Drug giants AstraZeneca and Pfizer are working on a new clinical trial design, to be launched in Britain in July or August of this year, to include multiple drugs for evaluation in a single trial. This is expected to be both time and cost saving and could significantly hasten drug development.
Scientists and drug makers are pioneering a new kind of clinical trial that changes the way cancer drugs are studied, potentially cutting both the time and cost of brining them to market.
Instead of testing one drug at a time, a novel lung cancer study announced on Thursday will allow British researchers to test up to 14 drugs from AstraZeneca and Pfizer at the same time within one trial.The aim is to quickly pinpoint medicines that can fight advanced lung cancer by targeting specific rare genetic mutations - and it upends the normal approach of putting a particular drug at the centre of a study.
Harpal Kumar, chief executive of charity Cancer Research UK, which is working on the 25-million-pound ($42-million) project with the two drugmakers, said the new approach would "re-write the rule book on how we do clinical trials".
"We are shifting the emphasis from designing a trial around a specific drug to designing it around selecting from a range of drugs for a specific patient," he told reporters.
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