SAS | June 22, 2022
Bringing life-changing therapies to market requires pharmaceutical companies to efficiently design and run clinical trials, gather and analyze massive amounts of data, and manage a complicated regulatory review process. SAS, a leader in clinical research analytics, delivers powerful technologies to support the life sciences industry – including machine learning, AI and analytics for IoT – through the SAS® Life Science Analytics Framework on Azure.
The advanced analytics platform – a single, open, cloud-native statistical computing environment for clinical trial analysis and submission – helps pharmaceutical companies navigate the heavily regulated world of clinical research analytics and bring new therapies to the world faster.
Delivering the power of analytics in the cloud
From drug discovery to regulatory approval, developing a new medicine can take over a decade with a price tag in the billions. The clinical research required to achieve approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), European Medicines Agency (EMA), and other regulatory authorities involves massive amounts of data that can be difficult to manage, share and analyze, creating delays that affect patients' well-being.
The cloud-based SAS Life Science Analytics Framework on Azure features an integrated and collaborative environment to manage and analyze clinical trial information as well as deliver trial results for the FDA and other global regulatory agencies' review. With the analytic solution, life sciences organizations can extract valuable insights from clinical data, mitigate risk, increase efficiency, and speed time to market for lifesaving pharmaceuticals.
"The primary goal is to get drugs approved so that they can reach patients. The faster you can do that, the greater benefit for the patient and to help save lives."
Bhawna Goel, CEO of Gunvatta
Gunvatta USA, Inc, a contract research organization (CRO) headquartered in Washington, DC, helps clients collect, manage, analyze and visualize the terabytes of clinical and healthcare data produced by pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, hospitals, and provider groups.
With the SAS Life Science Analytics Framework, Gunvatta has modernized the way it approaches clinical trials. The CRO helps life sciences organizations reduce risk with secure data access, ensure data and results are validated, maintain an audit trail, and report their data to health authorities like the FDA.
"The biggest advantage of the SAS Life Science Analytics Framework is that the analytics platform is cloud-based," said Goel. "I feel like SAS has jumped 15 to 20 steps ahead of where the market is."
For more about Gunvatta's experience, see the customer story Helping pharmaceutical companies bring new therapies to the world faster using analytics for life sciences.
Developing cutting-edge clinical research tools
SAS life science experts will attend the DIA Global Annual Meeting this week in Chicago to share next generation approaches for driving excellence and innovation in clinical trial operations.
At DIA, SAS will preview SAS Clinical Enrollment Simulation Cloud – a cloud-native, solution based in SAS® Viya® 4 – that enables life sciences and contract research organizations to simulate the outcome of the complex clinical trial enrollment process in a virtual world, resulting in faster, more strategic clinical trial enrollment plans.
The new SaaS offering – available later this year on the Microsoft Azure Marketplace – uses a powerful discrete event simulation analytical engine to model the clinical trial enrollment process as it evolves over time, facilitating improved insights to guide enrollment strategy and meet contracted patient targets.
"SAS Clinical Enrollment Simulation Cloud is highly differentiated from traditional methodologies for predicting trial enrollment," said Jim Box, Life Sciences Principal Data Scientist at SAS. "The technology helps life sciences organizations reduce timelines, minimize costs, and gain greater insight to inform clinical enrollment planning and rescue."
Modernizing clinical trials for the future
While the current clinical development research model can be an obstacle to the creation of safe, cost-effective therapies, the COVID-19 pandemic and other events set the stage for disruption in clinical trials.
"The silver lining of the pandemic for the life sciences industry is the acceleration of digital transformation and modernization of clinical research," said Simon Tilley, Health and Life Sciences Product Director at SAS. "We experienced widespread adoption of innovative approaches, such as decentralized clinical trials for the development of new vaccines."
"While the business benefits of modernizing clinical research include significant cost savings, efficiency improvements, accelerated time to regulatory approval and faster time to market, it is patients who stand to gain the most from clinical trial innovation."
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DeepIntent | July 14, 2022
DeepIntent, the leading healthcare advertising technology company built to influence better patient health and business outcomes announced the addition of audience segments from Redi-Data, MedFuse, HealthWise Data, Prognos Health, and TV viewership data from LG Ads Solutions to the DeepIntent Audience Marketplace.
These segments are directly integrated into DeepIntent's demand side platform for immediate activation, with the ability to optimize campaigns in real-time toward audience quality and script performance using DeepIntent Outcomes™. Launched in September 2021, Audience Marketplace remains the industry's first and only healthcare-specific data marketplace with ready-to-activate and custom audience segments powered by a variety of medical and pharmacy claims, lab, genomic, contextual, and wellness data providers.
In total, DeepIntent now offers hundreds of patients and HCP segments from leading digital health data providers and publishers, including HealthLink Dimensions, Fluent, Doc Delta, and ShareThis. Additionally, over two dozen leading pharmaceutical brands and advertising agencies have made use of custom or ready-to-activate segments available on the marketplace to simplify their campaign planning and tap into Outcomes to optimize their third-party segments.
"Audience Marketplace meets an important need to have unique healthcare audience segments included in a healthcare-focused DSP with the ability to optimize towards pharma-specific KPIs, such as Audience Quality, all within a single platform. Many of our customers already use audience segments from our new partners, and their direct integration will make it much easier to execute, measure, and optimize campaigns."
Jen Werther, chief strategy officer at DeepIntent
Audience Marketplace users benefit from greater convenience, faster time-to-activation, and improved data integrity and reporting compared with conventional methods, which require the use of costly and time-consuming third-party platforms. Segments within the Audience Marketplace are also matched with DeepIntent's industry-leading identity graph to prepare advertisers for the cookieless future, and provide daily physician-level data reporting for healthcare provider audiences.
"Using integrated health data and Prognos Clinical Truths™ to ensure relevancy, healthcare marketers can rest easy knowing their messages are reaching the right physicians at the right time. Our partnership with DeepIntent makes the process of onboarding and activating HCP segments from Prognos seamless, and segments can further be optimized toward script performance in real-time when leveraging the advanced machine learning capabilities of DeepIntent Outcomes," said Matt Apprendi, vice president of marketing and media solutions at Prognos Health.
DeepIntent is leading the healthcare advertising industry with data-driven solutions built for the future. Built purposefully for healthcare marketers, DeepIntent's platform is proven to drive higher audience quality and script performance. It enables marketers to plan, activate, measure, and optimize their campaigns all within a single platform. Conceived by former Memorial Sloan Kettering data scientists, DeepIntent empowers nine of the top ten pharmaceutical companies and the leading healthcare advertising agencies to improve patient outcomes through the artful use of advertising, data science, and real-world health data.
VIEWS AND ANALYSIS
Innovent Biologics | June 13, 2022
Innovent Biologics, Inc. a world-class biopharmaceutical company that develops, manufactures and commercializes high-quality medicines for the treatment of oncology, autoimmune, metabolic, ophthalmology and other major diseases, and IASO Biotherapeutics a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company engaged in discovering, developing, and manufacturing innovative cell therapies and antibody products, today jointly announced that the updated data from phase 1/2 study of Equecabtagene Autoleucel (Innovent R&D code: IBI326, IASO Bio R&D code: CT103A), a fully-human anti-B cell maturation antigen chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy for the treatment of relapsed and/or refractory multiple myeloma (R/R MM), was presented in the form of an oral presentation at the 27th European Hematology Association Annual Meeting in Vienna on June 9-12, 2022.
The updated data from the Phase 1/2 study with a longer duration of follow-up in more patients has showed durable and deepening efficacy, manageable safety and long-term in vivo persistence, indicating that Equecabtagene Autoleucel has the potential to be a breakthrough therapy for patients with R/R MM.
The updated data is from the 14 clinical sites involved in the Phase 1/2 clinical study of Equecabtagene Autoleucel (ChiCTR1800018137, NCT05066646) in the treatment of patients with R/R MM. As of the data cutoff date of January 21, 2022, 79 patients received recommended phase 2 dose of 1.0×106 CAR-T cells/kg with the median follow-up of nine months (range 1.2, 19.6) and median prior five lines of therapy (range 3,23). Among the 79 patients, 34.2% (27/79) had high-risk cytogenetic abnormalities, 34.2%（27/79）had extramedullary multiple myeloma (EMM), and 15.2%（12/79）had received prior CAR-T therapy.
Equecabtagene Autoleucel demonstrated a favorable and manageable safety profile: Among the 79 patients, 94.9% (75/79) experienced cytokine release syndrome (CRS). The majority experienced 1~2 CRS, and no patient experienced grade 3 CRS. The median time to CRS onset was six days after infusion, and the median duration of CRS was five days. Only two patients experienced immune effector cell-associated neurotoxicity syndrome (ICANS), including one patient who experienced grade 1 ICANS and one who experienced grade 2 ICANS. All patients with CRS or ICANS have recovered.
Equecabtagene Autoleucel showed favorable and durable efficacy: Among the 79 patients, the overall response rate (ORR) was 94.9% (75/79), with "89.9% (71/79)" of those patients achieving very good partial response (VGPR) or deeper responses, and the complete response/stringent complete response (CR/sCR) rate was 68.4% (54/79). Equecabtagene Autoleucel also demonstrated favorable efficacy in 10 patients with EMM, achieving an ORR of 100% (10/10) and a CR/sCR rate of 90.0% (9/10). In all 79 patients, 92.4% (73/79) achieved minimal residual disease (MRD) negativity, all CR/sCR subjects achieved MRD negativity, and the median duration of MRD negativity was not reached.
Equecabtagene Autoleucel demonstrated favorable efficacy in patients who had received prior CAR-T therapy: Among the 12 patients who previously received CAR-T therapy, the ORR was 75.0% (9/12), with 41.7% (5/12) of those patients achieving CR/sCR.
Equecabtagene Autoleucel demonstrated robust expansion and prolonged persistence: The expansion of Equecabtagene Autoleucel in peripheral blood reached the peak at a median of 12 days, with a median Cmax of 92,000 copies/ug DNA. Equecabtagene Autoleucel was still detectable in 62.3% (38/61) and 53.3% (8/15) of the subjects who completed 6-months and 12-month follow-ups after infusion. Soluble BCMA in peripheral blood of patients rapidly declined after Equecabtagene Autoleucel infusion and persistently remained below the detectable limit.
Equecabtagene Autoleucel has low immunogenicity: 16.5% (13/79) of the subjects tested anti-drug antibody (ADA)-positive after Equecabtagene Autoleucel infusion. Among them，1.3% (1/79) tested ADA-positive before Equecabtagene Autoleucel infusion, and 2.5% (2/79) tested ADA-positive within three months.
Prof. Chunrui Li, MD, PhD, from Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science & Technology, stated "Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T cell therapy is a revolutionary new pillar in cancer treatment. In our previous studies, Equecabtagene Autoleucel has shown excellent efficacy and manageable safety profiles. Its CAR structure contains fully human single-chain fragment variables (scFvs) to bypass potential anti-CAR immunogenicity of the host while retaining antitumor activity. At the 27th EHA conference, we updated the data on the efficacy and safety of Equecabtagene Autoleucel in R/R MM patients with longer median follow-up extended to 9.0 months, the CR/sCR deepened to 68.4%, compared with the CR/sCR of 58.2% with a median follow-up of 7.0 months, which were released at 63rd ASH conference in 2021. The updated data showed long-lasting safety and deepening efficacy of Equecabtagene Autoleucel. We are glad that Equecabtagene Autoleucel also shows favorable efficacy on patients who have relapsed after receiving prior CAR-T therapy. This has meaningful clinical value and is worthy of further exploration in the clinic to potentially bring forth new hope to patients with R/R MM."
About Multiple Myeloma (MM)
Multiple Myeloma is a deadly blood cancer that often infiltrates the bone marrow causing anemia, kidney failure, immune problems, and bone fractures. For multiple myeloma patients, common first-line drug treatments include proteasome inhibitors, immunomodulatory drugs, and alkylating agents. While treatment may result in remission, most patients will inevitably enter the relapsed or refractory stage as there's currently no cure. As a result, there is a significant unmet need for patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma. In the United States, MM accounts for nearly 2% of all cancer cases, and more than 2% of cancer-related deaths.
According to Frost & Sullivan, the number of new MM cases in the United States rose from 30,300 in 2016 to 32,300 in 2020 and is expected to increase to 37,800 by 2025. Additionally, the total number of patients diagnosed with MM increased from 132,200 in 2016 to 144,900 in 2020 and is expected to rise to 162,300 by 2025. In China, the number of new MM cases rose from 18,900 in 2016 to 21,100 in 2020 and is expected to increase to 24,500 by 2025. The total number of patients diagnosed with MM in China increased from 69,800 in 2016 to 113,800 in 2020 and is expected to rise to 182,200 by 2025.
About Equecabtagene Autoleucel
Equecabtagene Autoleucel is an innovative therapy co-developed by Innovent and IASO Bio, with a fully-human anti- BCMA CAR-T cell therapy which uses lentivirus as a gene vector to transfect autologous T cells. The CAR contains a fully-human scFv, CD8a hinge and transmembrane, and 4-1BB-mediated co-stimulation and CD3ζ activation domains. Based on rigorous screening and comprehensive in vivo and in vitro evaluation, Equecabtagene Autoleucel is proven to have potent and rapid anti-myeloma activity and outstanding safety, efficacy, and persistence results.
Asahi Kasei Bioprocess | August 01, 2022
Asahi Kasei Bioprocess America, subsidiary of diversified Japanese multinational company Asahi Kasei, will be featuring their MOTIV™ Buffer Management Technology at ACHEMA 2022 in Frankfurt this August. Winner of “Best in Show” at Interphex in 2017, “Technology of the Decade” from Bioprocess international in 2012 and originator of the concept for inline buffer formulation (IBF™), Asahi Kasei Bioprocess is a market leader that keeps pharmaceutical production moving efficiently and precisely through solutions like MOTIV with built-in automation software so that medicine can get to patients sooner and safer.
Buffers are used for the vast majority of processes in pharmaceutical development, which has traditionally required storage in extremely large tank farms to be utilized as necessary. MOTIV can blend buffers from concentrates in small, single-use bags and is controlled with sensors to maintain and assure precision. It is also able to blend buffers to exact specifications as needed during a downstream development process and can handle a wide variety of buffer formulations. In addition, it is automated by the integrated OCELOT™1 System Control software to be repeatable and also helps to reduce waste created in the development process, so it is a more sustainable means of pharmaceutical manufacturing.
“We have been working to ‘standardize’ system designs as much as we can, to make them more readily available with shorter lead times; but are also very capable at building custom systems to meet the specific needs of customers,” says Chris Rombach, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Asahi Kasei Bioprocess America. “One of our strengths is not only having an innovative product, but also an extensive family of MOTIV systems to choose from. Buffer is the lifeblood of pharma manufacturing and with the R&D opportunities of being a part of the Asahi Kasei Group we have been able to develop MOTIV to be the most reliable and efficient IBF technology in the market today. Not to mention, Operation Warp Speed helped push capacity to expand globally and billions of dollars are being invested by manufacturers to ramp up production as quickly as possible. This drives a new sense of value for systems like our MOTIV family that can streamline processes.”
1 The OCELOT System Control is an Asahi Kasei Bioprocess proprietary technology that integrates and/or interfaces with plant-wide control systems in a universally compatible format, allowing for far-reaching data collection and analysis.
About Asahi Kasei Bioprocess
The Fluid Management Business Unit of Asahi Kasei Bioprocess is devoted to solving therapeutic product safety, efficiency and purity challenges within the pharmaceutical and bioprocessing industries. With technology platforms for virus filtration, chromatography, inline buffer formulation and oligonucleotide synthesis, our bioprocessing systems, columns, and automation solutions advance GMP manufacturing of critical drug substances around the world. Built with pride, built with quality, built to exceed your high expectations. “Built for You.”
About Asahi Kasei
The Asahi Kasei Group contributes to life and living for people around the world. Since its foundation in 1922 with ammonia and cellulose fiber businesses, Asahi Kasei has consistently grown through the proactive transformation of its business portfolio to meet the evolving needs of every age. With more than 46,000 employees around the world, the company contributes to a sustainable society by providing solutions to the world's challenges through its three business sectors of Material, Homes, and Health Care. Its health care operations include devices and systems for acute critical care, dialysis, therapeutic apheresis, transfusion, and manufacture of biotherapeutics, as well as pharmaceuticals and diagnostic reagents.