• Regulatory NewsRegulatory News

    CAR T cell product development guidance: Comments ask for CMC details

    Both industry and clinicians asked the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for clarification related to the evaluation of cellular starting materials in its draft guidance on chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell product development.   The public comments also sought more details on change management and how the guidance applies to other genetically modified products.   The draft guidance , issued on 15 March 2022, provides recommendations on chemistry, manufac...
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    Marks eyes gene therapy development pilot, sees uptick in successful RMAT requests

    Peter Marks, director of Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER) at the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), attributes an increase in the amount of regenerative medicine advanced therapy (RMAT) requests approved for cell and gene therapies to sponsors “getting the hang” of the agency’s expectations for designation requests.   Marks spoke at the California Separation Science Society’s (CASSS) meeting on 8 June on cell and gene therapies. The meeting was h...
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    FDA explains plans to bolster cell and gene therapy approvals through wider messaging

    Updated 25 May 2022 to correct ASGCT's name. Wilson Bryan director of the US Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Tissues and Advanced Therapies (OTA) in the agency’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, told a 19 May meeting  of the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy (ASGCT) that the division is undertaking a series of internal measures to improve communications with sponsors and to widen its messaging.   These measures are being taken to com...
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    Stakeholders seek clarity on FDA cell and gene therapy draft guidance

    Industry, medical societies and other stakeholders have weighed in on draft guidance from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) detailing how sponsors that want to study multiple versions of cell and gene therapies could combine them in a single “umbrella” trial.   The draft guidance, released in September 2021, outlined FDA’s proposed thinking for how this process would work. For cell and gene therapies intended to treat a single disease, sponsors would typically ...
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    Gene therapy developers can expect less hand-holding from OTAT

    A growing workload and insufficient staffing have prompted the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Office of Tissues and Advanced Therapies (OTAT) to institute new processes to expedite its reviews of new cell and gene therapies, said OTAT Director Wilson Bryan at a 6 December webinar sponsored by the Alliance for a Stronger FDA.   At the webinar, Bryan was asked to discuss the impact of the projected workload for OTAT, projections for approving new cell and gene t...
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    In US, unlicensed stem cell clinic numbers keep climbing

    Nearly 1,500 US businesses were engaged in direct-to-consumer marketing of unproven and unlicensed stem cell therapies in 2021, marking a significant uptick over the last five years.   The figure comes from an analysis published in the journal Cell Stem Cell that breaks down the number of clinics promoting various types of putative stem cell treatments in the United States between 2016 and 2021. As of March 31, 2021, there were 1,480 U.S. business operating 2,754 c...
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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: Inadequate testing of cell and gene therapies draws FDA concern

    The lack of consistent testing in measuring product quality for cell and gene therapies is a major deficiency found by US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reviewers in its information requests (IRs) to manufacturers in their submission of biologics license applications (BLAs).   This observation was made by Kedest Tadesse, senior research manager for Agency IQ, which recently compiled a survey of deficiencies identified in IR letters in FDA’s review of five approved ...
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    Fostering diversity and talent: A Pfizer case study

    The Pfizer Global Regulatory Affairs (GRA) – Howard University College of Pharmacy (HUCOP) Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE) program fulfills a requirement of the Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) curriculum and helps students explore biopharmaceutical industry career options and prepare for their career after graduation, such as pursuing postgraduate training and seeking employment. The HUCOP Preceptorship Program at Pfizer was designed to broadly increase awareness ...
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    Regulation of cell and gene therapy products in Japan

    In recent years, new cell and gene therapies have been developed and approved in a number of countries, including Japan. The Japanese government fully supports academia and the pharmaceutical industry in the research and development of these innovative therapies, and in 2019, revised the Act on Securing Quality, Efficacy, and Safety of Products Including Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices to enact the conditional early approval system for accelerating the development and ...
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    Two more stem cell firms slapped with untitled letters

    Untitled letters issued to two firms for marketing unapproved stem cell products signal that some in the industry are undeterred by the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) efforts to get these products approved or off the market.       The letters join four others from the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER) in recent months to clinics marketing unapproved stem cell products after an enforcement grace period ended on 1 June. (RELATED: CBER targets...
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    CBER targets four stem cell firms with untitled letters

    The US Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (FDA’s CBER) recently issued untitled letters to four companies for marketing unapproved stem cell products, indicating that despite the end of an enforcement grace period, companies are still resisting the agency’s efforts to get these products approved.   Effective June 1, companies are required to file biologics license applications for stem cell therapies that claim to treat a diseas...