The pandemic has had a significant impact on nearly every element of human life, particularly health care. Despite its devastating effects, it has energized and helped improve many drug research and development components. In turn, this will help in the faster development of cancer treatments to address this disease. While it typically takes 10–15 years to produce a vaccine, clinical trials supported by Veristat have shown positive results from phase III. In contrast, results from trials conducted by other pharmaceutical companies are expected to speed up. As the worldwide campaign to combat cancer continues, useful lessons can be learned and used to other global health-related concerns humanity faces. Below, we’ll be looking at some of the effects of the pandemic on the drug development process.
Need for a Faster Pace
Drug research and development is a lengthy process that takes at least 7 to 10 years for a lead candidate to reach the market. This is primarily due to the lengthy process of ensuring safety and efficacy through human clinical trials and regulatory authorization. Adopting new treatments as cancer treatment emphasizes the significance of many independent trials to prove a drug’s safety and efficacy. As a result, establishing a trustworthy and fair structure for collaboration and data sharing in clinical trial planning can speed up successful treatments and improve their outcomes.
One of the most powerful drivers for a paradigm change in drug development is the mix of basic research and innovation. The process of drug discovery relies heavily on basic research and innovation. Basic research continues to expand our understanding of fundamental biological processes. This paves the way for translational research innovation and opens up fascinating new areas in customized and targeted therapeutics, including gene and cell-based therapies. While these inventions are still in their infancy and come at a hefty price, they have lots of potential, as seen by several promising trial reports. With at least several clinical trials testing cell-based therapy for different ailments, this method, along with gene therapy, is set to revolutionize treatment options.
Regulators have previously been hesitant to allow the usage of real-world evidence (RWE). However, there has been substantial improvement in the use of RWE in clinical trial development over the last few years. Clinical evidence generation has become more integrated, with RWE as a crucial component alongside traditional randomized controlled trials (RCTs) employed throughout the asset lifecycle. The pandemic has advanced the trend toward increased use of RWE as a tool to test new treatments in weeks or months rather than the years that RCTs and definitive observational studies often take. This enables researchers to integrate trial data with RWE in the form of NHS primary- and secondary-care databases, providing immediate answers to first-order questions about cancer treatments. The previously-used guidelines for conducting clinical studies are rapidly changing. RWE is one of the new ways of working that can significantly speed up and focus trials.
Most pharmaceutical businesses will need two or three years to adapt to this new reality completely. Nevertheless, these changes will help speed up drug development processes when fully adopted.