Princeton, NJ, United States
Princeton, NJ, United States

Covance Inc. with headquarters in Princeton, New Jersey, is a contract research organization providing drug development and animal testing services. According to its website, it is one of the largest companies of its kind in the world, with annual revenues of over $2 billion, and over 11,000 employees in more than 60 countries. It claims to provide the world's largest central laboratory network. It became a publicly traded company after being spun off by Corning Incorporated in 1996. In 2011 it was listed as one of the top 100 employers by the Diversity Employers Magazine.Under the name Covance Research Products Inc., based in Denver, Pennsylvania, the company also deals in the import, breeding and sale of laboratory animals. It breeds dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs, non-human primates, and pigs, and runs the largest non-human primate laboratory in Germany. The company became the subject of controversy following allegations in 2003–2005 by the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals that non-human primates were being abused in its laboratories in Germany and the United States. No violations of the law were found by the authorities in the first case, and a small fine was levied in the second. In response, the company drew up a new welfare code to guide its treatment of laboratory animals.On November 3rd, 2014, Labcorp announced it would be purchasing Covance for $6.1bn. Wikipedia.


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Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH.2010.4.2-9-1 | Award Amount: 9.40M | Year: 2011

In the development of products for use by humans it is vital to identify compounds with toxic properties at an early stage of their development, to avoid spending time and resource on unsuitable and potentially unsafe candidate products. Human pluripotent stem cell lines offer a unique opportunity to develop a wide variety of human cell-based test systems because they may be expanded indefinitely and triggered to differentiate into any cell type. SCR&Tox aims at making use of these two attributes to provide in vitro assays for predicting toxicity of pharmaceutical compounds and cosmetic ingredients. The consortium has been designed to address all issues related with biological and technological resources to meet that goal. In order to demonstrate the value of pluripotent stem cells for toxicology, the consortium will focus on four complementary aspects: Relevance i.e. establishing and maintaining discrete cell phenotypes over long-term cultures; providing large versatility to adapt to assays of specific pathways. Efficiency for i) automated cell production and differentiation, ii) cell engineering for differentiation and selection iii) multi-parametric toxicology using functional genomic, proteomic and bioelectronics. Extension i.e. i) scalability through production of cells and technologies for industrial-scale assays, and ii) diversity of phenotypes (5 different tissues), and of genotypes (over 30 different donors). Normalization validation and demonstration of reproducibility and robustness of cell-based assays on industrial-scale platforms, to allow for secondary development in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industry. SCR&Tox will be intricately associated to other consortia of the Alternative Testing call, sharing biological, technological and methodological resources. Proof of concept of the proposed pluripotent stem cell-based assays for toxicology will be provided on the basis of toxicity pathways and test compounds identified by other consortia.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2011.1.4-3 | Award Amount: 8.73M | Year: 2011

The consortium aims to develop and produce an Anticalin, a member of a novel high-affinity scaffold derived from the lipocalin protein family. The Anticalin is specific for hepcidin which is a central regulator of iron homeostasis, and will be used to antagonize hepcidin for the treatment of anemia of chronic disease (ACD). Anticalins are genetically modified lipocalins that can target almost any desired molecule. Unlike Immunoglobulins, they can be produced at low cost in microbial expression systems, are expected to be non immunogenic and offer therapeutic advantages where antibody effector functions are not desired. ACD, the most frequent anemia in hospitalized patients, develops in subjects suffering from infections, inflammatory and auto-immune disease, cancer and chronic kidney disease. It is often successfully treated by administering Erythropoiesis-Stimulating Agents. However, a significant number of patients are hypo- or non-responsive to ESA. Anti-hepcidin therapies, alone or together with ESAs, may improve anemia and the patients erythropoietic response and enable the use of no or even much lower ESA doses, avoiding the potential detrimental effects of high doses of ESA. The Consortium has already generated proof-of-concept data in an animal model with early candidates. The project aims at identifying, validating, and developing a specific, high affinity drug candidate based on the lipocalin scaffold as promising alternatives to immunoglobulins and a therapeutic approach based on the neutralization of hepcidin. Animal models will be developed and utilized to characterize pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic relationships, optimize dosing, to determine safety, biomarker responses and potential synergy with ESAs. Furthermore, production processes will be optimized leading to a scalable GMP process which provides material for preclinical and clinical studies to establish the safety, tolerability, and PK/PD of an Anticalin hepcidin blocker (Phase Ia/b).


Murck H.,Covance | Murck H.,University of Marburg
Journal of Psychiatric Research | Year: 2013

The glutamatergic mechanism of antidepressant treatments is now in the center of research to overcome the limitations of monoamine-based approaches. There are several unresolved issues. For the action of the model compound, ketamine, NMDA-receptor block, AMPA-receptor activation and BDNF release appear to be involved in a mechanism, which leads to synaptic sprouting and strengthened synaptic connections. The link to the pathophysiology of depression is not clear. An overlooked connection is the role of magnesium, which acts as physiological NMDA-receptor antagonist: 1. There is overlap between the actions of ketamine with that of high doses of magnesium in animal models, finally leading to synaptic sprouting. 2. Magnesium and ketamine lead to synaptic strengthening, as measured by an increase in slow wave sleep in humans. 3. Pathophysiological mechanisms, which have been identified as risk factors for depression, lead to a reduction of (intracellular) magnesium. These are neuroendocrine changes (increased cortisol and aldosterone) and diabetes mellitus as well as Mg2+ deficiency. 4. Patients with therapy refractory depression appear to have lower CNS Mg2+ levels in comparison to health controls. 5. Experimental Mg2+ depletion leads to depression- and anxiety like behavior in animal models. 6. Ketamine, directly or indirectly via non-NMDA glutamate receptor activation, acts to increase brain Mg2+ levels. Similar effects have been observed with other classes of antidepressants. 7. Depressed patients with low Mg2+ levels tend to be therapy refractory. Accordingly, administration of Mg2+ either alone or in combination with standard antidepressants acts synergistically on depression like behavior in animal models. Conclusion: On the basis of the potential pathophysiological role of Mg2+-regulation, it may be possible to predict the action of ketamine and of related compounds based on Mg2+ levels. Furthermore, screening for compounds to increase neuronal Mg2+ concentration could be a promising instrument to identify new classes of antidepressants. Overall, any discussion of the glutamatergic system in affective disorders should consider the role of Mg2+. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: NMBP-10-2016 | Award Amount: 5.85M | Year: 2017

Lysosomal storage disorders (LSD) diseases are a group of rare diseases that currently lack a definitive cure. LSD incidence is about 1:5,000 - 1:10,000, representing a serious global health problem. In the case of Fabry LSD Disease (FD), the deficiency in -Galactosidase A (GLA) enzyme activity results in the cellular accumulation of neutral glycosphingolipids, leading to widespread vasculopathy with particular detriment to the kidneys, heart and nervous system. The current treatment for FD is the Enzyme Replacement Therapy (ERT), in which free GLA recombinant protein is administered intravenously to patients. ERT exhibits several drawbacks mainly related to the instability, high immunogenicity and low efficacy of the exogenously administered GLA to cross biological barriers, such as cell membranes and BBB.The aim of Samrt-4-Fabry project is to achieve excellent quality control over the assembly of the different molecular components of a new liposomal nanoformulation of GLA, nano-GLA, for the treatment of Fabry disease. Nanoformulated GLA has already shown to have better PK/PD profile than free GLA and higher efficacy in vivo. Smart-4-Fabry project will advance nano-GLA from an experimental PoC (TRL3) to preclinical regulatory phase (TRL5-6). A one-step method based on the use of green cCO2, will be used for the manufacturing of this novel nanoformulation under GMPs. The final GLA nanoformulation will have tailored transport of GLA through cell membranes and BBB. Fulfillment of Smart-4-Fabry will impact on a major health problem, the existence of new therapies for rare diseases, which constitutes a priority societal challenge as shown in the H2020 Work Programmes. Another important impact is related to its contribution to support the European Strategy for KETs, which aims to reverse the decline in manufacturing as this will stimulate growth and jobs. Smart-4-Fabry is strongly focusing on three KETs: nanotechnology, industrial biotechnology and advanced materials.


At present it is necessary to use animals to generate toxicokinetic data as part of preclinical safety studies. However, ethical standards require animal use to be carefully monitored and the principles of the 3Rs: replacement, reduction and refinement, to be considered and applied. Use of dried blood spot (DBS) samples, typically 10 to 20 μl, rather than the larger blood volumes required to obtain plasma samples, fully embraces the latter two principles of reduction and refinement. The use of DBS sampling enables the number of rodents per study to be reduced whilst also refining the way blood samples are taken from both rodents and non-rodents. The recent changes to the European Directive on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes favor DBS sampling becoming the standard for generation of toxicokinetic data, and imply that pharmaceutical companies will have to justify why plasma samples (and therefore larger blood volumes) are required for bioanalysis. Use of DBS samples has been, and is being, discussed widely within the pharmaceutical industry as the move away from taking large blood volumes becomes inevitable. © 2011 Future Science Ltd.


Baldrick P.,Covance
Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology | Year: 2010

Interest in use of the polysaccharide chitosan as a pharmaceutical excipient by different dose routes and for a number of applications is not new but it still does not appear to be present in any marketed drugs. Including a novel excipient in a new drug formulation requires a number of safety considerations. Review of the published literature showed that chitosan has low oral toxicity and local tolerance potential supporting use in non-parenteral formulations. Prior human oral exposure has occurred through use of chitosan dietary supplements and food additive, medical device and cosmetic applications. Although systemic exposure to parent chitosan may be limited (due to digestion in the gastrointestinal tract), any that is absorbed will likely undergo enzyme degradation to naturally occurring glucosamine, and N-acetylglucosamine, its copolymers, which are excreted or used in the amino sugar pool. Chitosan has local biological activity in the form of haemostatic action and, together with its ability to activate macrophages and cause cytokine stimulation (which has resulted in interest in medical device and wound healing applications), may result in a more careful assessment of its safety as a parenteral excipient. © 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Anastassopoulos K.P.,Covance
Journal of managed care pharmacy : JMCP | Year: 2012

Chronic pain is a prevalent condition in the United States. Musculoskeletal pain, including joint and back pain, is the most common type of chronic pain, and many patients with back pain have a neuropathic component. Pain has direct economic consequences. While oxycodone controlled-release (CR) is one of the most widely used oral long-acting opioids for pain, including pain with a neuropathic component, it is often associated with bothersome side effects, resulting in additional medical resource use (MRU) and costs. To examine the impact on MRU and costs to payers of side effects in patients taking oxycodone CR alone or in combination with other pain medications for noncancer pain (including those with neuropathic pain symptoms). A nationwide convenience sample of adults in the United States, who participated in a survey research panel and reported current use of oxycodone CR for noncancer pain, completed an online survey between November 2, 2010, and December 13, 2010. Respondents were excluded if they reported current use of other extended-release or long-acting opioid prescription medications. The survey consisted of questions on demographics, clinical characteristics, pain characteristics, experience with pain medication, and MRU associated with side effects. Payer costs were calculated based on the MRU reported by the respondents multiplied by Medicare reimbursement rates for hospitalizations and outpatient visits and average wholesale price (AWP) minus 20% for medications. A subgroup of patients who reported neuropathic pain symptoms also was examined. After applying the exclusion criteria, 432 respondents completed the survey. Approximately half of the respondents (n = 219; 50.7%) reported neuropathic pain symptoms. The majority of respondents were Caucasian (88.4%) and female (63.7%) with an average age of 41.8 years (14.89). Respondents most frequently reported low back pain (41.2%), followed by osteoarthritis/rheumatoid arthritis (20.4%), neuropathic pain (10.6%), and fibromyalgia (9.0%). Respondents reported having their pain condition for an average of 5.4 (7.42) years. On days when taken, respondents reported a mean oxycodone CR daily dose of 83.3 mg (126.93) taken in an average of 2 doses. Most respondents (82.4%) reported experiencing at least 1 side effect with 77.5% being bothered by at least 1 side effect. The most frequently reported side effects ( greater than 25%) were drowsiness (41.4%), constipation (37.0%), fatigue or daytime sleepiness (36.6%), and dizziness (27.1%). Among respondents who reported being bothered by one or more side effects in the previous month, MRU associated with side effects was reported by 39.1% of respondents and significantly increased as the level of side-effect bother increased from 19.8% among those "A little bit bothered" to 38.4% among those "Bothered" to 61.0% among those "Extremely bothered" (P less than 0.001). Additionally, total average payer costs (in 2010 dollars) per respondent in the previous month associated with side effects were $238 ($1,159) and also significantly increased as the level of side-effect bother increased from $61 ($512) among those "A little bit bothered" to $238 ($1,160) among those "Bothered" to $425 ($1,561) among those "Extremely bothered" (P less than 0.001). Results reported in the neuropathic pain subgroup were similar to results reported in the total study sample. Among adults taking oxycodone CR for chronic noncancer pain (with or without a neuropathic pain component), over three-fourths reported being bothered by side effects. Respondents who reported higher levels of side-effect bother also reported greater MRU, resulting in increased payer costs. The results of this study provide further support of the econo-mic burden to payers associated with opioid-related side effects in patients with chronic noncancer pain, with and without neuropathic pain.


Baldrick P.,Covance
Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology | Year: 2011

A total of 26 toxicology studies performed with biological drugs (monoclonal antibodies and related immunoglobulins as well as recombinant human proteins) in the primate have been evaluated to give an insight into the types of study designs used and results. The evaluation involved examination of pivotal repeat dose studies which ranged from 2 to 13 weeks in duration, used to support early clinical investigation. Either no findings were seen or restricted to those which could largely be explained by the drug's pharmacology. Based on these results and supporting findings from a literature review of other similar drugs in development or approved for marketed use, a case has been made to revisit aspects of the standard design approach of toxicology studies for biological drugs. Thus, consideration should be given to a move away from the use of three drug-treated and numerous non-dose recovery groups currently used to support initial clinical entry to a robust toxicological assessment that could be achieved in many cases with one control and one or two drug-treated groups and with non-dose recovery groups only for the control and highest level used. An argument for not routinely measuring for anti-drug antibodies unless there is a specific drug-related reason is also made. © 2010 Elsevier Inc.


Patent
Covance | Date: 2012-04-25

The invention relates to a moisture barrier for a microarrayer, the moisture barrier (1200) comprising a plastic sheet for covering a slide mechanism of the microarrayer and having a first opening (1210) for accommodating a vertical slide of the microarrayer, a second opening (1220) for accommodating a micrometer knob, and a third opening (1230) for accommodating another micrometer knob; wherein outer edges of the plastic sheet, and the edges of the first opening (1200), are attachable to a base plate of the microarrayer; and, wherein the plastic sheet is configured for allowing motion of the slide mechanism.


Kirkland D.,Covance
Mutation Research - Genetic Toxicology and Environmental Mutagenesis | Year: 2010

This paper summarises the data for 14 different chemicals tested for induction of micronuclei (MN) in 5 different cell types across 12 different laboratories. All 14 chemicals induced biologically and statistically significant increases in MN frequency in the different cell types (L5178Y, TK6, CHO, CHL, V79) in the absence of cytochalasin B at or below target range toxicity (55. +5%) irrespective of whether relative cell count (RCC), relative increase in cell count (RICC) or relative population doubling (RPD) was used as a measure of cytotoxicity/cytostasis to select the top concentration. All measures of cytotoxicity in the absence of cytochalasin B are therefore considered equally acceptable for use, and the responses were comparable to those obtained in the presence of cytochalasin B. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.

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