Interview: on Oncology Clinical Research best practices – Eric Low, Chief Executive, Myeloma, UK
Leading up to NextLevel Pharma’s Oncology Clinical Leaders Forum 2015, we are conducting email interviews with selected members of our prestigious speaker panel to learn more about their thoughts on this vital issue.
*Opinions below are those only of the individual and do not reflect upon corporate strategy or positioning.
Eric low, Chief Executive, Myeloma, UK
NextLevel: What do you think makes the current clinical trials environment for cancer indications so challenging for pharma & biotech companies?
Eric Low: There are two main issues. One is recognising the fact that one Phase III global registration trial will most likely not produce the data required to ensure market access in key strategic markets i.e. the UK. Clinical development programmes need to produce more compelling - and broader - evidence and information beyond that which is normally required to prove the safety and efficacy of a new cancer drug. The second issue relates to the time and cost of conducting trials. This needs to speed up. Often by the time the data comes through, clinical practice has moved on.
NLP: Which trends / changes have you seen on the ways in which the pharma & biotech sector design oncology studies over the past 5 years?
EL: Some companies are still making the same mistakes and have not done enough to future-proof their studies. That said, there are many examples of positive changes. Many companies are now looking into biomarkers and companion diagnostics which is very positive and also many are beginning to include patient key opinion leaders in the design of clinical development programmes.
NLP: Which technologies or approaches do you think hold great potential to improve the likelihood of success for oncology therapy candidates?
EL: Biomarkers and companion diagnostics, alongside improved health-related quality of life and patient-relevant outcome measures, hold the greatest potential. Taken together, they will improve the value proposition and the certainty around the true benefits of the new technology.
NLP: What’s the best thing for you about working in clinical development / medical affairs right now?
EL: Being able to work in partnership with companies to improve their clinical development programmes, making them more patient-centric and helping to generate better evidence and information in readiness for HTA and payers. The potential that stratified medicine brings is also tantalising.
NLP: Why is this Oncology Clinical Leaders Forum event a good idea for people to attend in your eyes?
EL: It is a fantastic opportunity to learn about: new concepts and ideas to improve clinical development programmes; building the value proposition; and how to get new innovative technologies to patients more efficiently.