S4-3.5 – NASH-TAG Review: Donna Cryer on “Good Regulatory Science”

S4-3.5 - NASH-TAG Review: Donna Cryer on “Good Regulatory Science”
Surfing NASH highlights key moments from its coverage of a historic NASH-TAG conference. In this conversation, Donna Cryer and Roger Green share impressions from the regulatory viewpoint.

NASH-TAG 2023 proved to be a watershed moment for Fatty Liver disease as exciting drug development readouts, powerful academic work on non-invasive tests and the willingness to dive into the toughest questions aligned in Deer Valley, Utah. In this weekend’s conversation series, Surfing NASH reviews its diverse coverage of the conference by showcasing key excerpts across six recordings with various KOLs, patient advocates and stakeholders.

This conversation consists exclusively of an exchange between Donna Cryer and Roger Green.

The session begins by Donna noting that while the data is cause for enthusiasm, she is concerned that this alone does not guarantee an inevitable approval. In addition to good data, she suggests, is the need for good regulatory science. As she points out, Intercept hit its endpoints in 2020, yet no approval was gained at the time. “Good regulatory science” is, in her words, conclusive, granular and contains a simplified message. Roger asks for an example of what might not constitute good regulatory science. This leads Donna to recall that the fireside chat, although titled regulatory, focused more on clinical trial designs than how to prepare for advisory committees, health technology assessments and Phase 4 trials. She notes that during this discussion, a good question surfaced regarding how equipoise will change once drugs are approved. The implication: what FDA is currently seeking in Phase 4 becomes unrealistic once drugs reach the market. At this point, Roger returns to Scott Friedman’s comment about the “straitjacket of biopsy” and how that impacts thoughts around trial design and “proof.” Donna adds that real-world evidence is the up-to-date approach these days, and it will be available once we have more experience with the medicines.

As the session winds down, Roger goes back to the adiponectin analyses predicting non-response as being his favorite part of the meeting and explains why. Donna shares that one of her favorite moments came when Claude Sirlin, a radiologist, asked how they can become more involved here. Roger responds that radiology may succeed biopsy as a “hard standard” of efficacy. In the final moments, Donna discusses some of the presented data and questions that embodied a public health perspective.