A novel gamma-fitting statistical method for anti-drug antibody assays to establish assay cut points for data with non-normal distribution.

Schlain, B., Amaravadi, L., Donley, J., Wickramasekera, A., Bennett, D., Subramanyam, M.
Journal   Journal of Immunological Methods
Analytes Measured  
Matrix Tested   Serum
Year   2010
Volume   352
Page Numbers   161-168
Application   Immunogenicity
In recent years there has been growing recognition of the impact of anti-drug or anti-therapeutic antibodies (ADAs, ATAs) on the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic behavior of the drug, which ultimately affects drug exposure and activity. These anti-drug antibodies can also impact safety of the therapeutic by inducing a range of reactions from hypersensitivity to neutralization of the activity of an endogenous protein. Assessments of immunogenicity, therefore, are critically dependent on the bioanalytical method used to test samples, in which a positive versus negative reactivity is determined by a statistically derived cut point based on the distribution of drug naïve samples. For non-normally distributed data, a novel gamma-fitting method for obtaining assay cut points is presented. Non-normal immunogenicity data distributions, which tend to be unimodal and positively skewed, can often be modeled by 3-parameter gamma fits. Under a gamma regime, gamma based cut points were found to be more accurate (closer to their targeted false positive rates) compared to normal or log-normal methods and more precise (smaller standard errors of cut point estimators) compared with the nonparametric percentile method. Under a gamma regime, normal theory based methods for estimating cut points targeting a 5% false positive rate were found in computer simulation experiments to have, on average, false positive rates ranging from 6.2 to 8.3% (or positive biases between +1.2 and +3.3%) with bias decreasing with the magnitude of the gamma shape parameter. The log-normal fits tended, on average, to underestimate false positive rates with negative biases as large a -2.3% with absolute bias decreasing with the shape parameter. These results were consistent with the well known fact that gamma distributions become less skewed and closer to a normal distribution as their shape parameters increase. Inflated false positive rates, especially in a screening assay, shifts the emphasis to confirm test results in a subsequent test (confirmatory assay). On the other hand, deflated false positive rates in the case of screening immunogenicity assays will not meet the minimum 5% false positive target as proposed in the immunogenicity assay guidance white papers.

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