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    1. 1 Human Research Protection Programs Legal and Regulatory Issues Ann Sparkman UCSF Office of Legal Affairs February 18, 2008

    2. 2 GELSINGER CASE Death of 18-year-old Jesse Gelsinger in study by University of Pennsylvania Institute for Gene Therapy Gel singer v. Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania (Phil. Cnty. Ct. of C.P. filed September 18, 2000) The study: the injection of genetic material into Jesses bloodstream using a viral vector This triggered multi-organ system failure & death

    3. 3 GELSINGER CASE Various theories of liability against numerous parties Named defendants: principal investigator, co-investigator, ethicist, university, sponsor Theories: negligence, products liability, fraud, misrepresentation, assault, battery & violation of human rights The complaint alleged that the researchers used a virus vector known to be more dangerous than other vectors because they held a patent on that particular virus vector Allegedly, investigators and U of P had financial ties with sponsor, and this was not disclosed in informed consent

    4. 4 GELSINGER CASE It was later revealed that the investigator stood to benefit financially from this research The researchers ties to the protocol may have jeopardized the integrity of the study In addition, the family alleged that the investigators committed fraud by not revealing that previous subjects had died

    5. 5 GELSINGER CASE The parties reached a confidential settlement in November 2000

    6. 6 ROBERTSON CASE Robertson case (Robertson v. McGee, No. 01CV00GOH(M) (N.D. Okla. Filed January 29, 2001) In 1997, University of Oklahoma s Institutional Review Board (IRB) had approved a Phase I/II cancer vaccine study for patients with melanoma Most participants were unresponsive to standard treatment, with a 2 6 month prognosis

    7. 7 ROBERTSON CASE In 1999, the trials nurse coordinator advised the IRB chair regarding problems with quality control, patient care, reporting of adverse events and adherence to study protocol. In 2000, the Office of Human Research Protection (OHRP) found that the IRB Chair had unilaterally approved retroactive modifications to the research protocol, and that continuing review had not been properly carried out

    8. 8 ROBERTSON CASE Further OHRP findings: Due to their terminal illness, many of the subjects qualified as vulnerable persons, but the IRB failed to ensure that additional safeguards were included in the study The consent forms (approved by the IRB) failed to adequately describe the studys risks, and overstated foreseeable benefits OHRP also uncovered problems around privacy and confidentiality

    9. 9 ROBERTSON CASE In 2001, participants in the trial filed suit All members of the IRB who approved the study were named as defendants, a move described as unprecedented While it was not unheard of for an IRB to be named in a legal action, never before had the members each been named individually Plaintiffs alleged that the IRB had behaved in a negligent manner with its review and approval of the protocol

    10. 10 ROBERTSON CASE Some of the defendants reached a settlement with the plaintiffs in July 2002

    11. 11 ROCHE CASE Ellen Roche was a healthy 24-year-old who died while taking part in a study to understand the cause of asthma at Johns Hopkins University The study simulated an asthma attack The study involved use of hexamethonium to temporarily block the nerves in the subjects lungs Hexamethonium was not approved by the FDA

    12. 12 ROCHE CASE Per the OHRP, the IRB violated federal regulations by: Failing to obtain adequate information to evaluate the risks of the research protocol Bronchiolitis obliterans organizing pneumonia (BOOP) had previously been reported as a side effect of hexamethonium The PI and the IRB did not conduct a sufficient literature search Approving an inadequate consent form The consent form did not state that hexamethonium had not been approved by the FDA The consent form did not state that the drugs safety was uncertain (the only data on the safety of inhaling the drug came from the experience of just 20 people) Not sufficiently reviewing ongoing research Ms. Roche was just the 3rd subject in the study The first subject developed cough and SOB upon exertion lasting a week The PI did not report the subjects symptoms to the IRB

    13. 13 ROCHE CASE As a result, all research at Johns Hopkins funded by the federal government was shut down until officials could respond to OHRPs investigation and findings

    14. 14 OLIVIERI CASE Involved a Canadian researcher at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto Physician and researcher, Nancy Olivieri, contracted with Apotex to study deferiprone, an iron chelator intended for thalassemia (iron overload) The contract contained a confidentiality clause preventing the release of findings without Apotexs authorization during the trial and for one year after its termination The IRB had not reviewed the contract The IRB did not require inclusion of provisions in protocol to protect the interests of subjects in the event of premature termination by the industry sponsor

    15. 15 OLIVIERI CASE Partway into the trial, Dr. Olivieri became concerned that the drug was neither safe nor effective - the drug caused hepatic fibrosis; a claim which Apotex dismissed Dr. Olivieri conveyed her findings at a scientific meeting, and published her findings in the New England Journal of Medicine

    16. 16 OLIVIERI CASE Apotex sued Dr. Olivieri for $20 million for breaching the confidentiality clause, and for disparagement This case highlights several issues: Academic freedom in clinical research Conflicts of interest with clinical trials The need to review industry contracts

    17. 17 AMGEN CASES Two separate groups of subjects sued for injunctive relief to force Amgen to continue to provide investigational drugs Suthers, et al. v. Amgen, Inc. Case No. 05-CV-4158 (PKC)(S.D.N.Y. filed April 26, 2005); Abney, et al. v. Amgen, Inc.. Case No. 5:05-CV-254-JMH (E.D. Ky. filed June 21, 2005)

    18. 18 AMGEN CASES The cases involved Phase II clinical trials sponsored by Amgen to study the effects of a synthetic protein called glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) The study involved 34 subjects at 8 sites, including NY & KY The study was designed to test whether GDNF would spur the growth of dopamine-producing cells and alter the course of Parkinsons disease (not just mask its symptoms) A pump was implanted to supply GDNF directly to the brain

    19. 19 AMGEN CASES Consent Language: Study participant could elect to continue treatment for 24 months after the end of the study Investigators could withdraw a subject from the study if they found the study contained more risk than benefit, or if sponsor discontinued study for scientific reasons

    20. 20 AMGEN CASES Scientific reasons include deteriorating health or other conditions that would make continued participation harmful: 1) Serious adverse reaction to the drug therapy; 2) Need for treatment not allowed by the study; 3) Sponsors termination or cancellation of study (Suthers et al v. Amgen, Inc., 352 F. Supp.2d 416, 421 (S.D.N.Y. June 6, 2005)

    21. 21 AMGEN CASES Amgen had expected to see a 25% increase in test scores after 6 months of study treatment However, results showed only a 10.01% increase; and a 4.52% increase in the placebo treated subjects scores Amgen terminated the use of GDNF, citing safety concerns: 1) Several human subjects developed neutralizing antibodies; 2) A primate study - 4 out of 44 primates suffered cerebral toxicity

    22. 22 AMGEN CASES Amgen also cited lack of efficacy as basis for discontinuing the study, noting positive effects experienced were from placebo effect; a common effect in clinical trials for Parkinsons disease Amgen consulted with FDA before terminating the study; FDA agreed that the termination was reasonable in light of the scientific evidence

    23. 23 AMGEN CASES First Cause of Action Breach of contract The informed consent constituted a contract & promise by Amgen to continue treatment indefinitely The investigators executed the contracts as agents of the sponsor The Court found no actual or apparent authority to bind Amgen The investigators, and not Amgen, executed the informed consents with the participants. The consents provided that the investigators would conduct the study independent of Amgen Amgen had not said or done anything which clothed the investigators in apparent authority to act on its behalf

    24. 24 AMGEN CASES Second Cause of Action Promissory Estoppel Amgen made promises, on which plaintiffs relied to their detriment, by undergoing the pump implantation surgery Amgen was bound by the investigators statements that they would make decisions based on the subjects best interests, and the subjects would continue to receive GDNF following the conclusion of the study if GDNF proved to be safe & effective

    25. 25 AMGEN CASES Third Cause of Action Breach of Fiduciary Duty Fiduciary duty is the legal obligation to act primarily for someone elses benefit, while subordinating ones personal interest to that of the other person Amgen breached a fiduciary duty owed to them by unreasonably denying their access to GDNF Courts found no evidence that Amgen had agreed that its sponsorship of the study would be undertaken primarily to benefit participants Rather, the study was intentionally structured to foster independence and objectivity on the part of the investigators and their research institutions, thereby insulating them from any conflict of interest which might arise from Amgens involvement Amgen had not selected the subjects, met the subjects, or known the details of the subjects medical conditions Given these considerations and FDA regulations which govern the manner in which clinical trials are executed, the courts found no factual or legal basis to impose a fiduciary duty on Amgen

    26. 26 DARKE CASE Susan Darke v. Jeffrey Isner, M.D., James Symes, M.D., St. Elizabeths Medical Center et al (2004) Experimental gene therapy for patient with occluded cardiac vein grafts Dr. Isner (chief of cardiovascular research at St. Elizabeths) developed experimental treatment for CAD which involved the injection of a particular gene directly into the heart Patient/subject died in surgery

    27. 27 DARKE CASE Dr. Isner formed a corporation with other individuals named Vascular Genetics, Inc. (VGI) Dr. Isner and St. Elizabeths each owned 20% ownership interest in VGI Plaintiff contended: Dr. Isner & St. Elizabeths had a financial incentive to encourage patients to participate in the program they stood to profit from a successful gene therapy program Informed consent failed to disclose the financial stake Dr. Isner & St. Elizabeths held in gene therapy program Mr. Darke would not have elected to participate had he known of financial interest

    28. 28 DARKE CASE Question before the Court: Is Massachusetts common law definition of informed consent broad enough to impose tort liability on a doctor who fails to disclose to patients his financial interest in the study he recommends?

    29. 29 DARKE CASE Moore v. Regents of California, 51 Cal 3d 120 (1990). California Supreme Court reversed trial courts dismissal of a claim for medical malpractice. Liability predicated on doctors failure to tell his patient of his intent to use the patients cells in potentially lucrative medical research D.A.B. v. Brown, 570 N.W. 2d 168 (Minn. Ct. App. 1997). Minnesota Court of Appeals held that doctors failure to disclose to patient that he received payments from a drug company for prescribing a certain drug presents a classic informed consent issue. It is well accepted that patients deserve medical opinions about treatment plans and referrals unsullied by conflicting motives. Court relied on state professional ethical standards. Shea v. Esensten, 107 F.3d 625 (8th Cir. 1997). The Court held that the plaintiff stated a claim in which allegation that his doctor failed to tell him about financial incentives that it offered to employees to discourage them from making referrals. In order for the patient to make a fully informed consent about whether to trust his doctors recommendation that a cardiology referral was not necessary, he should have been told about the doctors financial stake.

    30. 30 DARKE CASE The real question is whether the information is material to the patients decision. Question not whether physician must as a matter of law disclose any given fact to patient, but whether the jury should be informed about a failure to make that disclosure and make up its own mind as to whether the information was material under the circumstances. Arato v. Avedon, 5 Cal 4th 1172 (1993).

    31. 31 DARKE CASE Court guided by Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) guidelines & Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs Requires research consent to disclose the existence of any significant financial interest that the researcher has in the study treatment Physicians in managed care settings should disclose to their patients financial incentives and restrictions placed on them by the HMO American Society of Gene Therapy Advises investigators against having equity, stock options or comparable arrangements in companies sponsoring the research Code of Federal Regulations (21 C.F.R. Section 50.20; 50.25) Requires clinical investigators conducting experimental treatment to disclose to patients any benefit that might be gained by third persons as a result of the treatment

    32. 32 DARKE CASE Court found that while regulations were not controlling on the question of state common law, they do indicate a trend towards requiring physicians to disclose non-medical information to the patient Court held that allegations created a triable issue of fact, and denied defendants motion for summary judgment

    33. 33 Subject Injury Litigation Involving The Regents

    34. 34 DAVENPORT CASE Clinical trial at University of California Los Angeles, which involved surgically implanting experimental drug called Spheramine into the brains of patients with Parkinsons Berlex sponsored the trial; Berlex partnered with Titan Pharmaceuticals which developed Spheramine UCLA enrolled patients and evaluated them before and after receiving the treatment

    35. 35 DAVENPORT CASE Suzanne Davenport signed the UCLA consent form which stated: If you are injured as a direct result of research procedures, you will receive treatment at no cost. The University of California does not provide any other form of compensation for injury. Ms. Davenport went through periodic pre-operative tests at UCLA The venue for the surgery was changed from Stanford University Medical Center to Tampa General Hospital (TGH) in Florida

    36. 36 DAVENPORT CASE The form contained 3 injury statements University of Southern Florida (USF)s statement provided that financial damages would be available in the event of an injury to the extent that negligent conduct of a University employee caused your injuries, but such damages could be limited by law. TGHs statement provided that the cost of treatment for any injury may be the responsibility of you or your insurance company. Berlexs statement provided that If, because of your participation in the study you require additional care that would not ordinarily be necessary for your condition this will be provided at no additional cost to you.

    37. 37 DAVENPORT CASE After the surgery on January 14, 2005, Ms. Davenport could no longer sit upright. She could not walk. She fell forward in a chair unless restrained. Ms. Davenports family ultimately placed her in a nursing home After conversations with UCLA, Titan and Berlex, Ms. Davenports attorney made a demand to Berlex in the amount of $414,976.02

    38. 38 DAVENPORT CASE The family sued Titan, Berlex and The Regents, seeking $5 million The family named The Regents; not TGH nor USF The UCLA consent form offered the broadest description of compensation for medical care

    39. Question and Answer

    40. 40 Regulatory Requirements for Informed Consent 21 C.F.R. Section 50.20 General Requirements for Informed Consent No investigator may involve a human being as subject in research unless the investigator has obtained the legally effective informed consent of the subject. An investigator shall seek such consent only under circumstances that provide the prospective subject or the representative sufficient opportunity to consider whether or not to participate and that minimize the possibility of coercion or undue influence. The information that is given to the subject shall be in language understandable to the subject No informed consent may include any exculpatory language through which the subject is made to waive or appear to waive any of the subjects legal rights, or releases or appears to release the investigator, the sponsor, the institution, or its agents from liability for negligence.

    41. 41 Regulatory Requirements for Informed Consent 21 C.F.R. Section 50.25 Elements of Informed Consent a) Basic elements of informed consent 1) A statement that the study involves research, an explanation of the purposes of the research and the expected duration of the subjects participation, a description of the procedures to be followed, and identification of any procedures which are experimental 2) A description of any reasonably foreseeable risks or discomforts to the subject 3) A description of any benefits to the subject or to others which may reasonably be expected from the research 4) A disclosure of appropriate alternative procedures or courses of treatment, if any, that might be advantageous to the subject

    42. 42 Regulatory Requirements for Informed Consent 21 C.F.R. Section 50.25 Elements of Informed Consent a) Basic elements of informed consent (cont.) 5) A statement describing the extent , if any, to which confidentiality of records identifying the subject will be maintained and that notes the possibility that the Food and Drug Administration may inspect the record 6) For research involving more than minimal risk, an explanation as to whether any compensation and an explanation as to whether any medical treatments are available if injury occurs and, if so, what they consist of, or where further information may be obtained 7) An explanation of whom to contact for answers to pertinent questions about the research and research subjects rights, and whom to contact in the event of a research-related injury to the subject 8) A statement that participation is voluntary, that refusal to participate will involve no penalty or loss of benefits to which the subject is otherwise entitled, and that the subject may discontinue participation at any time without penalty or loss of benefits to which the subject is otherwise entitled

    43. 43 Regulatory Requirements for Informed Consent 21 C.F.R. Section 50.25 Elements of Informed Consent (cont.) b) Additional elements of informed consent - When appropriate, one or more of the following elements of informed consent shall also be provided to each subject 1) A statement that the particular treatment or procedure may involve risks to the subject (or to the embryo or fetus, if the subject is or may become pregnant) which are currently unforeseeable 2) Anticipated circumstances under which the subjects participation may be terminated by the investigator without regard to the subjects consent 3) Any additional costs to the subject that may result from participation in the research 4) The consequences of a subjects decision to withdraw from the research and procedures for orderly termination of participation by the subject 5) A statement that significant new findings developed during the course of the research which may relate to the subjects willingness to continue participation will be provided to the subject 6) The approximate number of subjects involved in the study

    44. 44 Experimental Subjects Bill of Rights California Health & Safety Code Section 24172 24172. As used in the chapter, "experimental subject's bill of rights," means a list of the rights of a subject in a medical experiment, written in a language in which the subject is fluent. Except as otherwise provided in Section 24175, this list shall include, but not be limited to the subject's right to: (a) Be informed of the nature and purpose of the experiment. (b) Be given an explanation of the procedures to be followed in the medical experiment, and any drug or device to be utilized. (c) Be given a description of any attendant discomforts and risks reasonably to be expected from the experiment. (d) Be given an explanation of any benefits to the subject reasonably to be expected from the experiment, if applicable. (e) Be given a disclosure of any appropriate alternative procedures, drugs or devices that might be advantageous to the subject, and their relative risks and benefits. (f) Be informed of the avenues of medical treatment, if any, available to the subject after the experiment if complications should arise. (g) Be given an opportunity to ask any questions concerning the experiment or the procedures involved. (h) Be instructed that consent to participate in the medical experiment may be withdrawn at any time and the subject may discontinue participation in the medical experiment without prejudice. (i) Be given a copy of the signed and dated written consent form as provided for by Section 24173 or 24178. (j) Be given the opportunity to decide to consent or not to consent to a medical experiment without the intervention of any element of force, fraud, deceit, duress, coercion, or undue influence on the subject's decision.

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