Eu­rope preps for the launch of its new clin­i­cal tri­als data­base, with a push to in­crease tri­al par­tic­i­pa­tion

At the end of this month, the Eu­ro­pean Med­i­cines Agency will roll out its new, long-await­ed Clin­i­cal Tri­als In­for­ma­tion Sys­tem, a one-stop-shop for all clin­i­cal tri­al doc­u­men­ta­tion in the EU that will al­so sup­port the spon­sors and reg­u­la­tors through­out the tri­als.

Once it’s live, CTIS will of­fer a sin­gle clin­i­cal tri­al ap­pli­ca­tion dossier, cov­er­ing clin­i­cal tri­al ap­pli­ca­tions sub­mit­ted to EU/EEA mem­ber states (and to Na­tion­al Com­pe­tent Au­thor­i­ties and ethics com­mit­tees) and reg­is­tra­tion of the tri­al, all in one in­te­grat­ed sub­mis­sion.

The launch is the cul­mi­na­tion of the adop­tion of the Clin­i­cal Tri­al Reg­u­la­tion, which en­tered in­to force back in 2014. But its ap­pli­ca­tion was de­pen­dent on the full func­tion­al­i­ty of CTIS, fol­low­ing an in­de­pen­dent au­dit that was com­plet­ed last April.

Lin­da Bowen, glob­al head of reg­u­la­to­ry pol­i­cy and in­tel­li­gence at Seagen, told End­points News that the CTIS is vol­un­tary for the time be­ing and most com­pa­nies will like­ly start with one or two sub­mis­sions in 2022.

“EMA has done a great job in pro­vid­ing train­ing, es­pe­cial­ly for the mas­ter train­ers. We will just have to see how it re­al­ly works. My gut feel­ing is that spon­sors will start slow­ly,” she said.

CTIS will al­so of­fer the gen­er­al pub­lic and re­searchers a search­able clin­i­cal tri­al data­base, with re­sults avail­able both as a tech­ni­cal sum­ma­ry and in lay lan­guage, ac­cord­ing to the EMA.

The launch of the new CTIS, which the EMA clar­i­fies is not meant to re­place a clin­i­cal tri­al man­age­ment sys­tem for spon­sors, comes as about 40% of tri­als in Eu­rope are spon­sored by acad­e­mia. Those are of­ten small and on­ly con­duct­ed in a sin­gle coun­try. The oth­er 60% of tri­als are spon­sored by the phar­ma in­dus­try.

The EMA not­ed “a re­cent shift to more aca­d­e­m­ic tri­als be­ing done dur­ing the COVID-19 pan­dem­ic,” adding that both acad­e­mia and phar­ma spon­sors “need greater sup­port and en­able­ment for Eu­rope to flour­ish as a glob­al fo­cus for clin­i­cal re­search, both in the de­vel­op­ment of new med­i­cines and in the re­fine­ment of use of ex­ist­ing med­i­cines.”

As part of this push for more tri­als and tri­al par­tic­i­pa­tion in Eu­rope, the reg­u­la­tors this week es­tab­lished a new ini­tia­tive, known as the Ac­cel­er­at­ing Clin­i­cal Tri­als in the EU (ACT EU), which lists among its ob­jec­tives the need to sup­port more large-scale multi­na­tion­al tri­als “with broad­er ge­o­graph­i­cal scope,” as well as “re­duc­ing ad­min­is­tra­tive bur­den and in­creas­ing ef­fi­cien­cy.”

Among its plans, ACT EU wants to de­vel­op key per­for­mance in­di­ca­tors and a dash­board to track the per­for­mance of the Eu­ro­pean clin­i­cal tri­als en­vi­ron­ment.

ACT EU, which is run by the EMA, the Heads of Med­i­cines Agen­cies and the Eu­ro­pean Com­mis­sion, al­so plans to de­vel­op and pub­lish key method­olo­gies guid­ance, in­clud­ing on the im­pact of AI and ma­chine learn­ing on clin­i­cal tri­als, com­plex tri­als, de­cen­tral­ized tri­als and more, as part of its work to “strength­en links be­tween in­no­va­tion and sci­en­tif­ic ad­vice fo­ra.”

And by lever­ag­ing the var­i­ous aca­d­e­m­ic, non-prof­it, Eu­ro­pean and in­ter­na­tion­al ini­tia­tives around tri­als, they’re al­so look­ing to im­prove the way re­search is fund­ed with ev­i­dence-based de­ci­sion mak­ing.

Has the mo­ment fi­nal­ly ar­rived for val­ue-based health­care?

RBC Capital Markets’ Healthcare Technology Analyst, Sean Dodge, spotlights a new breed of tech-enabled providers who are rapidly transforming the way clinicians deliver healthcare, and explores the key question: can this accelerating revolution overturn the US healthcare system?

Key points

Tech-enabled healthcare providers are poised to help the US transition to value, not volume, as the basis for reward.
The move to value-based care has policy momentum, but is risky and complex for clinicians.
Outsourced tech specialists are emerging to provide the required expertise, while healthcare and tech are also converging through M&A.
Value-based care remains in its early stages, but the transition is accelerating and represents a huge addressable market.

Rohan Palekar, 89bio CEO

89bio’s PhII da­ta add to quick suc­ces­sion of NASH read­outs as field seeks turn­around

89bio said its drug was better than placebo at lessening fibrosis without worsening nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, or NASH, in two of three dose groups.

The San Francisco biotech said it thinks the Phase IIb data pave the way for a potential Phase III, following in the footsteps of another biotech in its drug class, Akero Therapeutics. To fund a late-stage study, CEO Rohan Palekar told Endpoints News 89bio “would need to raise additional capital,” with the company having about $188 million at the end of last year.

FDA in­di­cates will­ing­ness to ap­prove Bio­gen ALS drug de­spite failed PhI­II study

Ahead of Wednesday’s advisory committee hearing to discuss Biogen’s ALS drug tofersen, the FDA appeared open to approving the drug, newly released briefing documents show.

Citing the need for flexibility in a devastating disease like ALS, regulators signaled a willingness to consider greenlighting tofersen based on its effect on a certain protein associated with ALS despite a failed pivotal trial. The documents come after regulatory flexibility was part of the same rationale the agency expressed when approving an ALS drug last September from Amylyx Pharmaceuticals, indicating the FDA’s openness to approving new treatments for the disease.

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Flare Therapeutics biochemists Yong Li (L) and Valerie Vivat

A $123M Flare will get Third Rock on­col­o­gy biotech in­to the clin­ic this year

Flare Therapeutics will start its first human trial this year with an investigational urothelial cancer drug after pulling together a $123 million Series B from Big Pharmas, VCs and its incubator, Third Rock Ventures.

Launched in 2021 on the idea that a biotech could finally succeed at drugging the much-sought-after but stubborn transcription factor, Flare Therapeutics said Wednesday it is now primed for the clinic after closing its large financing haul earlier this year. The raise is a relatively stark figure in a tough startup financing environment but further buoys the upbeat signals coming out of other Third Rock biotechs in recent weeks, including the $200 million CARGO Therapeutics and $100 million Rapport Therapeutics rounds.

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Roche and Lil­ly team up to de­vel­op blood test to de­tect ear­ly signs of Alzheimer's

Eli Lilly is teaming up with Roche to help develop a blood test to detect early signs of Alzheimer’s disease and determine whether a patient should go for further confirmatory testing.

Roche’s Elecsys Amyloid Plasma Panel (EAPP) measures pTau 181 protein assay and APOE E4 assay in human blood plasma – elevations in pTau 181 are present in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, while the presence of APO E4 is the most common genetic risk factor for the disease.

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Francesco Marincola, newly-appointed Sonata Therapeutics CSO

Kite's head of re­search leaves for Flag­ship start­up Sonata

Another leader is departing Kite Pharma, and will to spend the “last part” of his career exploring how cancer evades the immune system.

Kite’s senior VP and global head of cell therapy research Francesco Marincola left the Gilead CAR-T unit last week for Sonata Therapeutics. Flagship last May unveiled the startup, which was pieced together from two fledgling biotechs Inzen and Cygnal Therapeutics. As CSO, Marincola will lead Sonata’s push to reprogram cancer cells to make them more immunogenic.

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Josep Bassaganya-Riera, NImmune Biopharma

Ex­clu­sive: Af­ter get­ting his drug back, Lan­dos founder as­sem­bles new start­up for the big PhI­II test

By the time Josep Bassaganya-Riera stepped down as founding CEO of Landos Biopharma in 2021, the company had racked up Phase II data for its top autoimmune program, completed what he called a positive end-of-Phase-II meeting with the FDA and plans to launch pivotal Phase III trials.

Since then, though, the new leaders at Landos have reshuffled their plans for the drug, omilancor, first announcing they will run a Phase IIb ahead of a Phase III and eventually shelving it altogether.

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NIH re­jects an­oth­er at­tempt to 'march-in' on Astel­las' prostate can­cer drug over ex­ces­sive price

The National Institutes of Health has again declined to use so-called “march-in” rights to lower the price of Astellas and Pfizer’s prostate cancer drug Xtandi despite being invented at UCLA with grants from the US Army and NIH.

“Given the remaining patent life and the lengthy administrative process involved for a march-in proceeding, NIH does not believe that use of the march-in authority would be an effective means of lowering the price of the drug,” NIH told prostate cancer patients Robert Sachs and Clare Love, in a letter shared with Endpoints News. The institutes’ analyses found Xtandi “to be widely available to the public,” an indication that there was not a pressing need for the US to act.

FDA warns Proc­ter & Gam­ble over NyQuil la­bel's in­gre­di­ent list­ings

The FDA on Tuesday released a warning letter sent earlier this month to the Mason, OH-based site of Procter & Gamble Manufactura, raising questions about the list of ingredients on the label and in the electronic filing.

The warning says that for P&G’s over-the-counter Vicks Nyquil Severe Hot Remedy Cold and Flu Plus Congestion, there’s a “mismatched” list of active ingredients between the labeling and the electronic listing file. The listing file for the active ingredients did not match the active ingredients in the electronic file.