Adverse drug reactions (ADRs) can be reported by Health Care Professionals (HCPs; e.g., physicians, pharmacists) and non-Health Care Professionals (non-HCPs; e.g., consumers). Previous studies investigating differences between reports from HCPs and non-HCPs rarely considered the completeness of information provided. In addition, they mostly did not distinguish between physicians and pharmacists or were performed years ago. The aim of our study was to analyse and compare the completeness of information provided in reports from physicians, pharmacists and consumers from Germany in a more recent dataset. We analysed all spontaneous reports from Germany received between 2018 and 2021 in the ADR database EudraVigilance exclusively reported by physicians (n = 69,976), pharmacists (n = 42,396) or consumers (n = 121,144). Demographical parameters of the patients were analysed descriptively. Completeness of reports was evaluated applying an established score (vigiGrade). Odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using logistic regression analysis in order to identify report, patient, drug or ADR-specific information provided more often in reports from physicians, pharmacists or consumers. Within the study period the number of reports per year by physicians and pharmacists decreased steadily, while an opposite trend was observed for consumer reports. The proportion of female patients was higher in reports from pharmacists (64.4%) and consumers (64.8%) compared to those from physicians (55.3%). On average, patients in reports from pharmacists (58.7) were older compared to those from physicians (53.5) and consumers (52.6). As an example for the presence of specific information, the time to onset of the ADR could be calculated more often in consumer compared to physician (OR 1.9 [1.8–1.9]) and pharmacist reports (OR 1.7 [1.6–1.7]). In contrast, pharmacist (OR 0.5 [0.4–0.5]) and consumer (OR 0.5 [0.5–0.5]) reports included the indication of the suspected drug less often than physician reports. Physician reports on average (mean = 0.5) were slightly more complete according to the vigiGrade score compared to reports from consumers (mean = 0.4) and pharmacists (mean = 0.4). The ADR reports from consumers were comparable with regard to the completeness score with those from physicians and pharmacists underlining their value. Differences in completeness of specific information between the reporter types were found, suggesting that a common reporting of interactions between the three reporters may further improve the completeness of ADR reports. Furthermore, stratified analysis of ADR reports per reporter type may be helpful for certain objectives in scientific research.
Viral disinfection is important for medical facilities, the food industry, and the veterinary field, especially in terms of controlling virus outbreaks. Therefore, standardized methods and activity levels are available for these areas. Usually, disinfectants used in these areas are characterized by their activity against test organisms (i.e., viruses, bacteria, and/or yeasts). This activity is usually determined using a suspension test in which the test organism is incubated with the respective disinfectant in solution to assess its bactericidal, yeasticidal, or virucidal activity. In addition, carrier methods that more closely reflect real-world applications have been developed, in which microorganisms are applied to the surface of a carrier (e.g., stainless steel frosted glass, or polyvinyl chloride (PVC)) and then dried. However, to date, no standardized methods have become available for addressing genetically modified vectors or disinfection-resistant oncolytic viruses such as the H1-parvovirus. Particularly, such non-enveloped viruses, which are highly resistant to disinfectants, are not taken into account in European standards. This article proposes a new activity claim known as “virucidal activity PLUS”, summarizes the available methods for evaluating the virucidal activity of chemical disinfectants against genetically modified organisms (GMOs) using current European standards, including the activity against highly resistant parvoviridae such as the adeno-associated virus (AAV), and provides guidance on the selection of disinfectants for pharmaceutical manufacturers, laboratories, and clinical users.
Aim Adverse drug reactions (ADRs) are known to show sex‐specific differences in occurrence and phenotype. The aim of this study was to analyse sex‐specific differences in ADR‐drug combinations which required hospitalisation based on two different datasets. Methods We performed a complementary analysis of i) spontaneously reported (n=12,564, female=51.7%) and ii) systematically collected ADR reports from a prospective multi‐centre observational study (ADRED, n=2,355, female=48.2%) from Germany in the ADR database EudraVigilance (EV). Both datasets were analysed separately concerning the suspected drugs, ADRs and ADR‐drug combinations more frequently reported for females or males by calculating reporting odds ratios (ROR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI). ADR‐drug combinations more frequently reported for either females or males in EV reports were related to prescription data. Finally, the results from both datasets were discussed with regard to their con‐/disconcordance. Results In both datasets, some antineoplastic agents and nervous system drugs were found to be reported more often for females than males (RORs ranging from 1.5 [1.1‐2.1] (quetiapine EV) to 41.3 [13.1‐130.0] (trastuzumab EV)). ADRs of the respiratory system, and haemorrhages were described predominantly for males in both datasets. In EV the ADR‐drug combination self‐injurious behaviour ‐ quetiapine was more often reported for females without and with consideration of drug prescriptions (ROR: 3.8 [1.3‐11.0]). Quetiapine and psychiatric disorders (superordinate level) was exclusively reported for females in ADRED reports. Conclusion Our results can contribute to raise awareness and further knowledge regarding sex‐specific ADRs. The findings require further in‐depth investigation.
There is an increasing body of evidence supporting a more flexible approach in clinical data requirements for the approval of more complex biosimilar substances such as monoclonal antibodies (mAbs). The aim of this paper is to further analyse the role of quality/chemistry, manufacturing and controls (CMC) and clinical data for the conclusion on biosimilarity and the decision on marketing authorisation (MA). In the present study, we analysed the MA applications (MAAs) of all 33 mAbs and three fusion proteins evaluated by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) between July 2012 and November 2022 with special emphasis on all submitted rituximab (four products) and trastuzumab (seven products) biosimilar candidates, including withdrawn applications. For the two withdrawn applications, the comparative efficacy trials suggested biosimilarity, but the quality/CMC package was not accepted by EMA. We therefore investigated whether a negative MAA outcome could have been predicted based on the evidence generated in the quality/CMC packages, regardless of clinical trial data. For this purpose, we reviewed the respective European Public Assessment Reports (EPARs) or withdrawal assessment reports, and the first regulatory assessments for all these 36 MAAs (i.e. day 120 of the centralized procedure), which are not publicly available. During EMA review, where significant issues are identified which would preclude a marketing authorisation, these issues are raised as questions to the applicant and are classified as major objections (MO). In 67% of cases, the outcome of the quality and clinical assessment was the same, i.e. both the quality and clinical assessments either supported approval or did not support approval. In 11% of cases, MO were identified in the quality part of the submission but not in the clinical data. In 22% of cases, MO were raised on the clinical data package but not on the quality data. However, we found no instance where seemingly negative clinical data, including failed efficacy trials, led to a negative overall decision. In each instance, the failure to confirm similar clinical performance in all investigated aspects was eventually viewed as not being related to the biosimilar per se but as being due to imbalances in the trial arms, immaturity of secondary endpoint results, change in the reference product, or even chance findings. Furthermore, when performing an in-depth analysis of the quality and clinical packages of trastuzumab and rituximab biosimilars, we found that in no case were clinical trial data necessary to resolve residual uncertainties regarding the quality part. The results further support the argument that sufficient evidence for biosimilarity can be obtained from a combination of analytical and functional testing and pharmacokinetic studies which may also generate immunogenicity data. This calls into question the usefulness of comparative efficacy studies for the purposes of regulatory decision-making when approving biosimilar mAbs and fusion proteins.
Background Analytical validity is a prerequisite to use a next generation sequencing (NGS)-based application as an in vitro diagnostic test or a companion diagnostic in clinical practice. Currently, in the United States and the European Union, the intended use of such NGS-based tests does not refer to guided drug therapy on the basis of pharmacogenetic profiling of drug metabolizing enzymes, although the value of pharmacogenetic testing has been reported. However, in research, a large variety of NGS-based tests are used and have been confirmed to be at least comparable to array-based testing. Methods and Results A systematic evaluation was performed screening and assessing published literature on analytical validation of NGS applications for pharmacogenetic profiling of CYP2C9, CYP2C19, CYP2D6, VKORC1 and/or UGT1A1. Although NGS applications are also increasingly used for implementation assessments in clinical practice, we show in the present systematic literature evaluation that published information on the current status of analytical validation of NGS applications targeting drug metabolizing enzymes is scarce. Furthermore, a comprehensive performance evaluation of whole exome and whole genome sequencing with the intended use for pharmacogenetic profiling has not been published so far. Conclusions A standard in reporting on analytical validation of NGS-based tests is not in place yet. Therefore, many relevant performance criteria are not addressed in published literature. For an appropriate analytical validation of an NGS-based qualitative test for pharmacogenetic profiling at least accuracy, precision, limit of detection and specificity should be addressed to facilitate the implementation of such tests in clinical use.
Aims To describe characteristics of applicant, tool, outcomes, regulatory responses and general learnings from European Medicines Agency (EMA) Qualification Procedures on patient‐reported outcomes (PROs), observer‐reported outcomes (ObsROs) and performance outcomes (PerfOs) finalized between January 2013 and December 2018. Methods Descriptive analysis, and qualitative review of the regulatory outcomes of the study procedures. Results Seventeen qualification programmes for PROs, 6 for ObsRO tools and 11 for PerfO tools were submitted by consortia, large and small/medium companies. Gastroenterology and neurology were the most frequent therapeutic areas. There was a high level of regulators' partial agreement (above 70%) with applicant's approaches with constructive input; EMA published Letters of Support for PRO (6), ObsRO (2) and PerfO (4) tools, and Qualification Opinions on PROs (2) and PerfOs (1). General issues related to Qualification Procedures on PROs raised by EU regulatorsincluded: population, appropriate studies to demonstrate ability to detect change, tool validation in interventional trials, anchoring, identification of the minimally important difference, item selection, weighting, and multiple domains. In addition, specific issues for ObsROs and PerfO tools validation are identified. Conclusions Regulators discussed principles and challenges of validation tailored to specific setting in tool development, providing constructive feedback. Regulatory outputs supportive of further development were published in over one‐third of programs. We encourage applicants intending to use or develop novel PRO, ObsRO and PerfO tools that will generate evidence for regulatory submissions on medicines to consider Qualification procedures for novel methods to seek feedback on the development and validation of these tools.
A variety of Alzheimer disease (AD) mouse models has been established and characterized within the last decades. These models are generated to meet the principal criteria of AD isomorphism, homology and predictability to a maximum extent. To get an integrative view of the sophisticated etiopathogenesis of AD, whole genome transcriptome data analysis turns out to be indispensable. Here, we present a microarray-based transcriptome data collection based on RNA extracted from the retrosplenial (RS) cortex and the hippocampus of APP/PS1 AD mice and control animals. Experimental animals were age matched and importantly, both sexes were considered separately. Isolated RNA was purified, quantified und quality controlled prior to the hybridization procedure with SurePrint G3 Mouse Gene Expression v2 8 × 60K microarrays. Following immunofluorescent measurement und preprocessing/extraction of image data, raw transcriptome data were uploaded including differentially expressed gene candidates and related fold changes in APP/PS1 AD mice and controls. Our data allow further insight into alterations in gene transcript levels in APP/PS1 AD mice compared to controls and enable the reader/user to carry out complex transcriptome analysis to characterize potential age-, sex- and brain-region-specific alterations in e.g., neuroinflammatory, immunological, neurodegenerative and ion channel pathways.
Chronic hepatitis B, a major cause of liver disease and cancer, affects over 250 million people worldwide. Currently there is no cure, only suppressive therapies. Efforts to develop finite curative HBV therapies are underway, consisting of combinations of multiple novel agents +/- nucleos(t)ide reverse transcriptase inhibitors. The HBV Forum convened a webinar in July 2021, and subsequent working group discussions to address how and when to stop finite therapy for demonstration of sustained off-treatment efficacy and safety responses. Participants included leading experts in academia, clinical practice, pharmaceutical companies, patient representatives and regulatory agencies. This Viewpoint outlines areas of consensus within our multi-stakeholder group for stopping finite therapies in chronic Hepatitis B investigational studies, including trial design, patient selection, outcomes, biomarkers, pre-defined stopping criteria, pre-defined retreatment criteria, duration of investigational therapies, and follow up after stopping therapy. Future research of unmet needs are discussed.
The series of conferences of the Global Bioequivalence Harmonisation Initiative (GBHI) was started in 2015 by the European Federation for Pharmaceutical Sciences (EUFEPS). All GBHI meetings so far were co-organised together with the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS). Beginning with the 3rd workshop US-FDA joined as co-sponsor - to support global harmonisation of regulatory recommendations for bioequivalence (BE) assessment. At the 5th GBHI conference the following BE topics were intensively discussed and the following main conclusions were drawn: 1) Statistical considerations for BE assessment in specific situations covering scaling approaches for highly variable drug (HVD) products, two-stage adaptive design and opportunities of modelling and simulation to support BE: Even though special BE study concepts like adaptive designs are not often used in practise so far, a majority of the workshop participants were in favour of a more frequent application of such approaches. The regulatory conditions relevant in this context need further concretisation and harmonisation between the regions. Moreover, modelling and simulation were considered as a promising and evolving approach, also for BE development programmes. 2) Fed versus fasting conditions in BE trials: Findings that BE between generic products could be confirmed only after fasted administration but failed under fed conditions seem more an exception than the rule. Obviously, BCS class IV compounds are most problematic in this context. Differences in critical excipients such as surfactants or pH-modifiers may be relevant reasons for different sensitivity for interactions in fasted versus fed conditions. Consequently, such deviations in composition of generic preparations should be avoided. Moreover, confirmation of BE may be generally difficult comparing different dosage forms, such like capsules versus tablets, especially in fed state. 3) BE assessment of locally acting drug products applied topically to the skin: Appropriateness and potential benefit of in-vitro tests as alternatives to clinical efficacy studies have been comprehensively discussed. In addition to the already well-established in-vitro release and permeation tests, other techniques were suggested, e.g., Raman spectroscopy or dermal open flow microperfusion. Validation of those methods is challenging and, despite significant progress already achieved during previous years, more research is needed before they may be fully accepted for regulatory purposes. 4) BE evaluation of narrow therapeutic index (NTI) drugs: The discrepancies among regulatory agencies in necessity of tighter BE acceptance ranges, the recommendations for inclusion of peak and total drug exposure into BE assessment with more restrictive criteria and the importance of comparison of the product-related within-subject variability for NTI drugs were debated. Arguments in favour and against the different approaches were presented and discussed but need further consideration before harmonisation can be achieved. The highly interactive meeting and extensive exchange between regulators and scientists from industry and academia resulted in useful progress in open BE issues and supported the goal of science-driven harmonisation.
Purpose Drug intake might be a modifiable factor for the individual fall-risk of older adults, and anticholinergic properties of drugs need to be considered. This study is aimed at analyzing the association of older adults’ individual anticholinergic load with particular focus on use of overactive bladder anticholinergic medications with falls in multi-medicated patients. Materials and Methods Cases of the prospective, observational, multi-center study on adverse drug reactions leading to emergency departments (ADRED study) between 2015 and 2018 in Germany were analyzed comparing the exposure of overactive bladder anticholinergic medications on the chance to present with a fall with patients without exposure. Logistic regression analysis was used adjusting for pre-existing conditions, drug exposure, and the individual anticholinergic burden by drug use. To this end, a combination of seven expert-based anticholinergic rating scales was used. Results The anticholinergic burden was higher in patients with overactive bladder anticholinergic medications (median 2 [1; 3]) compared to not taking drugs of interest. Presenting with a fall was associated with overactive bladder anticholinergic medications (odds ratio (OR) 2.34 [95% confidence interval 1.14–4.82]). The use of fall-risk increasing drugs was likewise associated (OR 2.30 [1.32–4.00]). The anticholinergic burden itself seemed not to be associated with falls (OR 1.01 [0.90–1.12]). Conclusions Although falls occur multifactorial in older adults and confounding by indication cannot be ruled out, the indication for a drug treatment should be decided with caution when other, non-pharmacological treatment options have been tried. German clinical trial register DRKS-ID: DRKS00008979, registration date 01/11/2017.
The European Union In Vitro Diagnostic Medical Devices Regulation (EU) 2017/746 (IVDR) introduces companion diagnostics (CDx) as a new legal term. CDx are applied in combination with a medicinal product to identify patient subgroups most likely to benefit from a treatment or who are at increased risk. This new regulation came into full effect on 26 May 2022 and represents the current development in personalized medicine. The implementation of IVDR and CDx is a regulatory challenge in the EU, requiring re-assessment of in vitro diagnostic medical devices (IVD) in terms of their CDx designation. To retrospectively identify IVD biomarker testing applied in clinical trials, a systematic search in the German PharmNet Clinical Trials database was developed. In total 3643 clinical trials conducted between 2004 and 2022 were identified. The results were analyzed in terms of medicinal products, biomarkers, and IVDs. Patient stratification based on biomarker testing mainly takes place in oncology-related trials, and the biomarkers most frequently tested are PD-L1 and HER2. Furthermore, there is a significant overlap between the collected data and non-European national authorities that have already implemented the CDx concept. This analysis could be indicatory of the medicinal products and corresponding IVD tests that could be CDx candidates under the IVDR.
The use of error-corrected Next Generation Sequencing (ecNG) to determine mutagenicity has been a subject of growing interest and potentially a disruptive technology that could supplement, and in time, replace current testing paradigms in preclinical safety assessment. Considering this, a Next Generation Sequencing Workshop was held at the Royal Society of Medicine in London in May 2022, supported by the United Kingdom Environmental Mutagen Society (UKEMS) and TwinStrand Biosciences (WA, USA), to discuss progress and future applications of this technology. In this meeting report, the invited speakers provide an overview of the Workshop topics covered and identify future directions for research. In the area of somatic mutagenesis, several speakers reviewed recent progress made with correlating ecNGS to classic in vivo transgenic rodent mutation assays as well as exploring the use of this technology directly in humans and animals, and in complex organoid models. Additionally, ecNGS has been used for detecting off-target effects of gene editing tools and emerging data suggest ecNGS potential to measure clonal expansion of cells carrying mutations in cancer driver genes as an early marker of carcinogenic potential and for direct human biomonitoring. As such, the workshop demonstrated the importance of raising awareness and support for advancing the science of ecNGS for mutagenesis, gene editing and carcinogenesis research. Furthermore, the potential of this new technology to contribute to advances in drug and product development and improve safety assessment were extensively explored.
Background: The lymphocyte transformation test (LTT) is used for the in vitro detection of a drug sensitization in assumed drug allergic patients. It is based on the detection of antigen (drug)-specific activation of T cells indicated by e.g. proliferation or cytokine secretion. However, occasional stimulatory effects of the drug unrelated to specific drug-allergic mechanisms can only be detected if a larger number of non-drug allergic control persons are tested with this specific drug. In this respect, the overall specificity of the LTT with ELISA read-out is summarized in several review articles, but the impact of a specific drug on the specificity has not yet been analyzed in a larger set of control persons. Objective: Do amoxicillin, cefuroxime and clindamycin induce an IFN-y or IL-5 secretion of PBMC from control persons using the LTT with ELISA read-out? Methods: We performed LTTs with amoxicillin, cefuroxime and clindamycin as culprit drug determining drug-specific interferon (IFN)-y and interleukin (IL)-5 secretion measured by ELISA read-out. We included PBMCs from 60 non-drug allergic control persons, which were unexposed to the tested drug at the time of blood donation. Results: PBMCs from 12 out of 23 control persons tested with amoxicillin gave a positive stimulation index (SI > 3.0) for IFN-γ resulting in a specificity of 47.8%. The corresponding specificity was 75% for cefuroxime (5/20 if SI > 3.0) and 58.8% for clindamycin (7/17, if SI > 2.0), respectively. In a next step, we calculated the Δ IFN-y concentration by subtracting the background IFN-γ concentration in the unstimulated sample from the stimulated sample. After stimulation with amoxicillin a mean concentration of 7.4 pg/mL IFN-γ was secreted. The less outlier prone median concentration was 7.4 pg/ml and much higher than for cefuroxime (1.7 pg/mL) and clindamycin (1.0 pg/mL). Remarkably, IL-5 concentrations were below the detection limit (< 1 pg/ml) for all drugs in all control persons who responded to TT. Conclusion: A positive LTT result in a control patient may challenge the validity of a positive LTT result in the same experiment for a patient with assumed drug allergy.
CD36 (also known as platelet glycoprotein IV) is expressed by a variety of different cell entities, where it possesses functions as a signaling receptor, but additionally acts as a transporter for long-chain fatty acids. This dual function of CD36 has been investigated for its relevance in immune and nonimmune cells. Although CD36 was first identified on platelets, the understanding of the role of CD36 in platelet biology remained scarce for decades. In the past few years, several discoveries have shed a new light on the CD36 signaling activity in platelets. Notably, CD36 has been recognized as a sensor for oxidized low-density lipoproteins in the circulation that mitigates the threshold for platelet activation under conditions of dyslipidemia. Thus, platelet CD36 transduces atherogenic lipid stress into an increased risk for thrombosis, myocardial infarction, and stroke. The underlying pathways that are affected by CD36 are the inhibition of cyclic nucleotide signaling pathways and simultaneously the induction of activatory signaling events. Furthermore, thrombospondin-1 secreted by activated platelets binds to CD36 and furthers paracrine platelet activation. CD36 also serves as a binding hub for different coagulation factors and, thus, contributes to the plasmatic coagulation cascade. This review provides a comprehensive overview of the recent findings on platelet CD36 and presents CD36 as a relevant target for the prevention of thrombotic events for dyslipidemic individuals with an elevated risk for thrombosis.
The COVID-19 pandemic triggered an unprecedented research effort to develop vaccines and therapeutics. Urgency dictated that development and regulatory assessment were accelerated, while maintaining all standards for quality, safety and efficacy. To speed up evaluation the European Medicines Agency (EMA) implemented “rolling reviews” allowing developers to submit data for assessment as they became available. We discuss the clinical trial designs and the applied statistical approaches in vaccine efficacy trials, focusing on aspects such as multiple testing, interim and updated analyses, and reporting of results for the first four vaccines recommended for approval by the EMA. The fast accrual of COVID-19 cases in the clinical vaccine efficacy trials led to multiple data updates within a short time frame, which had consequences for the evaluation and interpretation of results. Key trial results are discussed in the light of these aspects. Notably, the aspects discussed did not affect the benefit/risk relationship in a meaningful way, which was clearly positive for all four vaccines. Assessment of the development and evaluation of the four vaccine trials during the pandemic has led to a proposal for standardised terminology for trials with multiple analyses and a recommendation to appropriately pre-plan the timing of primary and updated analyses. For the reporting of updated estimates of vaccine efficacy, we discuss how to best describe the uncertainty around estimates of vaccine efficacy (e.g., via confidence intervals). Finally, we briefly highlight the benefit of a comprehensive discussion on estimands for vaccine efficacy trials.
Asciminib is an allosteric high-affinity tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) of the BCR-ABL1 protein kinase. This kinase is translated from the Philadelphia chromosome in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). Marketing authorization for asciminib was granted on August 25, 2022 by the European Commission. The approved indication was for patients with Philadelphia chromosome-positive CML in the chronic phase which have previously been treated with at least 2 TKIs. Clinical efficacy and safety of asciminib were evaluated in the open-label, randomized, phase III ASCEMBL study. The primary endpoint of this trial was major molecular response (MMR) rate at 24 weeks. A significant difference in MRR rate was shown between the asciminib treated population and the bosutinib control group (25.5% vs. 13.2%, respectively, P = .029). In the asciminib cohort, adverse reactions of at least grade 3 with an incidence ≥ 5% were thrombocytopenia, neutropenia, increased pancreatic enzymes, hypertension, and anemia. The aim of this article is to summarize the scientific review of the application which led to the positive opinion by the European Medicines Agency's Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use.
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