pivotal role in maintaining Cytel’s well-established reputation for statistical excellence and our track-record of bringing innovative analytic approaches to the development of medicines for human health. In this blog, we ask Yannis for his favorite Cytel events from 2020.

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Program and Portfolio Optimization: A New Paradigm

December 2, 2020

Significant advances have been made to enhance the efficiency of clinical trial designs. However, the traditional methods deployed by many pharmaceutical companies are fraught with challenges. Much less consideration is given to the value of decisions in the context of development programs or portfolios.

Cytel recently launched the “C-Suite Webinar Series”, an online initiative to help pharmaceutical executives drive commercial success with strategic insight from statistics. As a part of this series, Zoran Antonijevic, Head of Biometrics at MedSource, conducted a webinar where he describes methods for maximizing the value of programs and portfolios. This event was attended by numerous biopharma leaders.

Continue reading this blog to understand the concepts of program and portfolio optimization and learn about the benefits and opportunities presented by them.

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Key Design Considerations for Platform Trials

November 10, 2020

Platform trials are a new type of clinical trials where multiple interventions can be evaluated simultaneously against a common control group within a single master protocol. Platform trial designs are an extension of adaptive trial designs that are sometimes referred to as a multi-arm, multi-stage (MAMS) design, as multiple interventions (‘‘multi-arm’’) undergoing multiple interim evaluations (‘‘multi-stage’’) are part of the design features.

This autumn Cytel has been holding a number of webinars on Platform Trials, ranging from a discussion with Cyrus Mehta on statistical innovations to incentivize more sponsors to consider platform trials, to next week's event with Jason Connor (Confluence) on the use of Bayesian methods for these innovative trial designs. 

In a recent webinar Jay Park, Director of Trials Research for Cytel in Canada, presented a webinar to review the concept of platform trials and discuss important design considerations for platform trials. Jay is the author of several leading papers on Platform Trials, including one in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, the journal with the world's highest impact factor. He has also produced a complimentary primer on the subject which you can download here.

Continue reading this blog to get a summary of his talk. Click the button to access the on demand webinar.

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TOGETHER trials, and the advantages of adaptive platform designs for investigating COVID-19 therapies

September 28, 2020

Cytel has recently designed and implemented the TOGETHER Trials, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to generate knowledge to help fight COVID-19, particularly in low and middle-income countries. The trials, with sites in Brazil and South Africa, test three existing interventions as possible treatments for COVID-19 in high-risk adults who do not require hospitalization, compared to a placebo.

The TOGETHER trials use an adaptive platform design. This type of design is particularly useful for contexts such as COVID-19 response, where there are many unknowns and a need for accelerated and resource-efficient answers, for 5 reasons.

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The TOGETHER Trial: Cytel Designs and Implements Novel Adaptive Platform Trial for COVID-19 Therapies

September 21, 2020

Cytel has designed and implemented a novel adaptive platform trial for early stage COVID-19. The severity of the coronavirus emerges in five stages, with the majority of clinical trials focusing on therapies for the final stage of the disease. According to the Cytel Clinical Trial Tracker, only 6 of 2000 trials are focused on early stages; staggering given that only 5% of coronavirus cases are considered severe.

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Webinar: Practical Model-based Approaches for Phase I Oncology Trials

June 24, 2020

Last week, Cytel conducted its third webinar in the new introductory webinar series on Complex Innovative Trial Designs. Our speaker, Dr. Satrajit Roychoudhury is a Senior Director, Statistical Research and Data Science Center at Pfizer. In this webinar, Dr. Roychoudhury gets into the basics of phase I designs in oncology trials, explains the caveats of frequently used traditional designs and provides insights on how implementing a model-based approach can enable a better statistical inference and decision-making. You can watch the replay of the webinar and access the slides by clicking on the button.

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We also had the privilege to interview Dr. Satrajit Roychoudhury. Read our blog where he talks about his interest in statistics, explains the concept of Bayesian model-based approaches and their importance in oncology trials.

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Significance of Bayesian Model-Based Approaches in Oncology Trials: An Interview with Dr. Satrajit Roychoudhury

June 15, 2020

Cytel conducted a webinar with Dr. Satrajit Roychoudhury, Senior Director, Statistical Research and Data Science Center, Pfizer. Dr. Roychoudhury talked about practical model-based approaches for phase I oncology trials. This webinar is a part of Cytel’s “Introduction to Complex Innovative Trial Designs” webinar series. You can watch the recording by clicking on the button below.

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In this blog, we bring to you an insightful interview with Dr. Satrajit Roychoudhury where he talks to us about his interest in statistics, explains the concept of Bayesian model-based approaches and their importance in oncology trials.

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Adaptive Bayesian Methods: The Secret Weapon in COVID-19 Vaccine Development

June 11, 2020

A recent Cytel panel led by Vice President of Strategic Consulting Natalia Muhlemann evaluated the role that Bayesian methods played in development of a COVID-19 vaccine. The wide-ranging discussion covered the structure and utility of platform trials and the role of master protocols in infectious disease vaccines development, but also addressed the importance of adaptive Bayesian methods in the search for COVID-19 therapies.

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