Open Access: Assessing efficacy in important subgroups in confirmatory trials: An example using Bayesian dynamic borrowing

Each week, we select a recently published Open Access article to feature. This week’s article comes from Pharmaceutical Statistics and considers assessing efficacy in important subgroups in confirmatory trials.

The article’s abstract is given below, with the full article available to read here.

Best, NPrice, RGPouliquen, IJKeene, ONAssessing efficacy in important subgroups in confirmatory trials: An example using Bayesian dynamic borrowingPharmaceutical Statistics20211– 12

Assessment of efficacy in important subgroups – such as those defined by sex, age, race and region – in confirmatory trials is typically performed using separate analysis of the specific subgroup. This ignores relevant information from the complementary subgroup. Bayesian dynamic borrowing uses an informative prior based on analysis of the complementary subgroup and a weak prior distribution centred on a mean of zero to construct a robust mixture prior. This combination of priors allows for dynamic borrowing of prior information; the analysis learns how much of the complementary subgroup prior information to borrow based on the consistency between the subgroup of interest and the complementary subgroup. A tipping point analysis can be carried out to identify how much prior weight needs to be placed on the complementary subgroup component of the robust mixture prior to establish efficacy in the subgroup of interest. An attractive feature of the tipping point analysis is that it enables the evidence from the source subgroup, the evidence from the target subgroup, and the combined evidence to be displayed alongside each other. This method is illustrated with an example trial in severe asthma where efficacy in the adolescent subgroup was assessed using a mixture prior combining an informative prior from the adult data in the same trial with a non‐informative prior.


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