The Certara Blog

Using PBPK Models to Assess Fetal Drug Exposure

The tragedy of thalidomide provides a cautionary tale about the potential for birth defects resulting from fetal exposure to drugs. Thalidomide was used to treat morning sickness in pregnant women. By the time it was banned in 1962, more than 10,000 children had been born with thalidomide-induced birth defects. “Phocomelia,” wherein babies were born with […]

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The Biggest Drug Development News Stories in 2017

When I reflect on the state of drug development in 2017, the opening lines of Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities comes to mind. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, […]

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Using PBPK Models to Optimize Anti-HIV Drug Dosing in Pregnant Women

Antiretroviral drugs are a critical tool in preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV. Yet, antiviral treatment options for pregnant women lag behind the “non-pregnant” population. In this blog post, I’ll discuss the reasons for this lag and how physiologically-based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) models can simulate PK during pregnancy and thus help optimize dosing for this special population. […]

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A Targeted Approach to Medicine and Dosing—A Necessity for Sustainable Healthcare

President Obama, during his 2015 State of the Union Address, launched the Precision Medicine Initiative “to enable a new era of medicine through research, technology, and policies that empower patients, researchers, and providers to work together toward development of individualized care.” The message given to the American people reinforced the critical need to implement precision medicine into […]

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How to Harness Public Clinical Trial Data to Assess Drug Candidates

Publicly available clinical trial data represent an underutilized source of information. If properly extracted and analyzed, the data provide valuable input for facilitating go/no go decisions, performing comparative effectiveness and portfolio evaluations in support of in/out licensing, and optimizing overall drug development decisions, including dose and dosing regimens. Clinical Outcomes Database Explorer, CODEx, is an […]

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6 Signs You Need Help with Submission Planning

Setting and adhering to a timeline for planning, drafting, reviewing, and editing regulatory documents needed for the submission dossier is a major challenge for drug development teams. I think of this process as having three phases: “discovery, drive, and survive.” In a previous blog post, I discussed the planning that occurs in the discovery phase. […]

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A Practical Approach to the Challenges of Pediatric Drug Development

Drug developers can’t take an adult clinical trial protocol and simply retool it for pediatrics. Yet, in my work at a pediatric clinical research organization (CRO), I frequently see sponsors attempt to do just that. Successfully implementing a pediatric drug development plan poses challenges regarding trial planning, design, and conduct. In this blog post, I’ll […]

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Modeling & Simulation Take a Prominent Role in FDA’s Newly Published DDI Guidances

On October 25, 2017, the FDA published two new guidance documents on drug-drug interactions (DDI). These guidance documents replace the February 2012 guidance, “Drug Interaction Studies—Study Design, Data Analysis, Implications for Dosing, and Labeling Recommendations.” According to the FDA, these new guidances reflect the agency’s current thinking and greater learnings on DDI and provides a […]

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Phoenix Modeling Language School: The Semester in Review

Phoenix® WinNonlin® uses Phoenix Modeling Language (PML) to encode pharmacokinetic (PK) and pharmacodynamic (PD) models. Although most models can be built using the Phoenix graphical user interface (GUI), some models require custom coding with PML. During the latter part of 2016, Certara’s support team, led by Dr. Bernd Wendt, Director of Training and Support, introduced […]

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A Chat with Biopharmaceutics Expert, Professor Jennifer Dressman

Professor Jennifer Dressman is fearless—both in her science and her career. Born and raised in Australia, she holds degrees in pharmacy and a doctorate in pharmaceutics. Having held positions at Burroughs Wellcome and the University of Michigan, College of Pharmacy in the United States, she was offered her dream job as a professor at the […]

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The European Regulatory Landscape for Pediatric Drug Development

In my 35 years of working to develop safer, more effective medications for children, I’ve often been asked about how to navigate the regulatory landscape in the US and Europe. In a previous blog post, I discussed the latest FDA trends regarding pediatric drug development. In this blog, I’ll focus on the path for achieving […]

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FDA Reauthorization Act (FDARA) Affirms Commitment to Innovative MIDD Strategies

Quietly, without any political rancor, the FDA Reauthorization Act of 2017 (FDARA) was passed by the US Congress and was signed into law by President Trump in late August. The FDARA reauthorizes the Prescription Drug User Act Fee Amendments (PDUFA) for the fifth time, the Medical Device User Act Fee Amendments (MDUFA) for the third […]

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7 Savvy Ways to Reduce Quantitative Systems Pharmacology Models

Modeling and simulation has become an indispensable part of drug development. Historically, the type of modeling employed changes as a drug moves through the stages of drug development—from discovery to pre-clinical testing to clinical trials. At the early stages of drug discovery, we may use systems biology models to identify drug targets and possible compounds, […]

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What the FDA Expects from Your Pediatric Drug Program

Historically, 80 percent of medicines used in children had little to no data guiding prescribers on proper use. To address this market failure, regulatory legislation for drug development in pediatric patients was passed worldwide over the past decade. The number of drugs tested in and labeled for children has increased dramatically as a result. In […]

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First-in-human Trials and Going Too FAAH from the Sentry

Many people in the UK and elsewhere are currently remembering where they were and what they were doing on the day that Diana Princess of Wales died: August 31st marks 20 years since that fateful day. For Clinical Pharmacologists, we may well remember where we were when we heard the news that six volunteers were […]

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Taming Complex Quantitative Systems Pharmacology Models with Model Reduction

Quantitative systems pharmacology (QSP) combines computational modeling and experimental data to examine the relationships between a drug, the biological system, and the disease process. This emerging discipline integrates quantitative drug data with knowledge of its mechanism of action. QSP models predict how drugs modify cellular networks in space and time and how they impact and […]

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New FDA Commissioner Endorses Use of M&S to Advance Drug Development

With the swearing in of Dr. Scott Gottlieb as Commissioner of Food and Drugs in May, many have wondered as to the climate he will set for the US FDA. Certara’s mission and business thesis aligns with the FDA’s July 7 announcement regarding the steps it is taking to implement the 21st Century Cures Act. […]

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Quantitative Systems Toxicology—Taking the Cue from Aristotle

“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts” -Aristotle This quote from the great 4th century BCE Greek philosopher and scientist has become the mantra for many endeavors, sectors, organizations, and disciplines. From biology, chemistry, and physics to agriculture, engineering, and business, it is the foundation for synergy. What is the connection between […]

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