The Certara Blog

Using M&S to Evaluate Oncology Drug Dosing

There are numerous challenges in developing oncology drugs: (1) they are often very toxic which precludes conducting clinical trials in healthy volunteers, (2) the PK of a drug may be altered in cancer patients due to demographic and physiological differences as compared to healthy volunteers, and (3) cancer patients face elevated drug-drug interaction (DDI) risk […]

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Using a Pharmacology to Payer Framework to Support Product Development

Modeling and simulation (M&S) of complex systems has primarily advanced vertically in differing scientific domains with a variety of domain-specific approaches and applications. The pharmacology to payer (P2P) concept is a way to connect independent domains to address drug development market failures. As an initial proof of concept, we collaborated with a team of clinical pharmacologists, […]

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How to Maximize the Benefits of Clinical Pharmacology Gap Analysis

Many companies have tried and true clinical pharmacology practices. But when the rubber hits the road for your drug program, will these practices support regulatory success? Has your historic approach to drug development been updated to include the latest modeling and simulation innovations? It’s hard to change how you’ve historically done things. But, do you […]

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Skin in the Game: Mechanistic Modeling of Dermal Drug Absorption

The ability to estimate systemic exposure from dermal absorption is essential in developing new dermatological medications or assessing the toxicological liability of commercially-used chemicals. Historically, animal models were used to evaluate dermal drug absorption prior to clinical testing. However, both differences in human and animal physiology as well as ethical concerns over animal testing have […]

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How to Plan and Implement a Pharmacology to Payer Framework

Pharmacology to the payer (P2P) is an innovative approach to create a framework for dialogue between drug sponsors, regulators, and payers. The core structure is the sequential linking of quantitative mathematical models—pharmacology, pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics (PK/PD), disease progression, epidemiology, health utilization, and health economics. In this blog post, we discuss how working with an amazing team of […]

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Ready, Set, Model! Take PK/PD Analysis to New Heights with Phoenix 8.0

Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the Commissioner of Food and Drugs, has outlined the steps the US FDA will take to implement the 21st Century Cures Act. In outlining the plan, the Commissioner endorses modeling and simulation approaches to increase the efficiency of drug development. Certara has launched Phoenix® 8.0, the latest version of the innovative PK/PD […]

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How Clinical Pharmacology Gap Analysis Can Create Value

During my years reviewing applications for the US FDA, I encountered a lot of poor planning concerning a drug’s clinical pharmacology program. This poor planning left the company either lacking data to make informed decisions or scrambling at the end of development to address unanswered issues. Early planning is key to regulatory success, not only […]

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Using Virtual Cancer Patients to Probe the Mechanisms of Oncology Drug Disposition

Oncology drug developers face a distinct set of challenges. Oncology drugs are often very toxic which precludes conducting clinical trials in healthy volunteers. In addition, cancer patients differ from healthy people in terms of their demographics and physiology. These changes mean that the pharmacokinetics of drugs may be altered in this population compared to healthy […]

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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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