Peer-Reviewed Publications

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Cross-Company Evaluation of the Human Lymphocyte Activation Assay

Nonclinical immunotoxicity evaluation is an important component of safety assessment for pharmaceuticals. One in vitro assay that can be applied in a weight of evidence assessment is the human lymphocyte activation (HuLA) assay, an antigen recall assay, similar in many respects to the in vivo T-cell-dependent antibody response (TDAR) in that cooperation of multiple immune cell types are needed to produce responses. This assay uses human cells and is more amenable than the TDAR to compound ranking and mechanistic studies.

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Summary of a Workshop on Preclinical and Translational Safety Assessment of CD3 Bispecifics

Currently, there is a multitude of CD3 bispecifics with different molecular designs and binding properties in preclinical and clinical development for the treatment of liquid or solid tumors. The key safety concerns with CD3 bispecifics are excessive release of cytokines, which may translate to potentially life-threating cytokine release syndrome (CRS), target organ toxicity due to redirection of T-cells to normal tissues expressing the tumor-associated antigen (TAA) (off-tumor/on-target cytotoxicity), and, in some instances, neurotoxicity.

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Repolarization Studies Using Human Stem Cell-Derived Cardiomyocytes: Validation Studies and Best Practice Recommendations

Human stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hSC-CMs) hold great promise as in vitro models to study the electrophysiological effects of novel drug candidates on human ventricular repolarization. Two recent large validation studies have demonstrated the ability of hSC-CMs to detect drug-induced delayed repolarization and “cellrhythmias” (interrupted repolarization or irregular spontaneous beating of myocytes) linked to Torsade-de-Pointes proarrhythmic risk. These (and other) studies have also revealed variability of electrophysiological responses attributable to differences in experimental approaches and experimenter, protocols, technology platforms used, and pharmacologic sensitivity of different human-derived models.

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Improving the Environmental Risk Assessment of Substances of Unknown or Variable Composition, Complex Reaction Products, or Biological Materials (UVCBs)

Substances of unknown or variable composition, complex reaction products, or biological materials (UVCBs) pose unique risk assessment challenges to regulators and to product registrants. These substances can contain many constituents, sometimes partially unknown and/or variable, depending on fluctuations in their source material and/or manufacturing process. International regulatory agencies have highlighted the difficulties to characterize UVCBs and to assess their toxicity and environmental fate. Based on the output of a 2016 workshop, this Critical Review examines current practices for UVCB risk assessment and reveals a need for a multi‐pronged and transparent approach integrating whole‐substance and constituent‐based information.

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Approaches to Dose Finding in Neonates, Illustrating the Variability Between Neonatal Drug Development Programs

Drug dosing in neonates should be based on integrated knowledge concerning the disease to be treated, the physiological characteristics of the neonate, and the pharmacokinetics (PK) and pharmacodynamics (PD) of a given drug. It is critically important that all sources of information be leveraged to optimize dose selection for neonates. Sources may include data from adult studies, pediatric studies, non-clinical (juvenile) animal models, in vitro studies, and in silico models.

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