Innovative Study Designs Optimizing Clinical Pharmacology Research in Infants and Children.
Almost half of recent pediatric trials failed to achieve labeling indications, in large part because of inadequate study design. Therefore, innovative study methods are crucial to optimizing trial design while also reducing the potential harms inherent with drug investigation. Several methods exist to optimize the amount of pharmacokinetic data collected from the smallest possible volume and with the fewest number of procedures, including the use of opportunistic and sparse sampling, alternative and noninvasive matrices, and microvolume assays. In addition, large research networks using master protocols promote collaboration, reduce regulatory burden, and increase trial efficiency for both early- and late-phase trials. Large pragmatic trials that leverage electronic health records can capitalize on central management strategies to reduce costs, enroll patients with rare diseases on a large scale, and augment study generalizability. Further, trial efficiency and safety can be optimized through Bayesian adaptive techniques that permit planned protocol changes based on analyses of prior and accumulated data. In addition to these trial design features, advances in modeling and simulation have paved the way for systems-based and physiologically based models that individualize pediatric dosing recommendations and support drug approval. Last, given the low prevalence of many pediatric diseases, collecting deidentified genetic and clinical data on a large scale is a potentially transformative way to augment clinical pharmacology research in children.
Balevic, SJ; Cohen-Wolkowiez, M
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