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Product expertise

Companion Diagnostics

VCLS has been selected as one of the experts by BPIFrance to accompany their Companion Diagnostics (CDx) start-ups.

The basic promise of personalized medicine is predicated in large part on the expanding availability of biomarker-based testing. A majority of companion diagnostics (CDx) are in vitro diagnostic tests providing essential information for the safe and effective use of a corresponding therapeutic product – CDx help predict whether a specific treatment is suitable or not for a given patient. CDx tests will identify responsive patient sub-populations to a specific drug or a range of medicinal products, or those likely to experience adverse drug effects. 

Ideally, CDx are co-developed together with therapeutics (Rx). Drug developers and diagnostic manufacturers coordinate CDx-Rx co-development, to bring both drug and diagnostic tests to the market. 

Today, there is little regulatory guidance in the US related to CDx approval in the context of the associated drug development. In the new EU IVD regulation (2017/746 IVDR), CDx devices are classified as high-risk (Class C) , and specific requirements are added to get these products CE marked (i.e. demonstrate the clinical utility of the test). While these changes bring more robustness to CDx development, they also have a great impact on cost and time to the market. As for all IVDs, it is essential to anticipate these regulatory changes in Europe, when co-developing CDx and the associated medicinal product.

Key challenges encompass:

  • Establishing a CDx-Rx co-development plan 
  • Risk and quality management 
  • Transitioning from biomarker discovery platform to the one preferred for clinical use 
  • Clinical utility and performance evaluation 
  • International regulatory approvals 
  • Co-Labelling of drug and CDx 
  • Market access strategy and value demonstration to payers

VCLS Solutions

Science-based, global product development strategy and planning

  • Support the development of appropriate product positioning and claims 
  • Use of commercially available diagnostics as CDx 
  • Advise on CDx-Rx co-development plan 
  • Co-assess medicinal products and diagnostic regulatory pathway 
  • Develop roadmaps towards international market approvals 
  • Advise on/conduct regulatory bodies strategic and product development meetings (European Medicines Agency, Food and Drug Administration)

Tactical operations

  • Assist with risk analysis and risk management plan 
  • Optimize protocols for Rx and CDx clinical evaluation 
  • Advise and review verification and validation activities for CDx 
  • Review performance evaluation and CDx regulatory dossiers (EU, US) 
  • Set up and optimize quality systems, including vigilance 
  • Advise on co-labeling & advertising 
  • Identify the appropriate CDx developer

VCLS Solutions