NBDA Workshop VII - “COLLABORATIVELY BUILDING A FOUNDATION FOR FDA BIOMARKER QUALIFICATION”

NBDA Workshop VII
December 14-15, 2015
Washington Court Hotel, Washington, DC

The upcoming meeting was preceded by an NBDA workshop held on December 1-2, 2014, “The Promising but Elusive Surrogate Endpoint:  What Will It Take?" where we explored in-depth with FDA leadership and experts in the field the current status and future vison for achieving success in surrogate endpoint development.  Through panels and workgroups, the attendees extended their efforts to pursue the FDA’s biomarker qualification pathway through the creation of sequential contexts of use models to support qualification of drug development tools - and ultimately surrogate endpoints. 

Although the biomarker (drug development tools) qualification pathway 
(http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DevelopmentApprovalProcess/DrugDevelopmentTools...) represents an opportunity to increase the value of predictive biomarkers, animal models, and clinical outcomes across the drug (and biologics) development continuum, there are myriad challenges.  In that regard, the lack of evidentiary standards to support contexts of use-specific biomarkers emerged from the prior NBDA workshop as the major barrier to achieving the promise of biomarker qualification.  It also became clear that overall, the communities do not understand the biomarker qualification process; nor do they fully appreciate that it is up to the stakeholders in the field (academia, non-profit foundations, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, and patient advocate organizations) to develop these evidentiary standards.  

This NBDA workshop will feature a unique approach to address these problems.  Over the past two years, the NBDA has worked with experts in selected disease areas to develop specific case studies that feature a systematic approach to identifying the evidentiary standards needed for sequential contexts of use for specific biomarkers to drive biomarker qualification.   These constructs, and accompanying whitepapers are now the focus of collaborative discussions with FDA experts. 

The upcoming meeting will feature in-depth panel discussions of 3-4 of these cases, including the case leader, additional technical contributors, and a number of FDA experts.  Each of the panels will analyze their respective case for strengths and weaknesses – including suggestions for making the biomarker qualification path for the specific biomarker more transparent and efficient. In addition, the discussions will highlight the problem of poor reproducibility of biomarker discovery results, and its impact on the qualification process.