Category Archives: R&D

JSM could lead to improved arthritis treatment

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An algorithm to monitor the joints of patients with arthritis, which could change the way that the severity of the condition is assessed.

An algorithm to monitor the joints of patients with arthritis, which could change the way that the severity of the condition is assessed, has been developed by a team of engineers, physicians and radiologists led by the University of Cambridge.

The technique, which detects tiny changes in arthritic joints, could enable greater understanding of how osteoarthritis develops and allow the effectiveness of new treatments to be assessed more accurately, without the need for invasive tissue sampling.

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis in the UK. It develops when the articular cartilage that coats the ends of bones and allows them to glide smoothly over each other at joints, is worn down, resulting in painful, immobile joints. Currently, there is no recognised cure and the only definitive treatment is surgery for artificial joint replacement.

Osteoarthritis is normally identified on an x-ray by a narrowing of the space between the bones of the joint due to a loss of cartilage. However, x-rays do not have enough sensitivity to detect subtle changes in the joint over time.

Joint space in hip, knee and ankle joints as analyzed by the JSM algorithm. – Tom Turmezei

 

“In addition to their lack of sensitivity, two-dimensional x-rays rely on humans to interpret them,” said lead author Dr Tom Turmezei from Cambridge’s Department of Engineering. “Our ability to detect structural changes to identify disease early, monitor progression and predict treatment response is frustratingly limited by this.”

The technique developed by Dr Turmezei and his colleagues uses images from a standard computerised tomography (CT) scan, which isn’t normally used to monitor joints but produces detailed images in three dimensions.

The semi-automated technique, called joint space mapping (JSM), analyses the CT images to identify changes in the space between the bones of the joint in question, a recognised surrogate marker for osteoarthritis. After developing the algorithm with tests on human hip joints from bodies that had been donated for medical research, they found that it exceeded the current ‘gold standard’ of joint imaging with x-rays in terms of sensitivity, showing that it was at least twice as good at detecting small structural changes. Colour-coded images produced using the JSM algorithm illustrate the parts of the joint where the space between bones is wider or narrower.

“Using this technique, we’ll hopefully be able to identify osteoarthritis earlier, and look at potential treatments before it becomes debilitating,” said Dr Turmezei, who is now a consultant at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital’s Department of Radiology. “It could be used to screen at-risk populations, such as those with known arthritis, previous joint injury, or elite athletes who are at risk of developing arthritis due to the continued strain placed on their joints.”

While CT scanning is regularly used in the clinic to diagnose and monitor a range of health conditions, CT of joints has not yet been approved for use in research trials. According to the researchers, the success of the JSM algorithm demonstrates that 3D imaging techniques have the potential to be more effective than 2D imaging. In addition, CT can now be used with very low doses of radiation, meaning that it can be safely used more frequently for the purposes of ongoing monitoring.

“We’ve shown that this technique could be a valuable tool for the analysis of arthritis, in both clinical and research settings,” said Dr Turmezei. “When combined with 3D statistical analysis, it could be also be used to speed up the development of new treatments.”

The results are published in the journal Scientific Reports.

SOURCE: www.europeanpharmaceuticalreview.com/news/76547

Seven million euros for research into chronic inflammatory bowel conditions

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A new collaborative research centre/Transregio 241 ‘Immune-epithelial communication in inflammatory bowel diseases’ is due to commence its research at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) in July 2018.

In conjunction with the Charité hospital in Berlin, doctors and biotechnologists at FAU will be conducting research in order to better understand the interaction between cells in mucous membranes and immune cells in the bowel and to develop more effective therapy methods for chronic inflammation. The German Research Foundation (DFG) is providing funding worth 11.5 million euros for the first funding period until 2022, and FAU has been allocated nearly 7 million euros of this amount.

Number of patients with IBD is increasing

Severe diarrhoea, stomach pain, cramps – these are the most common symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) such as Morbus Crohn or Colitis ulcerosa. Around 40,000 people in Germany suffer from IBD and this number continues to rise. Patients of IBD often suffer from flare-ups of their condition, which severely affects their quality of life and physical capabilities. ‘Despite the use of strong medication, chronic inflammatory bowel conditions remain difficult to treat’, says Prof. Dr. Christoph Becker, lead researcher at the Department of Medicine 1 at FAU’s Universitätsklinikum Erlangen and spokesperson of the collaborative research centre. ‘Acute flare-ups are often treated with corticosteroids that ease symptoms only in some cases. Many patients have to take several immunosuppressive substances.’ In addition, their symptoms are often accompanied by other conditions such as arthritis, acute inflammation of fatty tissue and chronic inflammation of the biliary tract in the liver.

Little research to date on molecular and cellular mechanisms

IBD is difficult to treat because the interactions between various cell populations in the bowel are not yet fully understood. ‘Newer findings show that the intestinal mucosa cannot be regarded as merely a physical barrier. In fact, it is highly-dynamic tissue that reacts to a large number of environmental stimuli including intestinal flora and local or systemic signals,’ explains Christoph Becker. ‘The immune system in the intestine regulates the barrier function of the intestinal wall and the composition of intestinal flora and vice versa as the intestinal barrier influences the immune system.’ However, there is a lack of knowledge of how the interactions between the epithelium and immune cells influence the long-term cellular reactions that contribute to controlling chronic inflammation processes.

New concept for new therapies

This is the starting point for the researchers from Erlangen and Berlin. During the next few years, they aim to integrate findings about the regulation and function of the immune system in the bowel and current data about anti-microbial defence on the mucous membrane barrier into a new concept. The individual projects will focus in particular on the role of misdirected communication between epithelium and immune cells during the pathogenesis of IBD. The researchers’ long-term aim is to develop medication that targets the causes of bowel inflammation while retaining the ability of the immune system to fight infections and cancer cells. In addition, they hope to find diagnostic methods that predict patients’ response to therapies – a goal that not only serves to relieve symptoms quickly, but should also contribute to lowering treatment costs.

Researchers from Erlangen involved in 14 projects

The scientific programme of CRC/TRR 241 is divided into three research areas: Area A ‘Immune regulation of intestinal barrier functions’, comprises projects focusing on the effects of acute and chronic inflammation on epithelial cells, in particular on their cell homeostasis and barrier-forming functions. Area B ‘The epithelium as a regulator of immunity and inflammation in the bowel’ examines the effects of disruptions to the barrier function and antigen translocation on the mucosal immune system. The objective of research area C ‘Diagnosis and therapeutic intervention of IBD’ is to develop innovative therapeutic and diagnostic approaches and evaluate them in a clinical setting. CRC/TRR 241 comprises a total of 22 projects, 14 of which are either based in Erlangen or involve researchers from Erlangen. The Department of Medicine 1 – Gastroenterology, Pneumology and Endocrinology, Department of Medicine 3 – Rheumatology and Immunology, the Department of Surgery and the Department of Dermatology and the Institute for Medical Biotechnology are all involved. 23 jobs and 9 scholarships are being funded during the next four years with the nearly 7 million euros allocated to the FAU.

SOURCE: www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases

AbbVie trial backs chemo-free Imbruvica combo regimen

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The pairing of of AbbVie’s Imbruvica and Roche’s Gazyva has hit the mark in a chronic lymphocytic leukaemia trial – raising the prospect of a new chemotherapy-free combination regimen for previously untreated CLL patients.

The iLLUMINATE trial showed that oral BTK inhibitor Imbruvica (ibrutinib) plus anti-CD20 injection Gazyva (obinutuzumab) was more effective than Gazyva plus chemo (chlorambucil) in treatment-naïve, older patents (aged 65 or more) with either CLL or small lymphocytic leukaemia (SLL) – a different form of the same disease.

The top-line data isn’t being made available just yet, but in a statement AbbVie said the duo extended progression-free survival (PFS) compared to the active control arm, adding that it will be sharing the data with regulators, in the hope of bringing “the first chemotherapy-free CD20 combination in first-line CLL treatment” to market.

The trial ties in with AbbVie’s strategy of expanding use of Imbruvica as a first-line CLL treatment and, while Gazyva has been something of a slow burner for Roche since its launch in that setting in 2014, it has started to gain momentum with sales rising 41% to CHF 278m last year.

The combination of Gazyva and chlorambucil is now recommended as a first-line therapy for CLL by the US National Comprehensive Cancer Network, which deems it a category 1 treatment, ie one with a high level of evidence backing its use, so outperforming it is a big win for the combination.

“This chemotherapy-free combination represents a potential new treatment option for patients with CLL,” said John Gribben of Barts Cancer Institute in the UK, the lead investigator for the iLLUMINATE study.

“It’s exciting to see the blood cancer treatment paradigm continue to evolve – each advance moves us one step closer to a better standard of care for these patients,” he added.

Imbruvica is already approved for all lines of therapy in CLL, and beating out chlorambucil is not a big surprise as AbbVie’s drug comprehensively outperformed the chemotherapy as a monotherapy in the head-to-head RESONATE-2 trial.

The trial was the basis of Imbruvica’s approval in 2016 as a chemo alternative in treatment-naïve CLL, and the disease accounts for the lion’s share of the drug’s sales, which grew almost 39% to $762m in the first quarter of this year, topping estimates. AbbVie is predicting sales of $3.3bn this year, well on course for its peak sales target of $6bn-$7bn.

AbbVie’s head of R&D Michael Severino said on the company’s first-quarter results call that the strategy is to build a “body of evidence” for Imbruvica – both as a monotherapy and in combination – across different CLL segments “including young and fit patients and the watch-and-wait population”.

SOURCE: www.pmlive.com/pharma_news

ABPI expert urges to find new ‘blockbuster treatments’ for brain tumors

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With the Government set to invest an additional £20 million into the research, diagnosis and development of treatments for brain tumours, we need to talk more about how we are going to find the next blockbuster treatments for these devastating diseases.

Nearly 11,500 people are diagnosed with a brain tumour every year in the UK with fewer than 15% surviving beyond 10 years. This week’s announcement from the from the Department of Health and Social Care – following the death of Dame Tessa Jowell – that they would be doubling investment for brain cancer research to £40 million is a welcome commitment to helping achieve a goal our industry shares: finding innovative new treatments and cures for these diseases.

The science is advancing in laboratories here in the UK and around the world, funded and supported by charities, universities and the pharmaceutical industry, collectively we are working to fight back against this terrible disease.

Among the 7,000 medicines currently being developed by the global pharmaceutical industry, there are 58 medicines in the pipeline for brain tumours, including gliomas. Companies are actively working to find better ways to speed up medicines development to get treatments to patients sooner.

In her speech to the House of Lords in January, Dame Tessa Jowell talked candidly about her glioblastoma diagnosis and called for greater collaboration in the fight against cancer. She also talked about the speeding up of drug trials by testing more than one at a time, saying: “I am not afraid, but I am fearful that this new and important approach may be put into the ‘too difficult’ box.”

The type of clinical trials Tessa Jowell talked about have many different names: adaptive randomisation, drop-the-loser, adaptive dose-finding, adaptive seamless and the list goes on.

The one thing they all have in common is flexibility. In trials like this – that we call adaptive design clinical trials – researchers can see how patients are responding to treatments and then change or stop parts of the trial in real time.

When used appropriately, trials like this may improve efficiency, reduce cost, maximize information gained and minimize risk to the patients and sponsors. Ultimately, drug development can be accelerated so that the right treatments can be delivered rapidly to the right patients. The UK is seen as a pioneer of innovative clinical trials and this involves collaboration between academia, the NHS, industry and medical research charities –  we must ensure we keep it that way in the future.

The issue is that these clinical trial types are not easy to design, plan or execute. An adaptive design will not rescue a poorly planned trial or ineffective treatment.

We need to make sure the regulatory authorities in the UK are not seen as a barrier to innovation; the MHRA and HRA are open to discussion and we need to encourage researchers and pharmaceutical companies to start conversations with them early in the process of planning an innovative clinical trial.

We think that adaptive design clinical trials could be the solution to speeding up the research and development of not only brain tumor treatments, but for all sorts of diseases. Research into small or rare patient populations could really benefit from these trials since they help us quickly rule out the drugs or drug combinations that aren’t working and give more patients the option to contribute to research and clinical trials.

We’re not alone. In February, the Department of Health and Social Care published their brain tumor research report which stated that, because brain tumors are one of the areas that have small patient populations, we need to think differently about how we conduct clinical trials and incorporate innovative trial designs.

The report provided practical recommendations for how we can work collaboratively to make quicker progress in this area. The next steps are to build on the UK’s existing strengths, ensure we have access to researchers with the right skills, and make sure that the right infrastructure is in place for us to make really make progress in this area.

Alongside their funding announcement, we welcome the Government’s commitment this week to accelerate the use of adaptive design trials. When used appropriately, drug development can be accelerated so that the right treatments can be delivered rapidly to the right patients – and that’s where the real benefit lies.

As we look to the future of cutting-edge research and development for blockbuster treatments, we know we need to make the case for innovative clinical trial design, talk more about the amazing science our researchers, companies and NHS are pioneering and encourage them to have open conversations with the UK regulators to ensure that innovative clinical research is safe and effective.

Together, we won’t rest until devastating brain tumours are a thing of the past.

SOURCE: www.news-medical.net/news

Pfizer eyes AI-powered drug discovery and development software

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Pfizer has partnered with a ‘computation-driven’ pharmaceutical technology company to develop a drug discovery platform powered by artificial intelligence (AI).

Its collaboration with Cambridge, Massachusetts-based XtalPi will see the firms work on molecular modelling software that can be applied to drug-like small molecules.

Charlotte Allerton, Pfizer’s head of medicine design, said: “The XtalPi collaboration is an opportunity to enhance our computational modelling capabilities.

“We are looking forward to potentially utilising new tools to increase our effectiveness in small molecule drug discovery and development.”

In addition to supporting its own efforts, Pfizer plans to make available to the wider academic community some of the molecular mechanics parameters it will generate with public-domain compounds.

The new software platform will combine quantum mechanics, machine learning algorithms and cloud computing architecture to help Pfizer predict pharmaceutical properties that would be relevant for drug discovery and development.

Shuhao Wen, XtalPi’s co-founder and chairman of the board, said: “The collaboration allows us to apply our expertise in molecular modelling, AI, and cloud computing towards improving existing computational methods while exploring new algorithms to address a wide range of drug design challenges.

“We look forward to helping expedite research into novel therapeutics as our intelligent digital drug discovery and development platform continues to expand and succeed.”

The deal builds on XtalPi’s existing work with Pfizer on crystal structure prediction (CSP), with that project aiming to advance the partners’ capabilities in computation-based rational drug design and solid-form selection.

Founded in 2014 by a group of quantum physicists from MIT, XtalPi’s team combines expertise in physics, chemistry, pharmaceutical R&D, and algorithm design.

The company, which counts Google and Chinese internet conglomerate Tencent among its investors, is one of a swathe of AI players looking to innovate drug discovery and development processes.

These include BenevolentAI, Hitachi and Scotland’s Exscientia, with the latter working with the likes of GlaxoSmithKline, Sanofi and Evotec.

At stake is a share in market for healthcare AI applications that’s predicted to be worth more than $10 billion by 2024, driven by the rise in precision medicine and the need to reduce healthcare costs.

SOURCE: www.pharmaphorum.com/news

Scientists discover mutation that causes PARP inhibitor resistance

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Scientists have made a major discovery having identified a mutation that gives cancer cells resistance to AstraZeneca’s Lynparza and other PARP inhibitors.

The findings could help predict which patients are likely to develop resistance to treatment with PARP inhibitors and thus allow doctors to tailor treatment at the earliest opportunity.

Using a gene editing technique a team at the Institute of Cancer Research, London, were able to identify a specific mutation in the PARP1 protein that stops PARP inhibitors from working.

The authors note that testing for this mutation could deepen personalisation to an already targeted treatment, not only helping to shape decisions on whether to initiate treatment with PARP inhibitors but also when to switch patients to alternative options.

“The evolution of cancers into drug resistant forms is a major challenge we face in getting cancer treatments to work,” noted study leader Professor Chris Lord, Professor of Cancer Genomics at The ICR.

“We hope our research will help doctors use the best drug right from the outset, respond quickly to early signs of resistance, and work out the best ways to combine treatments to overcome drug resistance.”

“This important finding could in future allow clinicians to determine who would benefit most from these drugs, or to track when they are becoming less effective and when a change of treatment might be appropriate,” said Baroness Delyth Morgan, chief executive at Breast Cancer Now.

“Studies like this, which build on the development of PARP inhibitors as a brand new treatment option for some women with breast cancer, could help take us a step closer to an even more personalised approach to treating the disease.”

The research was funded by Cancer Research UK and Breast Cancer Now, and published in the journal Nature Communications.

SOURCE: www.pharmatimes.com/news

Eli Lilly buys ARMO BioSciences for $1.6bn

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Eli Lilly has announced that it will acquire immuno-oncology company ARMO BioSciences, including the company’s lead immuno-oncology product pegilodecakin, in an all-cash transaction of $50 per share, or approximately $1.6bn.

The addition of promising cancer drug candidate pegilodecakin will bolster Lilly’s immune-oncology portfolio. The drug is currently undergoing Phase III testing in pancreatic cancer as well as earlier-Phase trials in lung and renal cell cancer, melanoma and other solid tumour types. It has demonstrated clinical benefit as a single agent and also in combination with both chemotherapy and checkpoint inhibitor therapy across several tumour types.

ARMO also has a number of other immuno-oncology product candidates in various stages of pre-clinical development.

Lilly Oncology global development and medical affairs senior vice-president Dr Levi Garraway said: “As we develop our immuno-oncology portfolio, Lilly will pursue medicines that use the body’s immune system in new ways to treat cancer. We believe that pegilodecakin has a unique immunologic mechanism of action that could eventually allow physicians to offer new hope for many cancer patients.”

ARMO BioSciences is a late-stage immuno-oncology company focused on developing product candidates that use the immune system of cancer patients to recognise and eradicate tumours. The company went public just months ago in January of this year.

ARMO BioSciences president and CEO Dr Peter Van Vlasselaer said: “ARMO is proud of the work we have done to advance the study of immunotherapies and of the development of pegilodecakin to date. Given the resources that Lilly, a leader in oncology R&D, can bring to bear to maximise the value of pegilodecakin and the rest of the ARMO pipeline, we believe it is in the best interest of ARMO, our stockholders and the patients we serve, to execute this transaction.”

With the total immuno-oncology market is expected to be worth $34 billion by 2024, pharmaceutical companies, including Lilly, are keen to invest in this cutting-edge therapeutic area that is already making a significant impact on oncology.

The announcement comes just weeks after the company recruited Dr Leena Gandhi to oversee the development of Lilly’s immuno-oncology portfolio.

The transaction is expected to close by the end of the second quarter of 2018.

SOURCE: www.pharmaceutical-technology.com/news

Sanofi’s latecomer PD-1 gets date for FDA verdict

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While Keytruda extends its lead, Sanofi makes a late bid to enter PD-1 space.

The FDA has set a deadline of 28 October for its review of Sanofi’s cemiplimab for a form of skin cancer, as the company tries to join the fast-growing PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitor market.

The US regulator has given a priority review for PD-1-targeting cemiplimab because its first indication – cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (CSCC) – is the second most common form of skin cancer after basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and the deadliest after melanoma, with no approved therapies.

Regeneron-partnered cemiplimab is the first of the new wave of checkpoint inhibitors to be filed for CSCC, and also picked up a breakthrough designation from the FDA last September. It was filed in Europe in April, setting up a potential approval in early 2019.

With five drugs targeting PD-1 or PD-L1 already on the market, Sanofi and Regeneron are late entrants into the category. Selecting CSCC for the first marketing application will however allow them to build a niche for cemiplimab before going head-to-head with other drugs such as Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Opdivo (nivolumab) and Merck & Co’s Keytruda (pembrolizumab).

That said, it may not have the market to itself for very long. Keytruda is in phase II testing for CSCC, and the wealth of clinical experience with the drug will make it a potent rival even if Sanofi and Regeneron have first-mover advantage.

The drug is one of a new crop that Sanofi is counting on to stimulate renewed growth, after a difficult period caused by the loss of patent protection for diabetes blockbuster Lantus (insulin glargine) and a poor start for dengue vaccine Dengvaxia.

At its R&D day towards the end of 2017, the French pharma group took pains to highlight cemiplimab’s potential as a first-line therapy for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), an indication which is fast becoming the main battleground for the PD-1/PD-L1 class and at the moment is dominated by Keytruda. Sanofi has three trials of cemiplimab either ongoing or planned in first-line NSCLC.

The company is pushing forward with its checkpoint inhibitor on a number of fronts, however, and is also expecting to report data in the coming months in BCC, another cancer for which none of the first five PD-1/PD-L1 drugs have been approved, as well as cervical cancer. It also has phase II trials ongoing in combination with Sanofi’s CD38-targeting antibody isatuximab in solid tumours and blood cancers, and early-stage studies of cemiplimab with DNA vaccines and oncolytic viruses.

Priority review for Keytruda in NSCLC

Meanwhile, Merck (known as MSD outside the US and Canada) had some good news of its own from the FDA this week. The agency has granted Keytruda a priority review in combination with Lilly’s Alimta (pemetrexed) and platinum-chemotherapy as a first-line treatment for patients with metastatic non-squamous NSCLC.

The filing is based on the KEYNOTE-189 study, which showed Keytruda improved overall survival in this patient group, and is due for judgment by the FDA on 23 September.

SOURCE: www.pmlive.com/pharma_news

Daiichi Sankyo to restructure vaccines subsidiary

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Daiichi Sankyo is set to restructure its wholly owned Kitasato Daiichi Sankyo Vaccine subsidiary into a specialised manufacturing division to enhance stable production and quality.

In August this year, Daiichi Sankyo will establish Daiichi Sankyo Biotech as a wholly owned subsidiary.

The change will be effective from 1 April next year, and all of the subsidiary’s functions, except manufacturing and production technologies and marketing approvals, will be shifted to Daiichi Sankyo.

The subsidary will be involved in contract manufacturing of vaccines, biologics and investigational drugs.

“All of the subsidiary’s functions, except manufacturing and production technologies and marketing approvals, will be shifted to Daiichi Sankyo.”

Kitasato Daiichi Sankyo Vaccine was founded in 2011 as a joint venture (JV) between Daiichi Sankyo and the Kitasato Institute.

The JV’s operations include research and development (R&D), production and the sale of vaccines to prevent and treat verioud infectious diseases in humans.

Kitasato Vaccine was created as a wholly owned subsidary in November last year during a review of its vaccine business structure.

After the integration, the division focussed on the quality and stable supply of vaccines, along with the R&D and commercialisation of new products.

Daiichi Sankyo is a research-based pharmaceutical company involved in making generic pharmaceuticals, vaccines and over-the-counter medicines.

With operations across the US, Japan and Europe, the company has various other subsidiaries, including Luitpold Pharmaceuticals, Plexxikon, Daiichi Sankyo Ilac Ticaret, Daiichi Sankyo UK and Daiichi Sankyo RD Novare.

SOURCE: www.pharmaceutical-technology.com/news

3-D printing is transforming care for congenital heart disease

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3-D printing is an emerging technology that is impacting the way cardiologists treat patients with congenital heart disease.

3-D printing is an emerging technology that is impacting the way cardiologists treat patients with congenital heart disease (CHD).

In cardiovascular 3-D printing, the 3-D model is a replica of a patient’s anatomy. These models may be used for precise pre-surgical planning and simulation. This may potentially reduce time spent in the operating room and result in fewer complications.

3-D printing also has the potential to bring transformative change in the education and training of physicians. This technology may lead to an educational shift from an apprenticeship model to a simulator-based learning method that augments traditional mentored training. 3-D models in CHD can reduce the learning curve for cardiac trainees in three key areas–understanding complex 3-D anatomy, high-fidelity simulation experiences and exposure to rare cases.

Experienced practitioners can also benefit by using models for lifelong learning, maintenance of certification or for practice before challenging cases.

Additionally, 3-D models serve a communicative purpose as well. Models can be used between specialists to discuss pathology, surgical plans, anticipated outcomes and peri-operative care, which may reduce medical errors. Models can also be used to help the medical team provide patients and caregivers with a better understanding of the disease process, risks, benefits and alternatives.

“3-D printing is rapidly evolving in medicine, with technical improvements in printers and software fueling new and exciting applications in patient care, innovation and research,” said Dr Shafkat Anwar, a paediatric cardiologist at Washington University in St. Louis, School of Medicine. “The ultimate viability of medical 3-D printing will in large part depend on the impact it has on improving patient care,” he added.

Dr Anwar and colleagues said they predict that the next advances in 3-D printing will likely be driven by improvements in printer technology and print materials. Tissue mimicking materials, which would enable the creation of more life-like models that replicate a patient’s unique anatomy and physiology, are currently in development. As models become more realistic, they may be used to study pathophysiology–or the functional changes observed from a particular disease or syndrome–as well as predict long-term outcomes and choose optimal treatment plans or surgical repairs. Finally, while the technology is in its infancy, there is the potential to print living tissue.

While this technology has the potential to be game-changing, broad adoption is currently hampered by relatively high costs of modelling and printing.

The review paper has been published today in JACC: Basic to Translational Science.

SOURCE: www.europeanpharmaceuticalreview.com/news/75381