Clinical Trial Risk in Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma: Endpoint and Target Selection

Jayson Lee Parker1, Zoe Yi Zhang, Rena Buckstein

1University of Toronto


Purpose. To quantify the clinical trial risk of new drug development in Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL). Risk estimates for this disease have not been reported before. Methods. We undertook a retrospective review of clinical trials in (NHL) in four subtypes to compare the success rate with the industry average. Our inclusion criteria required that a drug must initiate its phase I trial in one of the four NHL subtypes between 1998 and June 2008 in the US. In addition, clinical trials of new drug candidates that pertain to four subtypes of NHL were retrieved from Drug candidates that did not meet these criteria were excluded from the study. Results. The overall success rate (8-11%) was significantly lower than the industry standard (17%). Overall survival (OS) as a secondary outcome appeared more predictive than primary endpoints that were surrogate, of overall success. Further, targeted therapies appear more successful in these lymphoma sub-types than broad acting drugs. Conclusion. Clinical trial risk in NHL, with an 89% failure rate reported here, may be reduced by basing decisions on OS secondary endpoints and biologic drugs.

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J Pharm Pharm Sci, 14 (2): 227-235, 2011

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