From Sat Jul 12 17:37:22 1997
Subject: Simulation Software

Anyone having any experience using any of the clinical trials simulation software, any reaction?

N Leung
Consultantant in Pharmacokinetics


From Sun Jul 13 10:03:18 1997
Subject: Re: Simulation Software

Dear Dr. Leung,

First, it should be pointed out the NONMEM is very capable of
simulating clinical trials, that is the biology, random effects, and the events. This is done using the $SIMULATION statement, and the $TABLE statement for output. The difficulty with using NONMEM is that the user must set up a data set (possibly a large data set) that includes all the events (including "other events" EVID = 2 for samples, randomizations etc) and the events list is not adapative, for example you cannot collect an extra sample based on some event in the trial (toxicity, lack of efficacy etc). You can adjust a dose, although not easily (by chaning the bioavailability). The best clinical trial simulation I've seen so far was done by Mike Hale at Roche on a new drug for solid organ transplant rejection, and this was done in SAS.

Second, I know of three software packages that have been or are being developed for the simulation of trials. These are: ACSL BioMed - MGA software, Concord MA (

Pharsight - Pharsight Inc, Palo alto (
Forecaster - SCI, Apex NC (Contact is Dan Weiner at SCI)

I'm only familar with one of these, ACSL BioMed, since we at Georgetown participated in the develoment of this product. Obviously therefore, we think this is a very capable tool for this purpose. The list of events (samples dose etc) is handled in a dialog box driven enviroment, as can be dose adjustments. I have not seen any of the other products personally. I'd be glad to answer any questions you have about this product or our experience in clinical trial simulation. I also understand the the ACSL BioMed software is available free for quailfying academic institutions, and anyone can get a 30 day free trial. I would like to point out that the development of ACSL BioMed is NOT a project of the Center for Drug development Science at Georgetown, but a project in the Division of Clinical Pharmacology.

Mark Sale M.D.
Assistant Professor
Room NE403
3900 Reservoir Rd NW
Georgetown Unversity
Washington DC 20007