When a pharma or biotech sponsor company engages with a contract research organization (CRO) and other service providers, it develops a list that details which organization is responsible for each task to be conducted. The degree to which a small to midsize sponsor has the expertise and the resources internally to manage a task, as well as budgetary constraints, will dictate which tasks it delegates and which it keeps in-house.
Many sponsors and CROs conduct mock inspections to determine organizational inspection and audit readiness. Investing in a regulatory mock inspection demonstrates a serious commitment to patient safety, data integrity, and regulatory compliance. It is also a proactive strategy to safeguard financial health, particularly for startups and companies with sparse pipelines.
Around the holidays, I reminisce about family dinners: three generations under one roof for a few hours, catching up on the past year. My mother presided over the festivities for several decades until her passing. For 10 years, she was a survivor of a rare cancer. She had two surgical resections and treatments before the cancer returned. There was only one approved orphan drug, which was 50 percent effective in decreasing mortality for six months. There weren’t many options in clinical trials and no Internet patient-centric community for information and support.
The transition from research to product development is a bit more involved than simply adding “&D” to “R.” Involving regulatory affairs early in the development process facilitates definition and execution of the development pathway while considering both regulatory requirements and the company’s business needs.
Earlier this year, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced a $3.5 million settlement against Primex Clinical Laboratories, a California laboratory providing clinical diagnostic testing services. As if that multimillion-dollar fine was not ominous enough, the DOJ announced another settlement in the same press release: It had imposed a $270,000 fine against the CEO of a related pharmacogenetics testing facility. The alleged wrongdoing centered on “sham” clinical trials, purportedly designed to mask improper payments to physicians who ordered pharmacogenetics tests.
Larger CDMOs are broadening their scale and services to fill strategic gaps by building a mosaic comprised of smaller, focused-service providers. This trend is effectively increasing the size and scope of the large global end-to-end CDMOs, while reducing the number of small and midsize service providers. Has a void has been created?
As the gene and cell therapy sector develops and its products start to move from development to commercial manufacture, the requirement for the technology transfer of these products will only increase. This technology will transfer from smaller or academic establishments and development laboratories, to larger facilities with greater capacity in-house, or to a partner company or CMO. It can occur at any phase of a product’s life cycle, from R&D preclinical stages to post-Phase 3 clinical trials to full commercial production.
I would guess every researcher has come across a contingency table. Contingency tables are a type of classification table used in statistics to simultaneously summarize relationships between two categorical variables. (Let’s call them Variable X and Variable Y.) Contingency tables are also called two-way tables, cross-tabulation tables (cross-tabs), and frequency distribution tables, because statisticians like to have at least three to five names for everything.
The new year is just around the corner, signaling a fresh start and new beginning. Janus, the Roman god of new beginnings and namesake of the month of January, likely inspired our familiar tradition of reflection and resolution this time of year. Janus had two faces, which allowed him to look backward to the past and forward to the future.
Developing products in the life sciences industries is complex. Basic quality tools can be used to bring the complexity into focus and help streamline the development strategy. These tools can help identify your primary goals and assess potential risks and failure modes to enable agile thinking early in development, where experimental outcomes often indicate the need to alter your development strategy.