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Molecules ◽  
2022 ◽  
Vol 27 (2) ◽  
pp. 543
Silvia Migliari ◽  
Antonino Sammartano ◽  
Marti Boss ◽  
Martin Gotthardt ◽  
Maura Scarlattei ◽  

Background: Glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor (GLP-1R) is preferentially expressed in pancreatic islets, especially in β-cells, and highly expressed in human insulinomas and gastrinomas. In recent years several GLP-1R–avid radioligands have been developed to image insulin-secreting tumors or to provide a tentative quantitative in vivo biomarker of pancreatic β-cell mass. Exendin-4, a 39-amino acid peptide with high binding affinity to GLP-1R, has been labeled with Ga-68 for imaging with positron emission tomography (PET). Preparation conditions may influence the quality and in vivo behavior of tracers. Starting from a published synthesis and quality controls (QCs) procedure, we have developed and validated a new rapid and simple UV-Radio-HPLC method to test the chemical and radiochemical purity of [68Ga]Ga-NODAGA-exendin-4, to be used in the clinical routine. Methods: Ga-68 was obtained from a 68Ge/68Ga Generator (GalliaPharma®) and purified using a cationic-exchange cartridge on an automated synthesis module (Scintomics GRP®). NODAGA-exendin-4 contained in the reactor (10 µg) was reconstituted with HEPES and ascorbic acid. The reaction mixture was incubated at 100 °C. The product was purified through HLB cartridge, diluted, and sterilized. To validate the proposed UV-Radio-HPLC method, a stepwise approach was used, as defined in the guidance document released by the International Conference on Harmonization of Technical Requirements of Pharmaceuticals for Human Use (ICH), adopted by the European Medicines Agency (CMP/ICH/381/95 2014). The assessed parameters are specificity, linearity, precision (repeatability), accuracy, and limit of quantification. Therefore, a range of concentrations of Ga-NODAGA-exendin-4, NODAGA-exendin-4 (5, 4, 3.125, 1.25, 1, and 0.75 μg/mL) and [68Ga]Ga-NODAGA-exendin-4 were analyzed. To validate the entire production process, three consecutive batches of [68Ga]Ga-NODAGA-exendin-4 were tested. Results: Excellent linearity was found between 5–0.75 μg/mL for both the analytes (NODAGA-exendin-4 and 68Ga-NODAGA-exendin-4), with a correlation coefficient (R2) for calibration curves equal to 0.999, average coefficients of variation (CV%) <2% (0.45% and 0.39%) and average per cent deviation value of bias from 100%, of 0.06% and 0.04%, respectively. The calibration curve for the determination of [68Ga]Ga-NODAGA-exendin-4 was linear with a R2 of 0.993 and CV% <2% (1.97%), in accordance to acceptance criteria. The intra-day and inter-day precision of our method was statistically confirmed using 10 μg of peptide. The mean radiochemical yield was 45 ± 2.4% in all the three validation batches of [68Ga]Ga-NODAGA-exendin-4. The radiochemical purity of [68Ga]Ga-NODAGA-exendin-4 was >95% (97.05%, 95.75% and 96.15%) in all the three batches. Conclusions: The developed UV-Radio-HPLC method to assess the radiochemical and chemical purity of [68Ga]Ga-NODAGA-exendin-4 is rapid, accurate and reproducible like its fully automated production. It allows the routine use of this PET tracer as a diagnostic tool for PET imaging of GLP-1R expression in vivo, ensuring patient safety.

2022 ◽  
Jose F Meneses-Echavez ◽  
Julia Bidonde ◽  
Juan Jose Yepes-Nuñez ◽  
Tina Poklepović Peričić ◽  
Livia Puljak ◽  

Abstract Background The process of moving from evidence to decisions (EtD) represents a cornerstone within guideline development methods. Little is known about the processes used by organizations in charge of guideline development and what criteria they consider when formulating recommendations. Objective To identify and describe the processes suggested for the formulation of healthcare recommendations in health care guidelines available in guidance documents. Methods We searched in spring 2020 the Guidelines International Network (G-I-N) website, MEDLINE, and The Cochrane Methodology Register to retrieve guidance documents published in the last decade by organizations dedicated to guideline development. Pairs of researchers independently selected and extracted data about the characteristics of the guidance document, including explicit or implicit recommendation-related criteria and processes considered, as well as the use of frameworks. We conducted both descriptive and bivariate analyses. Results We included 68 guidance documents, published mostly by scientific societies (58%). Most of the organizations reported a system for grading the strength of recommendations (88%), half of them being the GRADE approach. Two out of three guidance documents (66%) proposed the use of a framework to guide the EtD process. We identified 14 recommendation-related criteria. The GRADE Evidence to Decision (GRADE-EtD) framework was the most often reported framework (19 organizations, 42%), whereas 20 organizations (44%) proposed their own multi-criteria frameworks. Using any EtD framework was related with a more comprehensive set of recommendation-related criteria compared to no framework, especially for criteria like values, equity, and acceptability. A similar association was observed between the GRADE-EtD framework and either no framework or another EtD frameworks. Conclusion The use of systematic and structured processes for moving from evidence to decisions is still limited among international organizations. The use of EtD frameworks facilitates the inclusion of relevant recommendation criteria. Among the structured frameworks, the GRADE-EtD framework offers the most comprehensive perspective for evidence-informed decision-making processes. More complete and detailed reporting in the guidance documents is warranted.

Pranita D Tamma ◽  
Samuel L Aitken ◽  
Robert A Bonomo ◽  
Amy J Mathers ◽  
David van Duin ◽  

Abstract Background The Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) is committed to providing up-to-date guidance on the treatment of antimicrobial-resistant infections. A previous guidance document focused on infections caused by extended-spectrum β-lactamase-producing Enterobacterales (ESBL-E), carbapenem-resistant Enterobacterales (CRE), and Pseudomonas aeruginosa with difficult-to-treat resistance (DTR-P. aeruginosa). Here, guidance is provided for treating AmpC β-lactamase-producing Enterobacterales (AmpC-E), carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii (CRAB), and Stenotrophomonas maltophilia infections. Methods A panel of six infectious diseases specialists with expertise in managing antimicrobial-resistant infections formulated questions about the treatment of AmpC-E, CRAB, and S. maltophilia infections. Answers are presented as suggestions and corresponding rationales. In contrast to guidance in the previous document, published data on optimal treatment of AmpC-E, CRAB, and S. maltophilia infections are limited. As such, guidance in this document is provided as “suggested approaches” based on clinical experience, expert opinion, and a review of the available literature. Because of differences in the epidemiology of resistance and availability of specific anti-infectives internationally, this document focuses on the treatment of infections in the United States. Results Preferred and alternative treatment suggestions are provided, assuming the causative organism has been identified and antibiotic susceptibility results are known. Approaches to empiric treatment, duration of therapy, and other management considerations are also discussed briefly. Suggestions apply for both adult and pediatric populations. Conclusions The field of antimicrobial resistance is highly dynamic. Consultation with an infectious diseases specialist is recommended for the treatment of antimicrobial-resistant infections. This document is current as of September 17, 2021 and will be updated annually. The most current versions of IDSA documents, including dates of publication, are available at

2021 ◽  
Vol 2 (1) ◽  
Alice Coffey ◽  
Irene Hartigan ◽  
Suzanne Timmons ◽  
Catherine Buckley ◽  
Elaine Lehane ◽  

Abstract Background The importance of providing evidence-based palliative care for people with dementia is increasingly acknowledged as important for patient outcomes. In Ireland, evidence-based guidance has been developed in order to address key features of dementia palliative care, including the management of pain, medications and hydration and nutrition. The aim of this study was to identify and explore the factors affecting the implementation of evidence-based guidance on dementia palliative care. Methods The Consolidated Framework for Implementation (CFIR) guided a mixed-method pre-post study. One guidance document pertaining to the management of pain, medication or hydration and nutrition was implemented in three long-term care facilities. Participatory action research in the form of work-based learning groups was used to implement the guidance, drawing on a situational analysis (pre-implementation). Staff questionnaires and audits were conducted pre- and post-implementation while champion interviews were also conducted post-implementation. Results Features of the guidance, the inner setting components such as readiness to change, and the process of implementation were most frequently identified as impacting implementation. Components of the outer setting, such as external policy incentives and individual characteristics, featured less commonly. Data from qualitative interviews revealed that the guidance was perceived as advantageous or complimentary to previous care provided. Within the inner setting, leadership and support from other colleagues facilitated implementation. However, limited availability of other healthcare professionals to assist with carrying out guidance actions presented a barrier in some facilities. The external facilitators of the work-based learning groups (WBLGs) were perceived as experienced and encouraged active participation and reflection on practices. Despite the challenge of releasing staff to attend the WBLGs, quantitative data demonstrated reduced staff de-motivation amongst those who did attend was noted post-implementation (pre-Mdn = 19.50 versus post-Mdn = 22.00, U = 497.00, p = 0.07). Conclusions A situational analysis informed by the CFIR framework in conjunction with a participatory action research approach helped to advance the implementation of the guidance. The progress of implementation depended on the extent to which evidence-based care was previously being implemented at each site. Post-implementation analysis using CFIR identified challenges to address in future projects such as staff cover and timing of training to facilitate attendance for staff with different working hours. Facilitators included multidisciplinary engagement with the intervention and champions at each site to support the implementation process.

BMJ Open ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 11 (12) ◽  
pp. e057744
Ryan Rodriguez ◽  
Rachel Brunner ◽  
Samantha Spencer ◽  
Dima M Qato

ObjectivesDrug and biological products that treat rare, serious or life-threatening conditions can receive US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) orphan designation and expedited programme designations (accelerated approval, breakthrough therapy, fast track or priority review) meant to incentivise development. Timely recommendations from guidance documents may encourage more rapid and appropriate use and access to these medicines for serious conditions. We sought to determine time between FDA approval and inclusion in guidance documents for non-oncological orphan products overall and by number and type of expedited programme designations.Design and settingRetrospective survival analysis of non-oncological orphan products with ≥1 expedited designation approved since 1992. In June 2020, PubMed, Turning Research into Practice and Guideline Central databases were searched to identify guidance documents influencing US practice that included each product.Main outcomes and measuresThe primary outcome was time to guidance inclusion, defined as any recommendation on use provided within the recommendation framework used by the guidance document.ResultsAmong 135 included non-oncological orphan products, 97.0% (n=131) were designated with priority review, 49.6% (n=67) fast track, 16.3% (n=22) breakthrough therapy and 14.1% (n=19) accelerated approval. Sixty per cent of products (n=81) received ≥2 designations. Overall, 74.1% (n=100) were included in a guidance document. The median time to inclusion was 2.87 years (IQR 2.21–4.18) for the entire cohort. In survival analyses, guidance inclusion was more likely to occur earlier for products with ≥2 designations (HR, 1.84; 95% CI 1.21 to 2.79) and for those with fast-track designation compared with priority review (HR 1.40; 95% CI 1.02 to 2.0). Of 35 products not included in a guidance document, 54.3% (n=19) were approved in 2018 or later.ConclusionsAmong non-oncological orphan products with priority designations, nearly 3 years had passed between FDA approval and inclusion in any guidance document. These findings suggest that despite efforts to expedite availability, appropriate access to these treatments may be delayed because of the lack of timely guidance on their use in clinical practice.

2021 ◽  
Vol 37 (S1) ◽  
pp. 27-28
John Scott ◽  
Moira McMurray ◽  
Rickie O'Connell ◽  
Pauline McGuire ◽  
Noreen Downes

IntroductionThe Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) conducts early health technology assessment (HTA) of new medicines on behalf of the National Health Service Scotland based on pharmaceutical company submissions. As the appraisals are conducted close to the point of marketing authorization, there is often a lack of direct head-to-head data. In 2019, assessment of relevant comparative efficacy was informed via indirect treatment comparisons (ITC) in 55 percent (36/66) of submissions. While the ITCs are essential to the decision-making process, they are frequently incomplete.MethodsA focus group was conducted with the clinical assessment team (n = 11) to explore problems in the submission process and to identify areas for improvement. It was agreed that providing improved guidance to companies prior to submission may prevent future inconsistencies. A working group (n = 5) was tasked with identifying and implementing potential solutions. The group reviewed the focus group findings, relevant literature, and guidance from other organizations. Draft guidance was developed that was reviewed by two pharmaceutical industry representatives (SMC subcommittee members).ResultsFindings from the focus group highlighted issues broadly related to the incomplete presentation and reporting of ITCs. The improved guidance document outlined specific requirements in a checklist format for reporting and presenting the results of different ITC data. This guidance was published in February 2020. To evaluate the impact of the updated guidance and to identify any further changes required, a follow-up focus group and survey of industry representatives is planned for March 2021.ConclusionsThe aim of the ITC guidance is to provide pharmaceutical companies with direction to improve the quality and transparency of reporting, which will in turn improve the quality of HTAs and thus strengthen the recommendations provided by the SMC. The follow-up focus groups and survey will assess the impact of the guidance. It is acknowledged that the results of this process may be limited by the small sample size and short duration of the assessment.

2021 ◽  
Vol 11 (1) ◽  
Minami Masumoto ◽  
Ittetsu Fukuda ◽  
Suguru Furihata ◽  
Takahiro Arai ◽  
Tatsuto Kageyama ◽  

AbstractBhas 42 cell transformation assay (CTA) has been used to estimate the carcinogenic potential of chemicals by exposing Bhas 42 cells to carcinogenic stimuli to form colonies, referred to as transformed foci, on the confluent monolayer. Transformed foci are classified and quantified by trained experts using morphological criteria. Although the assay has been certified by international validation studies and issued as a guidance document by OECD, this classification process is laborious, time consuming, and subjective. We propose using deep neural network to classify foci more rapidly and objectively. To obtain datasets, Bhas 42 CTA was conducted with a potent tumor promotor, 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate, and focus images were classified by experts (1405 images in total). The labeled focus images were augmented with random image processing and used to train a convolutional neural network (CNN). The trained CNN exhibited an area under the curve score of 0.95 on a test dataset significantly outperforming conventional classifiers by beginners of focus judgment. The generalization performance of unknown chemicals was assessed by applying CNN to other tumor promotors exhibiting an area under the curve score of 0.87. The CNN-based approach could support the assay for carcinogenicity as a fundamental tool in focus scoring.

2021 ◽  
Robin Boyd ◽  
Gary Powney ◽  
Fiona Burns ◽  
Alain Danet ◽  
François Duchenne ◽  

1. Aggregated species occurrence and abundance data from disparate sources are increasingly accessible to ecologists for the analysis of temporal trends in biodiversity. However, sampling biases relevant to any given research question are often poorly explored and infrequently reported; this has the potential to undermine statistical inference. In other disciplines, but particularly medicine, researchers are frequently required to complete “risk-of-bias” assessments to expose and document the potential for biases to undermine inference. The huge growth in available data, and recent controversies surrounding their use to infer temporal trends, indicate that similar tools are urgently needed in ecology.2. We introduce ROBITT, a structured tool for assessing the “Risk-Of-Bias In studies of Temporal Trends in ecology”. ROBITT has a similar format to its counterparts in other disciplines: it comprises signalling questions designed to elicit information on the potential for bias in key study domains. In answering these, users will define their inferential goal(s) and relevant statistical population. This information is used to assess potential sampling biases across domains relevant to the research question (e.g. geography, taxonomy, environment), and how these vary through time. If assessments indicate likely sampling biases, then the user must explain what mitigating action will be taken.3. Everything that users need to complete a ROBITT assessment is provided: the tool, a guidance document, and a worked example. Following other disciplines, the tool and guidance document were developed through a consensus-forming process across experts working in relevant areas of ecology and evidence synthesis.4. We propose that researchers should be strongly encouraged to include a ROBITT assessment as supplementary information when publishing studies of biodiversity trends. This will help researchers to structure their thinking, clearly acknowledge potential sampling issues, and provides an opportunity to describe data checks that might otherwise not be reported. ROBITT will also enable reviewers, editors, and readers to establish whether research conclusions are supported given a particular dataset combined with some analytical approach. In turn, it should strengthen evidence-based policy and practice, reduce differing interpretations of data, and provide a clearer picture of the uncertainties associated with our understanding of ecological reality.

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