How crossing regulatory borders means better access to medicines

GERRY ELSDON | November 25, 2016

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It’s universally agreed that patients should be able to expect medicines and vaccines to be available when they need them. Yet in some parts of the world, access to high-quality, safe, and efficient treatments can be a cumbersome/awkward walk through many, sometimes fatal, stumbling blocks. To take just one example, it’s estimated that fake anti-malaria and anti-tuberculosis medicines lead to 700,000 deaths every year[i]. Medical products should save and improve people’s lives, not put them at risk.

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Vel Vaccines Biosciences

VEL (Variable Epitope Library) vaccine technology was developed to address the need for effective immunization strategies against antigenically variable targets. The main limitation of current technologies is their inability to elicit sustained, protective immune responses against these constantly changing targets. VEL vaccines anticipate large numbers of mutational outcomes in the target and challenge host immune defenses with thousands and tens of thousands of epitopes. Immune systems primed with VEL-vaccines produce unprecedented repertoires of T-cells capable of containing and neutralizing disease caused by antigenically variable targets.

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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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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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WALGREEN’S IN HOT WATER OVER PHONY PHARMACIST

Article | February 11, 2020

The drugstore chain agreed to pay $7.5 million in fines after an unlicensed pharmacist at several San Francisco Bay locations illegally filled more than 700,000 prescriptions over a ten-year period. According to California prosecutors, Kim Thien Le stole license numbers from other pharmacists to fill prescriptions for Fentanyl, morphine, and other painkillers. Le pleaded guilty to multiple felony impersonation counts. Walgreen’s agreed to the settlement to avoid being charged with consumer fraud in Alameda and Santa Anna Counties. Prosecutors alleged that Walgreen’s failed to verify Le’s license and did not conduct a thorough background check. The company insisted it has taken remedial measures.

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Global Antiviral Drugs Market Growth: Is Antiviral Drug the Best Coronavirus Treatment?

Article | April 9, 2020

The global antiviral drugs market has witnessed a rapid surge in demand due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic worldwide. So is antiviral drug the best coronavirus treatment? It is still too early to have that conclusion as many medical research and clinical trials are still trying to find the effectiveness and potential side effects of using antiviral drugs to treat coronavirus. But experts believe that antiviral drug might be the best hope for reduce the coronavirus transmission around the world at this stage. However, due to the current difficult situation of the supply chain in many lockdown countries and regions, there is a global shortage on the antiviral drugs supply. With researchers and manufacturers working hard to find and provide effective coronavirus treatment, it is expected that the global antiviral drugs market will have a significant growth over the near future. Antiviral drugs are a type of medication used specifically for treating viral infections, such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis, and influenza.

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Spotlight

Vel Vaccines Biosciences

VEL (Variable Epitope Library) vaccine technology was developed to address the need for effective immunization strategies against antigenically variable targets. The main limitation of current technologies is their inability to elicit sustained, protective immune responses against these constantly changing targets. VEL vaccines anticipate large numbers of mutational outcomes in the target and challenge host immune defenses with thousands and tens of thousands of epitopes. Immune systems primed with VEL-vaccines produce unprecedented repertoires of T-cells capable of containing and neutralizing disease caused by antigenically variable targets.

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