An Overview of FDA Guidance on Assessing the Credibility of Computational Modeling and Simulation: Understanding Credibility Evidence
Computational modeling and simulation have become increasingly important tools in various industries, including healthcare and pharmaceuticals. These techniques allow researchers and scientists to simulate complex systems, predict outcomes, and make informed decisions. In the field of drug development, computational modeling and simulation can play a crucial role in assessing the safety and efficacy of new drugs before they are tested on humans.
To ensure the reliability and credibility of computational modeling and simulation, regulatory bodies like the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have developed guidelines to assess the credibility of these techniques. The FDA’s guidance on assessing the credibility of computational modeling and simulation provides a framework for evaluating the evidence supporting the use of these techniques in regulatory decision-making.
The FDA’s guidance emphasizes the importance of credibility evidence, which refers to the data and information that support the reliability and validity of computational models and simulations. Credibility evidence can come from various sources, including experimental data, historical data, literature reviews, and expert opinions. The guidance outlines several key factors that should be considered when evaluating credibility evidence.
Firstly, the FDA emphasizes the need for transparency in computational modeling and simulation. This means that all relevant information about the model, including its assumptions, limitations, and uncertainties, should be clearly documented and made available for review. Transparency allows regulators and stakeholders to understand how the model was developed and how it can be used to inform decision-making.
Secondly, the FDA highlights the importance of model verification and validation. Verification involves checking that the computational model has been implemented correctly, while validation involves comparing the model’s predictions with real-world data to assess its accuracy. The guidance recommends using multiple lines of evidence to validate the model, such as comparing simulation results with experimental data or conducting sensitivity analyses.
Another key aspect of assessing credibility evidence is uncertainty quantification. Computational models are inherently uncertain due to various factors, such as input parameter variability and model simplifications. The FDA’s guidance encourages the use of uncertainty quantification techniques to assess and communicate the uncertainty associated with model predictions. This helps regulators and stakeholders understand the reliability and limitations of the model’s predictions.
Furthermore, the FDA’s guidance emphasizes the importance of sensitivity analysis. Sensitivity analysis involves varying input parameters to assess their impact on the model’s predictions. By conducting sensitivity analyses, researchers can identify which parameters have the most significant influence on the model’s outcomes and focus their efforts on improving the accuracy of those parameters.
The FDA also highlights the need for model credibility to be assessed in the context of its intended use. Different regulatory decisions may require different levels of model credibility, depending on the potential risks and benefits involved. The guidance recommends tailoring the assessment of credibility evidence to the specific regulatory context, taking into account factors such as the complexity of the system being modeled and the availability of alternative data sources.
In conclusion, the FDA’s guidance on assessing the credibility of computational modeling and simulation provides a comprehensive framework for evaluating the reliability and validity of these techniques. By considering factors such as transparency, verification and validation, uncertainty quantification, sensitivity analysis, and the intended use of the model, regulators and stakeholders can make informed decisions based on credible computational modeling and simulation evidence. These guidelines play a crucial role in ensuring that computational modeling and simulation are used effectively and responsibly in regulatory decision-making processes.