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SEC Filings

AC IMMUNE SA filed this Form 20-F on 03/21/2019
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The testing and approval process requires substantial time, effort and financial resources, and the receipt and timing of any approval is uncertain. Given this paradigm, AD has been given a Life Threatening Disease status by the FDA and therefore AD therapies are eligible for the expanded access program for investigational drugs and other pathways like Breakthrough Therapy, Accelerated Approval and Priority Review. Also, a single well-designed, well-conducted pivotal clinical study could be sufficient to trigger market approval pending a successful PAI.


Pre-clinical studies include laboratory evaluations of the product candidate, as well as animal studies to assess the potential safety and efficacy of the product candidate. The results of the pre-clinical studies, together with manufacturing information and analytical data, are submitted to the FDA as part of the IND, which must become effective before clinical studies may be commenced. The IND will become effective automatically 30 days after receipt by the FDA, unless the FDA raises concerns or questions about the conduct of the studies as outlined in the IND prior to that time. In this case, the IND sponsor and the FDA must resolve any outstanding concerns before clinical studies can proceed.


Clinical studies involve the administration of the product candidates to healthy volunteers or patients with the disease to be treated under the supervision of a qualified principal investigator. Clinical studies are conducted under protocols detailing, among other things, the objectives of the study, the parameters to be used in monitoring safety, and the efficacy criteria to be evaluated. A protocol for each clinical study and any subsequent protocol amendments must be submitted to the FDA as part of the IND. Further, each clinical study must be reviewed and approved by an independent institutional review board, or IRB, either centrally or individually at each institution at which the clinical study will be conducted. The IRB will consider, among other things, ethical factors, the safety of human subjects and the possible liability of the institution. There are also requirements governing the reporting of ongoing clinical studies and clinical study results to public registries. The FDA, the IRB or the clinical study sponsor may suspend or terminate clinical studies at any time on various grounds, including a finding that the subjects or patients are being exposed to an unacceptable health risk. Additionally, some clinical studies are overseen by an independent group of qualified experts organized by the clinical study sponsor, known as a data safety monitoring board or committee. This group provides authorization for whether or not a study may move forward at designated check points based on access to certain data from the study. We may also suspend or terminate a clinical study based on evolving business objectives and/or competitive climate.


Clinical studies are typically conducted in three sequential phases prior to approval, but the phases may overlap. These phases generally include the following:


Phase 1. Phase 1 clinical studies represent the initial introduction of a product candidate into human subjects, frequently healthy volunteers. In Phase 1, the product candidate is usually tested for safety, including adverse effects, dosage tolerance, absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion and pharmacodynamics.


Phase 2. Phase 2 clinical studies usually involve studies in a limited patient population to (1) evaluate the efficacy of the product candidate for specific indications, (2) determine dosage tolerance and optimal dosage and (3) identify possible adverse effects and safety risks.


Phase 3. If a product candidate is found to be potentially effective and to have an acceptable safety profile in Phase 2 studies, the clinical study program will be expanded to Phase 3 clinical studies to further demonstrate clinical efficacy, optimal dosage and safety within an expanded patient population at geographically dispersed clinical study sites.


Phase 4 clinical studies are conducted after approval to gain additional experience from the treatment of patients in the intended therapeutic indication and to document a clinical benefit in the case of drugs approved under accelerated approval regulations, or when otherwise requested by the FDA in the form of post-market requirements or commitments. Failure to promptly conduct any required Phase 4 clinical studies could result in withdrawal of approval.


The results of pre-clinical studies and clinical studies, including negative or ambiguous results as well as positive findings, together with detailed information on the manufacture, composition and quality of the product, are submitted to the FDA in the form of an NDA requesting approval to market the product. The NDA must be accompanied by a significant user fee payment. The FDA has substantial discretion in the approval process and may refuse to accept any application or decide that the data is insufficient for approval and require additional pre-clinical, clinical or other studies.



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