• Regulatory NewsRegulatory News

    FDA explains when it will rescind breakthrough designations

    The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Thursday released draft guidance explaining its thought process for rescinding breakthrough therapy designation (BTD) during its evaluation of a drug.   While FDA has long asserted its authority to rescind or withdraw BTDs, the new guidance will add clarity for sponsors as to when the agency might revoke the designation. Since designation was created under the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act in 2012,...
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    First in vitro diagnostic for early Alzheimer’s detection gets FDA blessing

    The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized the first in vitro diagnostic to help diagnose early Alzheimer’s disease. The agency said the test minimizes radiation risks to patients who otherwise would need to be tested with positron emission tomography (PET) scans.   On 4 May, FDA announced it has given the green light to Fujirebio Diagnostics’ de novo application for its Lumipulse G β-Amyloid Ratio (1-42/1-40) test, which is intended for patients ages...
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    Generic drug approvals continued to fall in 2021

    The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved or tentatively approved 776 Abbreviated New Drug Applications (ANDAs) for generic drugs in 2021, continuing a steady decline in generic approvals in recent years.   In calendar year 2020 , FDA approved or tentatively approved 948 ANDAs for generic drugs, which was down from 1,014 in 2019 . The latest figures are part of the FDA’s Office of Generic Drugs (OGD) 2021 Annual Report .   But the agency approved 93 “fi...
  • Feature ArticlesFeature Articles

    January’s Regulatory Focus: Leadership in RA, expanding diversity, and more

    Feature articles during January focused on regulatory leadership, a novel approach to hiring regulatory professionals, expedited programs for reducing time to approval for certain drugs, and the Cuban biotechnology industry and its response to COVID-19. Keywords – assessment aid, breakthrough therapy, Cuba, diversity, ILAP, leadership, PRIME   Leadership, hiring, and expanding diversity Effective leadership in regulatory affairs is rooted in an understanding a...
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    FDA: Device breakthrough program surpassed expectations, while novel device authorizations fell in 2021

    In its 2021 annual report, the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH) said that it cleared, approved or authorized a record 13 devices with breakthrough status, though the number of novel devices it authorized fell from its peak last year.   The report also discusses the center’s actions to address device shortages, thanks to new funding from Congress, as well as its COVID-19 pandemic response, patient engagement and d...
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    Expedited pathways: Breakthrough therapy designation, PRIME, and innovative licensing & access

    Abstract Over the last decade, regulators have introduced initiatives to reduce time to approval for medicines that address an unmet medical need. This article compares the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) breakthrough therapy designation (BTD), the European Medicine’s Agency’s (EMA’s) PRIority MEdicines (PRIME) scheme, and the innovative licensing and access pathway (ILAP) from the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and reviews th...
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    FDA rolls out more guidance on 'N of 1' gene therapies

    Developers of individualized investigational antisense oligonucleotide (ASO) therapies for ultra-rare diseases received additional guidance from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In two draft documents, the agency has provided new information for sponsor-investigators and for those overseeing manufacture of these so-called “N of 1” therapies for people with severely debilitating or life-threatening genetic disease.   "Progress in individualized medicines provi...
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    October’s Regulatory Focus: Linguistic review, advanced therapies in Asia-Pacific, and more

    Feature articles during October included an in-depth look at the linguistic review process in Europe and  reviews of the regulatory pathways for herbal medicinal products, medical devices, and supplements in the EU and for advanced therapies in the Asian-Pacific region. Also included was an article on the challenges of data integrity remediation in cGMP facilities.   Linguistic review and herbal product regulation The linguistic review process for centrally authori...
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    New public-private consortium will tackle gene therapies for rare diseases

    Two federal agencies are partnering with pharmaceutical companies and non-profit organizations to form a consortium aimed at boosting the development of gene therapies for rare diseases.   In a Wednesday announcement, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) revealed the launch of the Bespoke Gene Therapy Consortium (BGTC). The consortium’s work will be managed by the Foundation for the NIH and sit within the NIH Acceleratin...
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    For gene therapies, FDA drafts trial guidance, finalizes "sameness" for orphan exclusivity

      A new draft guidance from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gives cell and gene therapy developers a detailed framework for the conduct of umbrella trials, offering the potential for enhanced speed and efficiency in early-stage clinical trials.   In the umbrella trials envisioned under the draft guidance, two or more versions of a cellular or gene therapy product would be studied for one specific disease using just one trial design, shared infrastructure, a...
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    Convergence: Regulatory considerations in advancing gene and cellular therapies

    When developing a regulatory submission for a gene or cellular therapy, it’s essential to keep the basics in mind, such as how to demonstrate the product’s identity, purity, and potency, Haroon Hashmi, PhD, told attendees at RAPS Convergence 2021.   “Even when we think about these complex technologies -- new emerging technologies -- certain regulatory principles always stay in place,” said Hashmi, senior vice president at Ziopharm Oncology, which has developed the Slee...
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    USP, NIST and NIIMBL collaborate to boost viral vector quality standards

    A new public-private collaborative among the United States Pharmacopeia (USP), the US Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals (NIIMBL) pools the expertise or the organizations to develop better measurement tools to assess the quality of adeno-associated virus (AAV), an increasingly important vector for gene therapy delivery.   According to a 27 June ann...