Biotherapeutics in non-clinical development: Strengthening the interface between safety, pharmacokinetics-pharmacodynamics and manufacturing

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Abstract

Biological drugs comprise a wide field of different modalities with respect to structure, pharmacokinetics and pharmacological function. Considerable non-clinical experience in the development of proteins (e.g. insulin) and antibodies has been accumulated over the past thirty years. In order to improve the efficacy and the safety of these biotherapeutics, Fc modifications (e.g. Fc silent antibody versions), combinations (antibody-drug conjugates, protein-nanoparticle combinations), and new constructs (darpins, fynomers) have been introduced. In the last decade, advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMPs) in research and development have become a considerable and strongly growing part of the biotherapeutic portfolio. ATMPs consisting of gene and cell therapy modalities or even combinations of them, further expand the level of complexity, which already exists in non-clinical development strategies for biological drugs and has thereby led to a further diversification of expertise in safety and PKPD assessment of biological drugs. It is the fundamental rationale of the BioSafe meetings, held yearly in the EU and in the US, to convene experts on a regular basis and foster knowledge exchange and mutual understanding in this fast growing area.

In order to reflect at least partially the variety of the biotherapeutics field, the 2016 EU BioSafe meeting addressed the following topics in six sessions:

(i) In vitro Meets in vivo to Leverage Biologics Development

(ii) New developments and regulatory considerations in the cell and gene therapy field

(iii) CMC Challenges with Biologics development

(iv) Minipigs in non-clinical safety assessment

(v) Opportunities of PKPD Assessment in Less Common Administration Routes

In the breakout sessions the following questions were discussed:

(i) Cynomolgus monkey as a reprotoxicology Species: Impact of Immunomodulators on Early Pregnancy Maintenance

(ii) Safety Risk of Inflammation and Autoimmunity Induced by Immunomodulators

(iii) Experience with non-GMP Material in Pivotal Non-clinical Safety Studies to Support First in Man (FiM) Trials

(iv) Safety Assessment of Combination Products for Non-oncology

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