BioPharm America™: Interview with Christopher Viehbacher, Gurnet Point Capital

| September 24, 2015

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Christopher Viehbacher, managing partner at Gurnet Point Capital, and formerly the CEO of Sanofi, was interviewed by Joe Haas from “The Pink Sheet.” They discussed the business strategy of Gurnet Point Capital and the dealmaking environment at present in the biopharmaceutical industry.

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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 | April 20, 2021

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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WANT LESS “LIABILITY” AND MORE “RELIABILITY” FROM YOUR CLINICAL MOBILITY SOLUTION?

Article | April 20, 2021

I recently discussed the different ways that consumer-grade smartphones can compromise patients’ health, safety and overall care. However, some clinicians and healthcare administrators have indicated in recent months that they need help selecting the right enterprise-grade mobility solutions for their unique operating models and workflows. There are many different hardware and software options, and a single rugged device can come in multiple configurations. So, how do you know if you’re picking the right communication tools for your clinicians? The key is to first set performance expectations for the total mobility solution rather than the device alone.

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Decentralized Clinical Trials: Imperative for Pharma Sector to fight COVID19

Article | April 20, 2021

These are unprecedented times. The world is mobbed by a contagion virus, putting people’s health at risk, threatening to destabilize economies. It has already put global healthcare systems under tremendous pressures, and managed to resist efforts to contain it. Even though coronaviruses are not new, this COVID-19 strain has created panic and forced us to be locked down in our homes sans any movement for weeks, if not months. Organizations are fighting an intense battle to keep their workforce safe, minimize risk, and ensure business continuity. For the Life Sciences industry, however, the challenge is even more significant. The whole world is looking at them to come up with a vaccine and a cure. But that is easier said than done. Bringing a new drug to market is an uphill battle and requires rigorous clinical trials. This process already has regulatory challenges. With the current lockdown situation, the Pharma community is grappled with the challenge of continuing some of the critical and time-sensitive in-flight trials so that their regulatory submission, registration, and market entry are not impacted. But all may not be lost. With the right technology solution, it is possible to turn the situation around rapidly.

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Forward Health Group, Inc.

Measure Quality. Motivate Clinicians. Maximize Incentives. Trusted Population Health. Forward Health Group’s population health measurement platforms and data strategies drive success in the move to value.

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