European Regulatory Meetings – how best to prepare and perform

By: Steffen Thirstrup, Director, NDA Advisory Board 

In this article, NDA’s Steffen Thirstrup discusses three important factors to help you prepare for high stakes meetings with EU Regulators.


Steffen Thirstrup, Director, NDA Advisory Board

Having the possibility to engage face-to-face
with EU regulators is the ideal situation to help with authorisation of your product. However, most interactions in the EU are in writing and very few sponsors have the opportunity for a meeting with the EMA.

The most critical meetings are those where the scientific committees of the EMA would like to question the sponsor to fully understand the data and the sponsor’s position.

Such ‘high-stakes’ meetings like CHMP oral explanations are often the final chance for a pharmaceutical sponsor to convince the EU regulators that the benefit/risk balance of their product is positive.

We recommend that you apply the pertinent Benjamin Franklin quote,throughout your planning for a successful EU ‘high-stakes’ meeting.

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”

1.  Be prepared

Being well-prepared and performing professionally is the key to success. The sooner you can establish your team the better. Having your process and timelines mapped out will help prepare your team and maximise the chances of success. Plan for rehearsal sessions where you can work on the presentation, back-up slides and train comprehensively for questions and answers. If time allows, the team can be further coached by bringing in a ‘challenge panel’ of external experts who can act as a test-panel for your presentation and Q&A performance.

 

2. Know your data

EU regulators expect meetings like an oral explanation to be a scientific discussion based on data. To ensure this is the case, you should demonstrate intimate knowledge of your data to meet the regulators’ concerns as well as being able to present your position in a confident manner. To get to this stage takes meticulous preparation of key messages, slides and the script for the presentation and for potential questions.

One pitfall is to make use of already prepared slides as they will have been prepared with another aim in mind. Starting with a blank piece of paper, writing down the key messages that you believe the regulators need to hear gives you the best basis for creating slides that convey your key messages.

It is very important to make your slides as simple as possible, omitting any unnecessary information and this can be a challenge. Complicated slides distract the audience from your presentation; remember that the slides are there as an ‘aide memoire’ and not for the regulators to read verbatim as they will then not be listening to you!

In addition, keep graphics as simple as possible. A rule-of-thumb is a maximum of six points per slide with no more than six words in each.

 

3. Know your team

In many cases it makes sense to create sub-teams to address the individual topics, agree on key messages and create the slides. Group sessions can then be used to merge the slides into one presentation, optimise the script and ensure all information is in keeping with the key messages.

Additionally, there may be a need to coach key opinion leaders and/or patient representatives to speak or respond to questions on your behalf.

Finally, determining potential questions and being able to respond clearly and unequivocally to these are equally important to increase your chances of success. One way of doing this is to create a Q&A grid where all members of your team add likely questions, and questions they find difficult to answer. The team can prepare top-line responses, a more detailed explanation and any supporting slides for these potential questions and, of course, determine who is going to respond if the question is raised.

 

How we can help?

NDA Group supports life science companies all over the world with the single aim to streamline the global development and commercialization process in order to accelerate patient  access to important medical therapies.

In Europe, we assist with Scientific Advice Group meetings, Oral Explanations, PRAC meetings and preparation for intense pricing negotiations. In the US, our Principals and Communications Strategists are particularly experienced at preparing for FDA Advisory Committee meetings, in addition to pre-IND,  end of phase 2, pre-NDA/BLA, PMA, and mid- and late-cycle review meetings. We offer our clients an unparalleled breadth of global experience and expertise to drive efficient product development and health authority interactions across the US and Europe.

Whatever regulatory hurdle you’re facing,  we can help you optimize every regulatory interaction and shape the dialogue about your product to create a more direct path to approval.

Article originally published in the Jan/Feb 2019 issue of Pharmafocus

Click to original article

Importance of Excellence in Scientific and regulatory Communication

By: Lisa Peluso, Director, Coaching and Client Engagement, NDA Group/PharmApprove

In this white paper, PharmApprove’s Lisa Peluso, discusses how  excellent communications are  the backbone of streamlined, efficient programs achieving approval and market access.


Lisa Peluso, Director

The ever-changing complexities of the regulatory world demand excellence in communicating science, data, development program goals and intentions, as well as how foreseen risks are being managed.

These complexities also mean that drug development companies must engage candidly with regulators and lead the scientific conversation with clarity and flexibility, yet be poised to negotiate their position.

While we work with global companies to strategize and execute successful engagements with regulators  at critical junctures such as Oral Explanations and FDA Advisory Committee meetings, excellent communications are  the backbone of streamlined, efficient programs achieving approval and market access.

A number of potential pitfalls await companies with even the most solid science and robust datasets

To avoid costly delays along the path to regulatory approval and commercialization, companies need to:

1.  Communicate internally

To ensure alignment of clinical goals and regulatory approvability with the reality of a product’s potential market value and accessibility the company needs efficient internal communication. The danger lies in a narrow focus on just regulatory considerations: A product may be effective but if there is no place in the market or doubtful economic defense of pricing, the company is wasting time and money. Development plans must be based on all considerations, requiring careful coordination and collaboration across all divisions.

 

2. Communicate with regulators

Unfortunately, too many companies engage with regulators much too late, or not at all, or lack the candor and skill needed to usher a product  smoothly  through the approval process. Excellent communication means asking the right questions, clarifying any questions from the regulators and responding in a collaborative and transparent manner. Remember that specific expertise in your company’s product is rare, hence it’s critical to clearly shape the story of not just the data but also the program, goals and risk management commitments.

 

3. Communicate globally

Just as internal divisions must be aligned, regional requirements vary in Europe and across the globe. Companies risk costly mistakes and a need to “redo” when they don’t share knowledge freely internally.

This is particularly important for US/EU programs. Learnings from multiple regulatory authorities or groups of payers must be transferred so there is no duplication of effort – or waste of time – on the other side  of the pond. Constructive interactions speed efficiency.

 

4. Engage physicians, patients and advocacy groups

Get the community involved early, including doctors and potential study sites as well as patients and advocacy groups. Communicating with these stakeholders also demands delivering the messages behind the data in a concise and compelling manner to a wide variety of physicians, KOLs and other influencers.

With such deep knowledge of one’s product, it’s a daunting challenge to distill the information, refine the message and keep it brief and clear for the audience.

 

5.  Negotiate with payers

Companies put enormous effort into developing slide  decks, internal FAQs and value proposition documents.  This plethora of planning and information is to no avail if the company does a poor job of interacting with payers. In addition to understanding the audience around the table and their goals, the company must respond deftly to questions, defend the data, and communicate persuasively. Every interaction is an opportunity and certainly, when it’s time to negotiate pricing, excellence in communications is critical.

 

How we can help?

NDA Group supports life science companies all over the world with the single aim to streamline the global development and commercialization process in order to accelerate patient  access to important medical therapies.

Whatever regulatory hurdle you’re facing — a Type B meeting, a document submission, or a SAG hearing — our industry-leading professionals will help you strategize and execute successful engagements with any global authority. We’ll help you optimize every regulatory interaction and shape the dialogue about your product to create a more direct path to approval.

In the US, our Principals and Communications Strategists are particularly experienced at preparing for FDA Advisory  Committee meetings, in addition to pre-IND,  end of phase 2, pre-NDA/BLA, PMA, and mid- and late-cycle review meetings. In Europe, we assist with Scientific Advice Group meetings, Oral Explanations, PRAC meetings and preparation for intense pricing negotiations. We offer our clients an unparalleled breadth of global experience and expertise to drive efficient product development and health authority interactions across the US and Europe.

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Interactions with Agencies During Drug Development

Welcome to NDA’s free Lunch seminar on Tuesday 30th April 12:00- 14:00 on Interactions with Agencies During Drug Development

There are many opportunities for bringing your message across to regulators, by interacting with the right EU Agencies at the right time, depending on the type of product, applicant, procedure and stage of development. Find out whether you’re making the most of all these opportunities to facilitate your drug development program.


About the speakers

Professor Steffen Thirstrup

Director NDA Advisory Board, Former Head of Division, Medicines Assessment and Clinical Trials, Danish Health and Medicines Authority, and CHMP member. Steffen is an expert in clinical development and regulatory strategies.

 

Dr Rosalind Cox
Principal Consultant NDA UK, formerly Divisional VP with Abbot. Roz specialises in European Regulatory Strategy and Global Development.

 

 


LEARNING ASPECTS:

  • Get an overview of the opportunities for interacting with National Regulatory Agencies and EMA throughout development and how to optimise your interactions
  • Learn about procedures and product type specific interactions with special consideration for SMEs
  • “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”Benjamin Franklin An oral explanation is your ultimate chance to engage with EU regulators in getting your product approved

When: Tuesday 30th April 2019

Time: 12:00 – 14:00 (opportunity to book 1-1 meeting afterwards)

Venue: Queen Edith’s Room, The Cambridge Building, Babraham Research Campus, Cambridge, UK

The lunch seminar will be an open and interactive workshop with the opportunity to ask our presenters questions.

Specific questions can also be sent in advance to ndaseminar@ndareg.com. Indicate if you would like to discuss them openly during the meeting; otherwise we can book separate meetings to discuss them after the seminar.

Registration: RSVP by Friday 26th April 2019 to ndaseminar@ndareg.com.

Contact: Anna Perrin, Marketing Assistant, +44 (0) 1372  860 623, or email ndaseminar@ndareg.com.

The lunch seminar is free. If you are unable to attend, please advise us no later than two days before the seminar.

 

We look forward to seeing you there!

 

 

 

Interactions with Agencies During Drug Development

Welcome to NDA’s free Breakfast seminar on Wednesday 20th March 08:30- 10:00 on Interactions with Agencies During Drug Development

There are many opportunities for bringing your message across to regulators, by interacting with the right EU Agencies at the right time, dependent on the type of product, applicant, procedure and stage of development. Find out whether you’re making the most of all these opportunities to facilitate your drug development program.

Join us to hear Steffen Thirstrup, Director NDA Advisory Board member, formerly Division Head at the Danish Medicines Agency and CHMP member share his experiences and provide his insights into making the most of the opportunities to interact with EU Agencies during the drug development process.


LEARNING ASPECTS:

  • Get an overview of the opportunities for interacting with National Regulatory Agencies and EMA throughout development and how to optimise your interactions
  • Learn about procedures and product type specific interactions with special consideration for SMEs
  • “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”Benjamin Franklin An oral explanation is your ultimate chance to engage with EU regulators in getting your product approved

When: Wednesday 20th March 2019

Time: 8:00 – 8:30 Breakfast, 8:30 – 10:00 Presentation, 10:00 – 12:00 meet with NDA experts

Venue: SciLifeLab (Air & Fire at ground floor) Tomtebodavägen 23A, Solna, Sweden

The breakfast seminar will be an open and interactive workshop with the opportunity to ask questions to Steffen. Specific questions can also be sent in advance to frukostseminarium@ndareg.com.

To book a meeting with our experts after the seminar please write 1-1 meeting and specify the topic and participants from your company in the registration email. You will recieve a confirmation email with the time slot for your meeting.

Registration: RSVP by Friday 15th March 2019 to frukostseminarium@ndareg.com

Contact: Denise Strömquist, Client relations Nordics, +46 (0)8 590 778 00, or email frukostseminarium@ndareg.com

The breakfast seminar is free. If you are unable to attend, please advise us no later than two days before the seminar.

 

We look forward to seeing you there!

 

 

 

Rare Diseases and FDA Advisory Committees: Be the Experts in the Room


checkWhen it comes to advisory committees that are convened for rare diseases, everyone must become an ‘educator’. This includes the applicant, external experts and open public hearing participants.

By definition, a disease is considered rare if it affects fewer than 200,000 people in the United States. However, an estimated one in ten Americans has a rare disease and about one third of all new drugs approved by FDA are now for rare diseases. In fact, in 2017 the FDA approved a record 80 new treatments for are diseases.

Whenever an FDA advisory committee is convened as part of the approval process, the stakes are high and there can be communication challenges. However, for applicants preparing for an advisory committee that is for a rare disease, the challenges are unique.

Read the full article written by Neelu Agrawal, expert in high stake meeting preparations, including FDA Advisory Committees, Oral Explanations, and Scientific Advisory Groups, to learn about some of those challenges, along with key factors for success.

 

 

 

By Neelu Agrawal – Principal, NDA Group/PharmApprove

 

 

 

 


 

 

Free Webinar – Be Heard: The Patient Voice at FDA Advisory Committee Meetings

In recent years, the global trend in drug development has included more active and influential patient activity. Patient and caregiver voices have become a key part of the regulatory process, and FDA Advisory Committee Meetings are no exception. At the Open Public Hearing (OPH) part of these meetings, patients have an opportunity to educate the committee and the Agency, impact regulatory decision-making and even help guide the future of drug development. This is particularly important for rare disorders.

Join us on September 27th, 15:00 UK / 16:00 CEST / 10:00 EDT, for this engaging webinar where NDAs Lisa Peluso, Director of Coaching and Client Engagement, will cover:

• Quick guide to FDA Advisory Committees
• The Open Public Hearing and what it means
• Registering, Preparing, Delivering
• Tips on making sure your voice is heard

The webinar will be followed by a Q&A session for you to get direct feedback on key areas of uncertainty.

Click here to book your place today.


Lisa Peluso is Director of Coaching and Client Engagement at PharmApprove/NDA, where she helps development teams, doctors, patients and advocates to create and deliver clear, consistent, and convincing messages to regulators in the US and Europe. Lisa has coached hundreds of individuals and provided presentation/Q&A training and workshops to teams in pharma and biotech, and has helped over 45 clinical development teams prepare to present at FDA Advisory Committee meetings and EMA Oral Explanations. Her experience and familiarity with high-stakes regulatory meetings allows her to get to the heart of the challenge, and she excels at giving presenters and responders clear and actionable feedback, to instill confidence and help them communicate with clarity and impact. Prior to joining PharmApprove, Lisa worked at Kyowa Pharmaceuticals, where she supported both commercial and clinical teams and served as the principal liaison between the Tokyo, UK and US offices. Lisa spent 12 years in Japan, where she worked in communications in the legal, financial and hospitality industries.


 

When the pressure is high Prepare to Win


FDAimageKey numbers drop, but Advisory Committees hold steady in complex year for drug approvals.

Earlier this year NDA released its 2016 annual report on drug approvals in both the EU and the US. One striking finding: US approvals (NMEs) plummeted from 45 (2015) to 19 — a drop of almost 60 percent.

That dramatic number wasn’t the only thing that caught our attention though. When we drilled down into all the applications, we spotted some important trends that you can read about in this article written by Christine Chirdo – Service Area Lead: High Stakes Meetings.

You will also learn how we can support you with key activities to make your high-stakes meetings a success. Prepare to Win.

 

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By:

Christine

 

 

 

 

Christine Chirdo – Service Area Lead: High Stakes Meetings, NDA Group/PharmApprove

 

 

Communicating with Payers


checkPartnership with Payers: Communicating and Negotiating with Impact.

Your product is barreling toward approval and you are on the cusp of bringing it to market and to the patients that need it most. Your company has put enormous effort into developing your value proposition documents, slide decks, internal FAQs and objection handler booklets.

This plethora of planning and information is disseminated to your Market Access and Medical Affairs teams across the globe.

Then what?

Read the full article written by Lisa Peluso, Director Coaching and Client Engagement, to learn more about why excellence in communications is critical when it’s time to defend the value and negotiate pricing. Prepare to win.

 

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By:

Lisa-Peluso2

 

 

 

 

Lisa Peluso – Director Coaching and Client Engagement, NDA Group/PharmApprove