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J Biopharm Stat ; 32(1): 204-218, 2022 01 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1873726


Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are the gold standard for evaluation of new medical products. However, RCTs may not always be ethical or feasible. In cases where the investigational product is available outside the trial (e.g., through accelerated approval), patients may fail to enroll in clinical trials or drop out early to take the investigational product. These challenges to enrolling or maintaining a concurrent control arm may compromise timely recruitment, retention, or compliance. This can threaten the study's integrity, including the validity of results. External control arms (ECAs) may be a promising augmentation to RCTs when encountered with challenges that threaten the feasibility and reliability of a randomized controlled clinical trial. Here, we propose the use of ECAs created from patient-level data from previously conducted clinical trials or real-world data in the same indication. Propensity score methods are used to balance observed disease characteristics and demographics in the previous clinical trial or real-world data with those of present-day trial participants assigned to receive the investigational product. These methods are explored in a case study in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) derived from multiple previously conducted open label or blinded phase 2 and 3 multinational clinical trials initiated between 2004 and 2013. The case study indicated that when balanced for baseline characteristics, the overall survival estimates from the ECA were very similar to those of the target randomized control, based on Kaplan-Meier curves and hazard ratio and confidence interval estimates. This suggests that in the future, a randomized control may be able to be augmented by an ECA without compromising the understanding of the treatment effect, assuming sufficient knowledge, measurement, and availability of all or most of the important prognostic variables.

COVID-19 , Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung , Lung Neoplasms , Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung/drug therapy , Humans , Lung Neoplasms/drug therapy , SARS-CoV-2 , Treatment Outcome
PLoS One ; 16(3): e0248128, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1575679


BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic remains a significant global threat. However, despite urgent need, there remains uncertainty surrounding best practices for pharmaceutical interventions to treat COVID-19. In particular, conflicting evidence has emerged surrounding the use of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin, alone or in combination, for COVID-19. The COVID-19 Evidence Accelerator convened by the Reagan-Udall Foundation for the FDA, in collaboration with Friends of Cancer Research, assembled experts from the health systems research, regulatory science, data science, and epidemiology to participate in a large parallel analysis of different data sets to further explore the effectiveness of these treatments. METHODS: Electronic health record (EHR) and claims data were extracted from seven separate databases. Parallel analyses were undertaken on data extracted from each source. Each analysis examined time to mortality in hospitalized patients treated with hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin, and the two in combination as compared to patients not treated with either drug. Cox proportional hazards models were used, and propensity score methods were undertaken to adjust for confounding. Frequencies of adverse events in each treatment group were also examined. RESULTS: Neither hydroxychloroquine nor azithromycin, alone or in combination, were significantly associated with time to mortality among hospitalized COVID-19 patients. No treatment groups appeared to have an elevated risk of adverse events. CONCLUSION: Administration of hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin, and their combination appeared to have no effect on time to mortality in hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Continued research is needed to clarify best practices surrounding treatment of COVID-19.

Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Azithromycin/therapeutic use , COVID-19 Drug Treatment , Hydroxychloroquine/therapeutic use , Pandemics/prevention & control , Data Management/methods , Drug Therapy, Combination/methods , Female , Hospitalization , Humans , Male , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects