A Hearing Health Benefit

| November 6, 2018

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Across the country, hearing health is becoming a hot topic of conversation and it’s grabbing the attention of the organizations that deliver health care benefits to millions of Americans. Driving this phenomenon are several wide-ranging factors as shown below.

Spotlight

Anacor Pharmaceuticals

Anacor is a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing and commercializing novel small-molecule therapeutics derived from its boron chemistry platform. Anacor has discovered and is developing five clinical compounds, including its three lead programs: AN2690, a topical antifungal for the treatment of onychomycosis; AN2728, a topical anti-inflammatory PDE-4 inhibitor for the treatment of psoriasis; and GSK 2251052, or GSK '052 (formerly referred to as AN3365), a systemic antibiotic for the treatment of infections caused by Gram-negative bacteria, which has been licensed to GlaxoSmithKline under the companies' research and development agreement.

OTHER ARTICLES

New Dimensions of Clinical Trial Optimization

Article | April 20, 2021

For much of the past three decades, even as methodologies for clinical trial design have advanced and refined, the idea of the optimized clinical trial has centered on optimal patient samples, target enrollment rates, and generally the most efficient uses of scarce resources in the form of patients. Yet anyone who has had to design and optimize a clinical trial, knows that trial optimization occurs within an ecosystem of choices; a series of choices that stretch from the time it takes to implement a clinical trial and submit clinical data for analysis, to general concerns about the cost and power of a clinical trial. A true clinical trial optimization process would try to unify a number of these choices into a single framework for trial optimization. The complexity of clinical trial optimization comes from the need to align priorities on the one hand, and to understand opportunities on the other. We know that at a very general level, clinical operations specialists benefit from simplicity in clinical trial design, and that commercial teams prefer shorter clinical trials to longer ones. We also know that the statistical design of a clinical trial can influence both simplicity and duration. Yet how many sponsors have their clinical operations and commercial teams, sit with their R&D teams to review various statistically nuanced design options? For many sponsors, the reason this process does not occur as often as it should, is because the nuanced statistical parameters of a clinical trial design are very difficult to communicate to non-statisticians. Yet a trial optimization tool like Solara, equipped with data visualizations and the ability to see tradeoffs intuitively, can overcome this challenge. The real challenge is often convincing the non-statistician that they have a stake in clinical trial design. Cytel recently had a client that thought it needed a sample size re-estimation design, because it had a very strict limit on the number of patients it could enroll. After a few hours of working with Solara, though, a statistician discovered that a much simpler Group Sequential Design would deliver comparable power using about the same number of patients. The gains from the more complex design were minimal from the optimization perspective, when understood as the eco-system of choices. Similarly, most commercial teams pressure their clinical trial designers to have the most accelerated clinical trial imaginable, but as we all know, the longer the clinical trial the more likely there will be a higher number of events that demonstrate the effectiveness of a new medicine. So commercialization teams have a stake in longer clinical trials, even when their rule of thumb is to shorten them. Therefore, it is absolutely essential to communicate the benefits of various statistical designs to multiple stakeholders in a way that makes tradeoffs clear. Aligning on priorities early during the clinical trial design process is essential to selecting the optimal clinical trial. Yet for this statisticians need to be equipped for both a strategic and communicative role in the R&D process.

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How Can Medical Cannabis Help to Manage Pain Conditions? – The Cannabis Exchange

Article | February 11, 2020

Pain management is one of the most common reasons for the use of medical cannabis products. However, despite many jurisdictions – including Canada, Germany, and the Netherlands – now allowing the prescription of medical cannabis for this purpose, there remains little ‘high-quality’ evidence to support, or oppose its efficacy. Madden et al. (2018) set out to review the evidence available in order to determine the efficacy of medical cannabis when employed in the management of various forms of musculoskeletal pain. The researchers analysed various studies that assessed the use of cannabinoids in the treatment of arthritis pain; back pain; postoperative pain; and trauma-related pain. It is estimated that up to 30% of the population may suffer from a non-cancer-related pain condition. As such a high percentage of people suffer from these conditions, the development of simple and safe therapies is an essential area of research. This is particularly important as the therapeutic options for people with chronic pain are increasingly limited.

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Pharmacist eCare Plan - the newest disrupter in health data exchange?

Article | February 25, 2020

Every member of the health care team shares a common goal of optimizing patient outcomes. Yet each specialty and position of the healthcare team has a unique workflow facilitated by various tools, from an operative report to a progress note. In this regard the pharmacist plays a pivotal function in medication management and requires documentation specific to that role. The Pharmacist eCare Plan (PeCP) allows for an interoperable note to be used in the pharmacy to assist in the exchange of patient information, including active medication list, laboratory results, and payer information. To allow for this, a new type of clinical document architecture for the PeCP was created and standardized for use across pharmacies.

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Comparing HydroxyChloroquine Trials

Article | April 1, 2020

One minor side effect of the pandemic is that perhaps more people will learn about what drug research and clinical trials can really be like. Today’s example: we have a clinical trial of hydroxychloroquine from Wuhan that has just published on a preprint server. What’s good is that this one is blinded, randomized, and controlled (like the earlier hydroxychloroquine which one I blogged about here from Zhejiang University, so we can actually talk about it rather than just spend all our time wondering what the heck is going on.

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Spotlight

Anacor Pharmaceuticals

Anacor is a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing and commercializing novel small-molecule therapeutics derived from its boron chemistry platform. Anacor has discovered and is developing five clinical compounds, including its three lead programs: AN2690, a topical antifungal for the treatment of onychomycosis; AN2728, a topical anti-inflammatory PDE-4 inhibitor for the treatment of psoriasis; and GSK 2251052, or GSK '052 (formerly referred to as AN3365), a systemic antibiotic for the treatment of infections caused by Gram-negative bacteria, which has been licensed to GlaxoSmithKline under the companies' research and development agreement.

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