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Stratified medicine is often heralded as the future of clinical practice. Key part of stratified medicine is the use of predictive biomarkers, which identify patient subgroups most likely to benefit (or least likely to experience harm) from an intervention. We investigated how many and what predictive biomarkers are currently included in European Medicines Agency (EMA) licensing.
Indications and contraindications of all drugs considered by the EMA and published in 883 European Public Assessment Reports and Pending Decisions.
Data were collected on: the type of the biomarker, whether it selected a subgroup of patients based on efficacy or toxicity, therapeutic area, marketing status, date of licensing decision, date of inclusion of the biomarker in the indication or contraindication and on orphan designation.
49 biomarker-indication-drug (B-I-D) combinations were identified over 16 years, which included 37 biomarkers and 41 different drugs. All identified biomarkers were molecular. Six drugs (relating to 10 B-I-D combinations) had an orphan designation at the time of licensing. The identified B-I-D combinations were mainly used in cancer and HIV treatment, and also in hepatitis C and three other indications (cystic fibrosis, hyperlipoproteinaemia type I and methemoglobinaemia). In 45 B-I-D combinations, biomarkers were used as predictive of drug efficacy and in four of drug toxicity. It appeared that there was an increase in the number of B-I-D combinations introduced each year; however, the numbers were too small to identify any trends.
Given the large body of literature documenting research into potential predictive biomarkers and extensive investment into stratified medicine, we identified relatively few predictive biomarkers included in licensing. These were also limited to a small number of clinical areas. This might suggest a need for improvement in methods of translation from laboratory findings to clinical practice.
BMJ Open 01/2014; 4(1):e004188. DOI:10.1136/bmjopen-2013-004188 · 2.06 Impact Factor
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Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an inflammatory condition that typically causes a symmetrical chronic arthritis. Timely use of disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) is an essential aspect of disease management, but many patients may not respond even when conventional agents are used optimally.
To assess the clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of adalimumab (ADA), etanercept (ETN), infliximab (IFX), rituximab (RTX) and abatacept (ABT) when used in patients with RA who have tried conventional agents and have failed to improve after trying a first tumour necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitor.
A systematic review of primary studies was undertaken. Databases searched included the Cochrane Library, MEDLINE (Ovid) and EMBASE up to July 2009.
Two reviewers assessed titles and abstracts of studies identified by the search strategy, obtained the full text of relevant papers and screened them against inclusion criteria. STUDY APPRAISAL: Data from included studies were extracted by one reviewer and checked by a second. The quality of included studies was assessed independently by two reviewers, with any disagreements resolved by discussion and consultation with a third reviewer if necessary.
Thirty-five studies were included in the systematic review: five randomised controlled trials (RCTs), one comparative study, one controlled study and 28 uncontrolled studies. One RCT (REFLEX) demonstrated the effectiveness of RTX. At 6 months significantly more patients treated with RTX achieved American College of Rheumatology (ACR) 20 [relative risk (RR) = 2.85, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2.08 to 3.91] and ACR70 (RR = 12.14, 95% CI 2.96 to 49.86) compared with those treated with the placebo. Differences between groups in favour of RTX were observed at 6 months for mean change from baseline in Disease Activity Score 28 (DAS28) (mean difference -1.50, 95% CI -1.74 to -1.26) and mean change from baseline in Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ) score (mean difference -0.30, 95% CI -0.40 to -0.20). One RCT (ATTAIN) demonstrated the effectiveness of ABT. At 6 months significantly more patients treated with ABT achieved ACR20 (RR = 2.56, 95% CI 1.77 to 3.69) and ACR70 (RR = 6.70, 95% CI 1.62 to 27.80) compared with those treated with placebo. Significant differences between groups in favour of ABT were observed at 6 months for mean change from baseline in DAS28 score (mean difference -1.27, 95% CI -1.62 to -0.93) and mean change from baseline in HAQ score (mean difference -0.34). Twenty-eight uncontrolled studies observed improvement of effectiveness compared with before switching, in patients who switched to ADA, ETN or IFX after discontinued previous TNF inhibitor(s). Four studies were included in the systematic review of cost-effectiveness. Independent economic evaluation undertaken by the assessment group showed that compared with DMARDs, the incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) were £34,300 [per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY)] for ADA, £38,800 for ETN, £36,200 for IFX, £21,200 for RTX and £38,600 for ABT. RTX dominates the TNF inhibitors and the ICER for ABT compared with RTX is over £100,000 (per QALY).
Paucity of evidence from RCTs for assessing the clinical effectiveness of TNF inhibitors and an absence of head-to-head trials comparing the five technologies.
Evidence from RCTs suggests that RTX and ABT are more effective than supportive care. Data from observational studies suggest that the use of an alternative TNF inhibitor in patients who exhibit an inadequate response to a first TNF inhibitor may offer some benefit, but there remain uncertainties with regard to the magnitude of treatment effects and their cost-effectiveness. Future research should include head-to-head trials comparing the clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the technologies against each other and emerging biologics.
This study was funded by the Health Technology Assessment programme of the National Institute for Health Research.
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This paper presents a summary of the evidence review group (ERG) report into the clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of certolizumab pegol (CZP) for adults with active rheumatoid arthritis (RA) that have not responded adequately to treatment with conventional disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) including methotrexate (MTX), in accordance with the licensed indication, based upon the evidence submission from the manufacturer to the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) as part of the single technology appraisal (STA) process. The outcome measures included American College of Rheumatology (ACR) 20, 50 and 70 response rates and quality of life measures after 3 months and 6 months of treatment. The ERG examined the submission's search strategies and considered they appeared comprehensive and that it was unlikely that relevant studies would have been missed. Only English language studies were considered in the submission and non-English language studies relevant to the decision problem may possibly have been ignored. The ERG analysed the first submitted economic model so as to itemise in detail clarification points that were brought to the attention of the manufacturer. In response the manufacturer submitted a modified cost-effectiveness analysis. The ERG undertook further analysis of this second model and other additional submitted evidence. The clinical evidence was derived from two multicentre blinded randomised controlled trials (RCTs) comparing CZP + MTX to placebo + MTX (the RAPID 1 and RAPID 2 trials). RAPID 1 lasted 52 weeks with 982 patients and RAPID 2 24 weeks with 619 patients. Evidence for clinical effectiveness of CZP in mono-therapy came from the 24-week FAST4WARD trial with 220 patients that compared CZP (400 mg every 4 weeks) versus placebo. The three key RCTs demonstrated statistically significant superiority of CZP + MTX versus placebo + MTX and of CZP versus placebo with respect to a variety of outcomes including ACR 20, ACR 50 and ACR 70 measures and quality of life measures at 3 and 6 months. On the basis of results from the indirect comparison meta-analyses, the manufacturer suggested that CZP may be at least as effective as other 'biological' DMARD (bDMARD) comparators and, in a few ACR measures at 3 and 6 months, more effective. CZP is an effective therapy for adult RA patients whose disease has failed to respond adequately to cDMARDs including MTX or who are intolerant of MTX. The cost-effectiveness of CZP relative to other bDMARDs is unclear because the economic modelling undertaken may have ignored relevant effectiveness data and potential differences between trial populations, and so may have included effectiveness results that were biased in favour of CZP; underestimated uncertainty in the relative effectiveness of compared DMARDs; and ignored the potential influence of differences between bDMARDs with regard to adverse events and their related costs and health impacts. The NICE guidance issued in October 2009 states that: the Committee is minded not to recommend certolizumab pegol as a treatment option for people with RA; and the Committee recommends that NICE asks the manufacturer of CZP for more information on the clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of CZP for the treatment of people with RA. On receipt of this information and details of a patient access scheme NICE issued final guidance recommending CZP, under certain criteria, as a treatment option for people with RA.
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To investigate the clinical and cost-effectiveness of epoprostenol, iloprost, bosentan, sitaxentan and sildenafil for the treatment of adults with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) within their licensed indications.
Major electronic databases (including the Cochrane Library, MEDLINE and EMBASE) were searched up to February 2007. Further data were obtained from dossiers submitted to NICE by the manufacturers of the technologies.
The systematic clinical and economic reviews were conducted according to accepted procedures. Model-based economic evaluations of the cost-effectiveness of the technologies from the perspective of the UK NHS and personal social services were carried out.
In total, 20 randomised controlled trials (RCTs) were included in this assessment, mostly of 12-18 weeks duration and comparing one of the technologies added to supportive treatment with supportive treatment alone. Four published economic evaluations were identified. None produced results generalisable to the NHS. There was no consensus in the industry submissions on the most appropriate model structure for the technology assessment. Improvement in 6-minute walk distance (6MWD) was seen with intravenous epoprostenol in primary pulmonary hypertension (PPH) patients with mixed functional class (FC) (mainly III and IV, licensed indication) compared with supportive care (58 metres; 95% CI 6-110). For bosentan compared with supportive care, the pooled result for improvement in 6MWD for FCIII patients with mixed PAH (licensed indication) was 59 metres (95% CI 20-99). For inhaled iloprost, sitaxentan and sildenafil no stratified data for improvement in 6MWD were available. The odds ratio (OR) for FC deterioration at 12 weeks was 0.40 (95% CI 0.13-1.20) for intravenous epoprostenol compared with supportive care. The corresponding values for inhaled iloprost (FCIII PPH patients; licensed indication), bosentan, sitaxentan (FCIII patients with mixed PAH; licensed indication) and sildenafil (FCIII patients with mixed PAH; licensed indication) were 0.29 (95% CI 0.07-1.18), 0.21 (95% CI 0.03-1.76), 0.18 (95% CI 0.02-1.64) and [Commercial-in-confidence information has been removed] respectively. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) for the technologies plus supportive care compared with supportive care alone, determined by independent economic evaluation, were 277,000 pounds/quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) for FCIII and 343,000 pounds/QALY for FCIV patients for epoprostenol, 101,000 pounds/QALY for iloprost, 27,000 pounds/QALY for bosentan and 25,000 pounds/QALY for sitaxentan. For the most part sildenafil plus supportive care was more effective and less costly than supportive care alone and therefore dominated supportive care. In the case of epoprostenol the ICERs were sensitive to the price of epoprostenol and for bosentan and sitaxentan the ICERs were sensitive to running the model over a shorter time horizon and with a lower cost of epoprostenol. Two RCTs directly compared the technologies against each other with no significant differences observed between the technologies. Combinations of technologies were investigated in four RCTs, with some showing conflicting results.
All five technologies when added to supportive treatment and used at licensed dose(s) were more effective than supportive treatment alone in RCTs that included patients of mixed FC and types of PAH. Current evidence does not allow adequate comparisons between the technologies nor for the use of combinations of the technologies. Independent economic evaluation suggests that bosentan, sitaxentan and sildenafil may be cost-effective by standard thresholds and that iloprost and epoprostenol may not. If confirmed, the use of the most cost-effective treatment would result in a reduction in costs for the NHS. Long-term, double-blind RCTs of sufficient sample size that directly compare bosentan, sitaxentan and sildenafil, and evaluate outcomes including survival, quality of life, maintenance on treatment and impact on the use of resources for NHS and personal social services are needed.