Tag Archives: Products

Case Study – Supplying Specific Tested Batches of Oncology Product from the Market

Client approached us with a very specific request to test samples of an expensive oncology product and then purchase the same batches that had passed the testing stage. This was a challenging request as it required visibility of batches currently on the market before purchasing. This is only possible in certain markets where product availability is moderate. Due to the nature of the trial the client was not willing to disclose trial details and required documentation (Certificate of analysis and pedigree).

CSI Approach
Without the possibility of disclosure, we had to source from the open market. This was challenging because we had to fulfill four requirements:

  • batch testing
  • advance visibility of batch
  • product of specific batch available
  • documentation

The most effective solution was to work with our audited suppliers with a ‘hit list’ of batches that had a positive result from
testing. This relied on working closely with suppliers in markets where batch visibility and documentation is possible, to keep an up to date list of what batches are on the market at a given time, and if they have had a positive or negative test.

Challenges and Results
A sourcing strategy such as this is dependent on very close communication between client, CSI, and suppliers. As the suitable markets usually have limited availability, product had to be collected over a period of time before being delivered to the client. At all times the most important thing was to guarantee a stable supply chain to the client and ultimately the patient. CSI leveraged all good relationships with suppliers to keep stock on hold with the promise to purchase if the batch testing was successful. Such undertaking is only possible when there is mutual trust, understanding of the specific requirements and a united team with the grit and perseverance to deliver for the benefit of the patient.

Case Study – Sourcing Flu Vaccines for a Global Study

CSI was approached to support a quadrivalent flu vaccine study running in multiple countries in the Northern Hemisphere. The sponsor also wanted to use the same product in the trial across all participating countries.

Due to the seasonal nature of this vaccine, there is only one production run per year (in the Summer), manufacturers look at predictions from the WHO of what the dominant flu strain will be in the Winter and then produce vaccines accordingly. The vaccine doses are typically booked well in advance (approximately in January) by customers and there is very little oversupply.

CSI Approach
When our client was ready to run the study, several USA manufacturers were already overbooked versus their production and would not have been able to support the requirements of the trial in all regions alongside their current orders.

CSI was able to leverage its relationship with a EU manufacturer that could supply the product in the quantity required for the whole trial. Working with this manufacturer CSI demonstrated the equivalency between the EU an USA products. The trial also ran in some South East Asian countries, to bypass tricky import requirements CSI sourced the product locally in these countries.

Challenges and Results
With a flu vaccine trial, the cost of getting the sourcing wrong is very significant. Failure to secure supplies would postpone the trial by a full calendar year as the Southern Hemisphere is a poor option to run a flu vaccine trial (less countries, and poorly defined flu strains circulating).

CSI provided sound scientific and regulatory guidance alongside a robust sourcing option that ultimately safeguarded the study.

Case Study – Overcome Shortages by leveraging Relationship with Manufacturer

CSI had an urgent request to supply a large quantity of a generic drug for an ongoing Phase 3 trial. These products were initially overlooked as it was assumed the sites would supply. When this turned out to not be feasible it was close to trial initiation date, so timelines were extremely tight to deliver and keep the trial on track.

CSI Approach
CSI carried out extensive research to determine what drugs were licensed in the participating countries that spanned three continents. All major generic manufacturers where approached to ensure coverage over all regions, working closely with these manufacturers CSI executed a literature review and procured equivalency statements for the products required.

Approaching a range of manufacturers allowed CSI to present an option that could cover all countries in the trial, the equivalency statements provided the appropriate justification to prove clinical equivalency across products that allowed the trial to go ahead.

Challenges and Results
Liaising with multiple manufacturers and the client to ensure not only the supply of medication but also to prove equivalency between products was a very challenging task. It required a high level of scientific expertise and knowledge of clinical trial regulatory requirements.

Ultimately the strategy was a success and allowed the trial to begin without delay. This experience highlights the importance of appropriately planning the sourcing of comparator and co-medication at an early stage in the clinical trial process. Leaving it to the last minute, as was done here, not only increases the risk of delaying trial initiation but can massively increase the costs associated with sourcing these materials.

Case Study – Delivering Enormous Cost Savings by Providing Sourcing Options for Oncology Products.

A client approached us with a request for a large quantity of an expensive oncology product, documentation such as Certificate of Analysis (CoA) was required for import into several of the countries involved in the trial.

CSI Approach
Due to the high value of the product and the importance of choosing a suitable strategy for the trial and sponsor CSI decided to investigate a range of options with different advantages and disadvantages so that the client could decide what best suited their trial. The solutions presented to the customer where;

1. Directly contact the marketing authorization holder (MAH) of the branded product.
Advantages: Guaranteed supply, single batch, full documentation, midlength lead time.
Disadvantages: Highest price of the options.

2. Source from authorized wholesalers in the open market.
Advantages: Cheaper than option 1.
Disadvantages: Susceptible to market changes – supply is less secure, longest lead time, CoA only available form some (small) markets – increases risk to supply chain.

3. Source a Biosimilar product registered in the USA and Europe directly from the biosimilar manufacturer.

Advantages: Cheapest price, guaranteed supply from manufacturer, quickest lead time
Disadvantages: Using a biosimilar in a trial can introduce pressure from regulators to prove equivalent clinical effect as the branded product.

CSI worked closely with the manufacturer of the biosimilar and was able to provide an extensive metaanalysis alongside equivalency statements to prove that the biosimilar was equivalent to its branded counterpart.

Challenges and Results
Using the meta-analysis and equivalency statements provided by CSI the sponsor was able to justify the use of the biosimilar option for the trial. This option allowed timely sourcing with full documentation at a massive cost saving, over the course of the study the sponsor saved in excess of €7 million compared to the branded option.

This was a remarkable achievement for CSI and our client. We demonstrated our scientific knowledge, expertise, and ability to deliver novel solutions.