A Preview of the DIA 2013 49th Annual Meeting

The Drug Information Association's (DIA) 49th Annual Meeting will cover information about rare disease, recruiting for clinical trials, and updates from the Center for Biologics Evaluation Research.

The Drug Information Association’s (DIA) 49th Annual Meeting will cover information about rare disease, recruiting for clinical trials, and updates from the Center for Biologics Evaluation Research.

The Drug Information Association (DIA) 2013 49th Annual Meeting begins in Boston next week, and there are so many good topics to choose from, we had a hard time deciding which sessions to attend.

The meeting will feature 250 sessions across 22 subject tracks. Although there is a strong focus on clinical trials, there are also tracks on regulatory affairs, rare disease, and white paper presentations on biomarkers and biologics.

We’ve chosen a session for each day to feature that we think will be of most interest to the specialty pharmacist. We will also be live-tweeting from the conference, so follow @SpecialtyPTimes for breaking news and commentary.

Monday, June 24th

Session name: The Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER) Town Hall

Speakers: Karen Midthun, MD, director, Center for Biologics Evaluation Research, FDA, Robert A. Yetter, PhD, associate director for review management, office of the director, CBER, FDA

Summary: This forum will cover the “hot topics” in biologics, and will include CBER’s current work on its ongoing initiatives, guidances, and regulations. We are eagerly waiting to see if there is any mention of biosimilar pathway development and will be listening closely for any hints of a final guidance release date.

Tuesday, June 25th

Session name: Leveraging In-Pharmacy Education to Improve Patient Comprehension and Access to Clinical Trials

Speakers: Kenneth A. Getz, MBA, director of sponsored research, Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development, and Carrie Hurwitz, MBA, director of corporate strategy and business development, McKesson.

Summary: During this session, the speakers will present the results of a new study involving community pharmacists and their role as liaisons recruiting patients into clinical trials. According to the description on DIA's website, “[P]harmacists are an untapped resource to educate the public about clinical research.”

Wednesday, June 26th

Session name: Models for Genomic Research Success: Empowering Patient-Researcher Relationships and the Emerging Role of Crowd Sourcing in Rare Disease Research

Speakers: Cheng-Ho Lin, MD, PhD, Jan K. Teller, PhD, chief scientific officer, Dystonia Medical Research Foundation, and Daniel MacArthur, PhD, group leader, analytic and translational genetics unit, Massachusetts General Hospital

Summary: This offering will examine the role of social media and crowd sourcing in rare disease studies. The presenters will discuss how advances in genome sequencing and an increase in social interaction online could potentially help connect researchers and patients as well as drive funding for rare disease research.

Thursday, June 27th

Session name: Strategic Partnerships: Emerging Models and Their Impact on Drug Development

Speakers: Mitchell Katz, PhD, executive director of medical research operations, Purdue Pharma LP, David D. Lilley, non-executive board director, SFJ Pharmaceuticals Inc, Kent S. Allenby, MD, FACP, vice president of drug development, Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, Inc, and Neil Ferguson, executive vice president or business development, INC Research.

Summary: This forum will cover past strategic partnerships between sponsors and contract research organizations. The speakers will discuss how these relationships can best be fostered to guide future drug development.