An iterative method to protect the type I error rate in bioequivalence studies under two-stage adaptive 2×2 crossover designs
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Bioequivalence studies are the pivotal clinical trials submitted to regulatory agen- cies to support the marketing applications of generic drug products. Average bioequivalence (ABE) is used to determine whether the mean values for the pharmacokinetic measures determined after administration of the test and refer- ence products are comparable. Two-stage 2×2 crossover adaptive designs (TSDs) are becoming increasingly popular because they allow making assumptions on the clinically meaningful treatment effect and a reliable guess for the unknown within-subject variability. At an interim look, if ABE is not declared with an ini- tial sample size, they allow to increase it depending on the estimated variability and to enroll additional subjects at a second stage, or to stop for futility in case of poor likelihood of bioequivalence. This is crucial because both parameters must clearly be prespecified in protocols, and the strategy agreed with regulatory agen- cies in advance with emphasis on controlling the overall type I error. We present an iterative method to adjust the significance levels at each stage which preserves the overall type I error for a wide set of scenarios which should include the true unknown variability value. Simulations showed adjusted signif- icance levels higher than 0.0300 in most cases with type I error always below 5%, and with a power of at least 80%. TSDs work particularly well for coefficients of variation below 0.3 which are especially useful due to the balance between the power and the percentage of studies proceeding to stage 2. Our approach might support discussions with regulatory agencies.
This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Molins, E. [et al.]. An iterative method to protect the type I error rate in bioequivalence studies under two-stage adaptive 2×2 crossover designs. "Biometrical journal", 2021, vol. 63, núm. 1, p. 122-133., which has been published in final form at https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/bimj.201900388. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.
CitationMolins, E. [et al.]. An iterative method to protect the type I error rate in bioequivalence studies under two-stage adaptive 2×2 crossover designs. "Biometrical journal", 2021, vol. 63, núm. 1, p. 122-133.
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