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Investigating recent developments in clinical trials in Belgium: analysis of the data available at the Federal Agency for Medicines and Health Products (FAGG/AFMPS). Agenda. Belgium has a long and important tradition in clinical trials.

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Slide1 l.jpg

Investigating recent developments in clinical trials in Belgium: analysis of the data available at the Federal Agency for Medicines and Health Products (FAGG/AFMPS)



Belgium has a long and important tradition in clinical trials l.jpg
Belgium has a long and important tradition in clinical trials

  • The pharmaceutical industry in Belgium takes 40% of the private investments in R&D on their account

  • Belgium has the highest number of medicines under development per capita

  • High availability of skilled research staff, excellent infrastructure, the proximity of knowledge centers and suppliers,…

  • Outstanding expertise in clinical research, both in academic research programs as in industry-sponsored research programs

  • In 2007, Belgium was ranked as best country in the world for academic research, according to scientific journal The Scientist

The Belgian pharmaceutical sector has a leading role in the achievement of the R&D investment targets which the EU member states set themselves as part of the Lisbon Strategy.


Challenges in the near future 1 2 l.jpg
Challenges in the near future (1/2) trials

Less expensive

E.g. a trial for a standard drug in the US can cost up to $150 million. A similar drug could be tested in India for less than half of that amount.

  • Currently the majority of clinical trials is still conducted in Western countries

  • However, the number of trials performed in emerging countries is increasing quickly.

    • E.g. the number of clinical trials initiated in Central and Eastern Europe more than tripled from 2002 to 2007

  • Clinical trials with innovative drugs should remain in Western countries

Availability of large patient populations

EMERGING COUNTRIES

E.g. India: genetically diverse, drug-naive population of over a billion people

Reformation of rules & legislations

E.g. India: reformation of regulatory approval in 2006 India will automatically accept certain protocols if approved in the recognized countries


Challenges in the near future 2 2 l.jpg
Challenges in the near future (2/2) trials

Future conditions for clinical research in Europe

  • Regulation vs. Directive

  • Academic vs. commercial research  risk-based approach

  • 5 Key areas for improvement :

    • Single CTA

    • Co-sponsorship

    • Risk-based approach

    • Ethical review

    • Safety reporting

  • Inclusion of Clinical Trial Facilitation Group (CTFG) in the EMA-infrastructure


The goal of this project is to assess the developments in clinical trials in belgium l.jpg
The goal of this project is to assess the developments in clinical trials in Belgium

Objective of project

  • Objective: assess the recent developments in clinical trials in Belgium

  • Methodology: analysis of the database of clinical trial applications (CTA’s)of the Federal Agency for Medicines and Health Products (FAGG/AFMPS)

  • Study period:all clinical trials submitted to the FAGG/AFMPS between 2006and mid 2009

Organization of project

  • Tripartite project:

  • Deloitte: project lead and execution

  • FAGG/AFMPS: access of database to investigators of Deloitte and support for all issues related to the database content and clinical trials

  • pharma.be:external expert providing input on clinical trial related issues


Agenda7 l.jpg
Agenda clinical trials in Belgium


The number of submitted and accepted trials at the fagg afmps has increased l.jpg
The clinical trials in Belgiumnumber of submitted and accepted trials at the FAGG/AFMPS has increased

Figure1: Number of submitted and accepted trials at the FAGG/AFMPS

*No data availablefor Sem. 2 2009 at moment of analysis

  • An increase has been observed in clinical trial applications over the first 3 years

  • In the first semester of 2009 the number of trials is particularly low compared to previous periods. Additional data post-analysis reveal a total number of 527 submission in FY 2009

  • The share of clinical trials accepted after resolution of major objections has increased

  • Overall the acceptance rate without major objections of the FAGG/AFMPS varies between 80.8% and 92.7% with an average of 85.8%


The number of amendments steeply increased over the total observation period l.jpg
The number of amendments steeply increased over the total observation period

Figure 2: Total number of amendments and distribution to ethics committees (EC) or FAGG/AFMPS

  • A clear shift is observed from the proportion of amendments to be treated by the EC towards theFAGG/AFMPS

  • The acceptance rate of amendments by the competent authority is high and varies between 88.5% and 97.7%


Most of clinical research in belgium is performed in phase iii l.jpg
Most of observation period clinical research in Belgium is performed in Phase III

Figure 4: Percentage of trials per research phase

*Others= trials coded erroneously in the database

  • Most of the clinical research in Belgium is performed in Phase III (=37.0%). Phase IV (=10.4%) research is the least performed

  • More than 50% of all clinical trial activity happens in early phase research (Phases I and II).

  • In general the share of trials per phase stays stable over the studied research period


Industry sponsored trials constitute the majority of belgian trials l.jpg
Industry sponsored trials constitute the majority of Belgian trials

Figure 5: Percentage of industry sponsored and academic trials per semester

  • The share of industry sponsored trials has been increasing and varies between 81.7% and 89.0%

  • Number of non-commercial trials is rather low compared to other EU memberstates, while the Belgian legislation is rather positive for academic trials.


This is also valid for phase i research l.jpg
This is also valid for Phase I research trials

Figure 6: Percentage of industry sponsored and academic trials per phase (2006 to Sem. 1 2009)

  • Industry sponsored research in Belgium is mainly focused on pre-launch studies

  • Only for Phase IV research, the percentage of industry sponsored and academic trials is relatively similar

  • Phase I research is the least sponsored by academia


The top 5 pharmaceutical companies account for 40 9 of initiated industry trials l.jpg
The top 5 pharmaceutical companies account for 40.9% of initiated industry trials

Figure 7: Total percentage of trials per phase for top 5 companies (2006 to Sem.1 2009)

3.7%

14.6%

4.3%

5.2%

2.2%

3.4%

7.1%

9.7%

4.7%

15.1%

6.8%

7.1%

2.4%

1.4%

9.7%

8.7%

9.2%

8.8%

6.3%

19.7%

4.7%

16.1%

11.7%

7.9%

7.4%

  • For all Phase I trials initiated by pharmaceutical companies, the top 5 companies have an important shareequaling 56.5%

  • The top 5 companies account for 41.9% of all industry sponsored Phase IV research and 30.0% and 29.1%of Phase III and Phase II research respectively


The top 5 academic institutions account for 69 7 of initiated academic trials l.jpg
The top 5 academic institutions account for 69.7% of initiated academic trials

Figure 8: Total percentage of trials per phase for top 5 academic institutions (2006 to Sem.1 2009)

EORTC* 7.2%

16.5%

  • EORTC

11.5%

Erasme 10.1%

10.7%

5.4%

7.7%

16.9%

4.1%

UCL12.7%

17.5%

15.4%

6.2%

12.2%

UZ Gent18.3%

15.4%

11.5%

24.3%

KULeuven24.1%

12.3%

19.2%

35.0%

9.5%

7.7%

*EORTC= European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer

  • Of all newly initiated academic clinical trials per phase, the top 5 institutions represent 79.6% of all PhaseIV research, followed by Phase I (65.4%), Phase III (58.5%) and Phase II (55.4%)

  • Very high contribution of the top 5 academic institutions compared to the share of the top 5 industrycompanies


Almost 1 out of 5 clinical trials target cancer research l.jpg
Almost 1 out of 5 clinical trials target cancer research initiated academic trials

Figure 9: Percentage of newly started clinical trials per indication (2006 to Sem. 1 2009)

Genito and urinary system

Other

Other

Respiratory system

Musculo-skeletal system

*Phase I research (all therapeutic domains) is reported separately due to the specificity and importance

  • Cancer research is followed in order of importance by trials in the Alimentary tract and metabolism system (7.9%), Nervous system (7.8%) and Cardiovascular system (7.3%)


Most clinical research is performed in adults l.jpg
Most clinical research is performed in adults initiated academic trials

Figure 10: Percentage of initiated clinical trials per age group

  • The results show clearly that most research is performed in adults followed by the elderly

  • The percentage of trials per age group remainsstable in 2008

  • During the first semester of 2009 a trend towards more research in children (=15.8%) is observed


On average 39 patients are to be recruited for a clinical trial l.jpg
On average, 39 patients are to be recruited for a clinical trial

Figure 11: Average number (N) of patients to be recruited per trial type and share (%) of global to be recruited patients

  • The least patients are needed for phase I and phase II research (approximately 28 patients) whereas for phase IV research most patients are needed (=63.7). On average 39.2 patients are needed per trial

  • The average number of patients to be recruited for academic trials (=60.1) is much higher compared to industry sponsored trials (=32.2)

  • The share of Belgian patients to be recruited for all trials initiated in Belgium equals 5.9%


The average number of sites to be recruited for a clinical trial is 2 8 l.jpg
The average number of sites to be recruited for a clinical trial is 2.8

Figure 12: Average number (N) of sites to be recruited per trial type and share (%) of single site trials

  • The least sites are needed for Phase I and Phase II research whereas for Phase III research most sites are needed (=3.9). On average 2.8 sites are needed per trial

  • The average number of sites to be recruited for academic trials (=2.3) is somewhat lower compared to industry sponsored trials (=2.9)

  • 41.2% of all initiated trials are single site trials


The top 5 ethics committees are responsible for 70 of all ethics advices l.jpg
The top 5 trial is 2.8ethicscommittees are responsiblefor 70% of all ethicsadvices

Figure 13: Top 5 ethics committees based on the percentage of submitted applications.

70.1%

  • KULeuven is by far the most important ethics committee in Belgium with 26.9% of all unique advicesgiven evaluated over the entire observation period..

  • The top 5 ethics committees are all university centers. reason for this is two-fold:

    • a large proportion of clinical trials will be performed in university centers (e.g. Phase I trials and trials for selection of therapeutic areas)

    • the leading ethics committee for multicenter trials has to be a university centre


Agenda20 l.jpg
Agenda trial is 2.8


Conclusions l.jpg
Conclusions trial is 2.8

  • An average of 539 clinical trials per year were submitted at FAGG/AFMPS

  • Between 2006 and 2008, an increase in the number of clinical trial applications (+17.0%) was observed. In the first semester of 2009 a substantial decrease in applications is observed. Possible explanations can be related to the economic crisis which started mid-2008

  • The acceptance rate of clinical trial applications by FAGG/AFMPS is high

  • A strong trend is observed towards a growing number of submitted amendments. Comparing the first (N=471) to the last studied semester (N=839), the number of amendments has almost doubled

  • The acceptance rate of amendments is in line with the acceptance rate of full applications and varies between 88.5% and 97.7%

  • There has been a clear shift from the number of amendments to be treated by the ethics committees towards the FAGG/AFMPS

  • Most of trials are performed in Phase III (=37.0%). Phase IV (=10.4%) research is the least performed in Belgium

  • More than 50% of all clinical trial activity happens in early Phase research (Phases I and II)

  • The share of industry sponsored trials has been increasing and varies between 81.7% and 89.0%

  • The top 5industry players account for 40.9% of all newly initiated trials. The most important contribution of these top 5 companies is observed during Phase I research with 56.6%


Conclusions22 l.jpg
Conclusions trial is 2.8

  • The top 5 academic institutions represent a very important share in all phases of academic trials. Their contribution in the total of all academic trials per phase represent 79.6% in Phase IV followed by Phase I (65.4%), Phase III (58.5%) and Phase II (55.4%)

  • Most clinical trials target cancer research (23.7%) followed by trials in the alimentary tract and metabolism system (7.9%), nervous system (7.8%) and cardiovascular system (7.3%)

  • Most of research is performed in adults followed by elderly.

  • Most of patients to be recruited are for Phase IV research (on average 63.7 patients per trial)

  • The average number of patients to be recruited for academic trials (=60.1) is much higher compared to industry sponsored trials (=32.2)

  • Industry sponsored trials have on average more investigational sites to recruit (N= 2.9) compared to academic sponsored trials (N=1.8). The highest number of sites are recruited for Phase III (N=3.8) research whereas the least sites are recruited for Phase I (N=1.1) research

  • In total the top 5 ethics committees are responsible for 70.0% of all ethic advices regardingclinical trials


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