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New Results on Cost Drivers in Phase 3 Drug Trials for HABP/VABP

Drug-resistant infections are on the rise, and one type of serious infection that can be caused by drug-resistant bacteria is hospital-acquired and ventilator-associated bacterial pneumonia (HABP/VABP). Despite the desperate need for effective new therapies for HABP/VABP, clinical trials for this condition are lagging due to difficulties in conducting these trials and low expected return on investment. A new study from CTTI and the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development, published in Clinical Infectious Diseases, calculates the cost of phase 3 trials for HABP/VABP and identifies areas of opportunity to lower costs and boost investment in these critically important studies.

“To meet the urgent public health need for new antibacterial drugs, clinical trials must be more efficient, cost-effective and feasibly executed. Our study identified several factors driving clinical trial costs that can be targeted to optimize the development of new treatments,” said Ken Getz, an associate professor and researcher at Tufts University involved in the study.

“Leveraging evidence to direct meaningful changes in clinical trials is what CTTI is all about,” said Pamela Tenaerts, CTTI executive director. “We hope this information will help target efforts to streamline HABP/VABP trials, which will ultimately benefit patients.”

Key findings include:

  • The cost of a phase 3 HABP/VABP clinical trial averages $89.6 million, which is over double the average cost of a phase 3 oncology trial
  • Per patient, phase 3 HABP/VABP clinical trials were $2,300 more expensive than oncology clinical trials and $31,900 more expensive than endocrine trials
  • Screening failure rates and the cost of screening failures were the biggest drivers of cost, suggesting sponsors and research sites should consider ways to increase the number of potentially eligible patients

CTTI released recommendations for streamlining HABP/VABP trials and is testing novel approaches to make these trials more feasible, such as using predictive models to find and consent patients earlier in the disease process.