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    Gene therapies: Industry asks for clarification on FDA’s sameness guidance

    Biotech companies and industry groups are raising questions about the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) recent draft guidance on interpreting sameness of gene therapy products under its orphan drug regulations.   The draft guidance, issued for comment in January, explains how FDA intends to determine the sameness of two gene therapies intended for the same use or indication for the purposes of awarding orphan drug designation and exclusivity. (RELATED: FDA fina...
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    Regulation of advanced therapy medicinal products in the EU

    This article explains some of the terminology relating to advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMPs), including gene and cell-based therapies, tissue-engineered products, and combined ATMPs. The author explains the key EU regulations and guidance documents for each therapy type and discusses marketing authorization, accelerated regulatory pathways, and market access. He advises companies navigating this complex regulatory environment to engage with the regulatory agencies...
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    Cell and gene therapies: FDA official on COVID-19 impact

    Speaking at a session on cell and gene therapies at BIO Digital on Monday, a top US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) official discussed the impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic on the agency’s work related to cell and gene therapies.   “Before the pandemic, we were seeing a huge escalation in the workload that we have to make adjustments for,” said Wilson Bryan, director of the Office of Tissues and Advanced Therapies at the Center for Biologics Eval...
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    Bespoke therapies – opportunities, challenges, and hope

    This article discusses the advent of bespoke therapies, defined as the tailoring of medical treatment to the individual characteristics or symptoms and responses of a patient during all stages of care and as a new frontier beyond personalized medicine. The author covers the revolutionary genetic tools implementing such therapies and the clinical and nonclinical safety perspectives for bespoke therapies. The author concludes that with bespoke therapies we are entering a new...
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    Refine gene therapy follow-up guidance, expert says

    It’s time for regulatory agencies, academics and pharmaceutical companies to convene to refine guidance for long-term follow-up of patients receiving gene therapy. That was the message Anne-Virginie Eggimann, senior vice president for regulatory science at bluebird bio, Inc., brought to a policy session at the annual meeting of the American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy .   To date, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) hav...
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    Novartis Admits to ‘Mistake’ After Partial Clinical Hold Placed on Zolgensma Trial

    Novartis on Wednesday said that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) placed a partial hold on intrathecal clinical trials of its gene therapy Zolgensma (onasemnogene abeparvovec-xioi) for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) patients based on findings in a small preclinical animal study.   On Thursday, a Novartis spokesperson told Focus that a draft report of the preclinical safety findings was presented to the AveXis safety management team last March and the company “...
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    Asia Regulatory Roundup: Hong Kong Proposes Regulatory Framework for Cell and Gene Therapies

    Welcome to our Asia Regulatory Roundup, our weekly overview of the top regulatory news in Asia.   Hong Kong Proposes Regulatory Framework for Cell and Gene Therapies   Hong Kong has proposed legislation to create a regulatory framework for advanced therapy products (ATPs), such as interventions based on cells, genes and tissues. The plan is to amend existing laws to create licensing, labeling and record-keeping requirements for ATPs.   Work to update the law ...
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    Not Quite a Breakthrough Device, FDA Introduces New Safer Technologies Program

    The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Wednesday released draft guidance to introduce a new, voluntary program for certain medical devices and device-led combination products that are expected to improve the safety of currently available treatments or diagnostics but are used for morbidities and mortalities less serious than those eligible for the Breakthrough Devices Program. Devices that may be included in this Safer Technologies Program” or “STeP” may include t...
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    FDA-EMA Workshop Discusses Quality Challenges for PRIME, Breakthrough Therapies

    Last November, officials from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) met with industry representatives in London to discuss the various quality challenges that arise when the development of investigational products is accelerated. EMA’s launch of its priority medicines (PRIME) scheme and FDA’s breakthrough therapy designation have enabled companies to speed certain treatments to market, although there have been difficulties in ...
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    Drug Regulators Look to Harmonize How They Tackle Innovation

    The International Coalition of Medicines Regulatory Authorities (ICMRA) recently released a report on how various regulators worldwide are working together to better identify and address future regulatory challenges posed by new categories of therapeutics, like cell and gene therapies, and new tools for drug development, such as artificial intelligence (AI). The report, which is part of a wider effort to reduce duplicative work and increase harmonization among drug regu...
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    CMS Plots to Increase Breakthrough Device Payments

    The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) late Tuesday proposed a new rule that would increase payments for medical devices designated by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as breakthrough devices. CMS explains how at the time of approval for these devices with a breakthrough designation, real-world data on outcomes in different patient populations is often limited. So, it can be challenging for device firms to meet the requirement for demonstrating a ...
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    Drugmaker Petitions FDA to Revoke Sublocade Orphan Designation

    A citizen petition filed last week by law firm Goodwin Procter on behalf of Pennsylvania-based drugmaker Braeburn calls on the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to revoke the orphan designation granted to Indivior’s opioid use disorder treatment Sublocade (buprenorphine extended-release injection).   “Sublocade is not now, nor was it ever a bona fide orphan drug, particularly since more than two million Americans currently are afflicted by opioid addiction,” the pe...