As 2016 draws to a close, we here are keeping our eyes fixed on the future for you. Increasingly healthcare-savvy patients want their providers to be up to date on the latest health technology advances, no matter what their stage in the FDA approval process. And while both patients and physicians may want these new drugs, procedures, or devices, payers may be equally unaware of the safety, efficacy, or patient appropriateness of the technologies they’re being asked to cover, particularly when they’re new to market and the peer-reviewed, published evidence is scarce.
To help keep you ahead of the curve, we’ve compiled a list of 5 technologies to watch in 2017. Hayes is synonymous with fiercely unbiased evidence. We never have nor never will accept compensation from manufacturers (see our blog “When a Health Technology Assessment Cost Us $100,000”). As such, the descriptions of the health technologies listed below are in no way an endorsement of nor a recommendation against these products.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way…
Treatments for Peanut Allergies
Peanut allergies changed how you pack your children’s lunches. The diagnosis has become so prevalent, food must be labeled if it’s been manufactured in a factory that houses nuts. For those who suffer from the allergy, the risk is very real, along with the limitations in lifestyle and food choices it brings. But there’s something on the horizon.
While there are no FDA-approved treatments for peanut allergy to date, there are several in development. Two such solutions include a wearable skin patch and an oral capsule immunotherapy. These new treatments work by gradually exposing the patient to peanut protein, leading to desensitization over time.
The Viaskin patch is a proprietary technology that administers small amounts of peanut protein to intact skin without allowing them to enter the bloodstream, thereby avoiding systemic allergic reactions. It is intended to decrease allergen-specific responses by gradually exposing the patient to the allergen. AR101 is a peanut allergen formulation for oral immunotherapy that works using the same theory of progressive desensitization.
Clostridium Difficile Infection Therapies
More commonly known as “C Diff,” Clostridium Difficile Infection (CDI) is responsible for an estimated 453,000 infections and 30,000 deaths annually in the United States. It is typically treated with an antibiotic regimen. However, the effects of antibiotic treatment on the balance of bacteria in the gut leaves patients susceptible to recurrent CDI. Non-antibiotic treatments for CDI are in development to help break this cure-relapse cycle. These include therapies to restore normal GI microbial balance, agents that help prevent antibiotic-related imbalances in gut bacteria, monoclonal antibodies targeting the toxins generated by Clostridium difficile bacteria, and vaccines to prevent CDI.
Fecal microbiota transplant treatments (yes, it’s what you think it is) have been featured in several news outlets this year. Hayes Prognosis has been following the progress of several microbiota-based drugs in development for such transplants.
Additionally, we have published a Health Technology Brief that evaluates fecal microbiota transplants already in use for CDI. You can see a sample here.
Next-Generation Coronary Artery Stents
Drug-eluting stents (DES) are used to improve the outcomes of cardiac surgery for coronary artery disease (CAD). However, the polymers used to release drugs to the blood vessel walls have been associated with inflammatory reactions that can lead to thrombosis, or clotting in the stents. New options are in development, including a DES with bioabsorbable polymers that was FDA approved in 2015 for the treatment of CAD.
Prognosis is following the BioFreedom Drug-Coated polymer-free stent as it moves through the regulatory process. See the overview here.
Targeted Therapies for Ovarian Cancer
Treatment options are limited for women with a diagnosis of advanced ovarian cancer. While the disease typically responds to chemotherapy regimens, relapse remains a serious problem. Enter PARP inhibitors.
Short for poly ADP ribose polymerase, PARP inhibitors are a type of targeted therapy that work by disabling the compromised DNA repair mechanisms in BRCA (BReast CAncer susceptibility gene)-mutated cancer cells, effectively destroying them. Hayes Prognosis is following two PARP inhibitors in late-stage development. Here’s one of them.
New Treatment Options for Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema)
Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a highly prevalent chronic inflammatory skin disease that has surprisingly substantial morbidity. There is no known cure. There are topical medications available for treatment of AD, but the available treatments don’t always work well; several new options are on the horizon.
Prognosis is following an injectable monoclonal antibody as well as a nonsteroidal topical treatment, both in the late stages of the regulatory process.
This is just a taste of what’s to come in 2017. We sincerely appreciate your trust in the Hayes Technology Prognosis and Health Technology Briefs teams to keep you informed of the latest technologies as they move (or don’t move) through the regulatory approval process. If you’re not a Hayes member…what are you waiting for?
Happy Holidays and have a safe New Year!