Assessing sensitivity and similarity in bridging studies

Shein Chung Chow, Jun Shao, Oliver Yoa Pu Hu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Citations (Scopus)


In pharmaceutical industry, the sponsors are interested in bringing their drug products from one region (e.g., the United States of America) to another region (e.g., Asian Pacific) to increase the exclusivity of the drug products in the marketplace. However, it is a concern whether the clinical results can be extrapolated from the target patient population in one region to a similar but different patient population in a new region due to a possible difference in ethnic factors. The International Conference on Harmonization (ICH) recommends that a bridging study may be necessarily conducted to extrapolate the clinical results between regions. However, little or no information regarding the criterion for determining whether a bridging study is necessary based on the evaluation of the complete clinical data package is provided by the ICH. Furthermore, no criterion on the assessment of similarity of clinical results between regions is given. In this paper, we propose the use of a sensitivity index as a possible criterion for regulatory authorities in the new region to evaluate whether a bridging clinical study should be conducted and the sample size of such a bridging clinical study. A criterion and a statistical method for assessment of similarity of clinical results between regions are also proposed, using the concept of population bioequivalence [FDA. Guidance for Industry - Statistical Approaches to Establishing Bioequivalence, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration: Rockville, MD, 2001] assuming that study site is random.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)385-400
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Biopharmaceutical Statistics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Nov 25 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Generalizability
  • Reproducibility
  • Sample size
  • Sensitivity index
  • Similarity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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