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    FDA Faces Sensitive Challenge With Review of DMD Drug

    The blanketing of snow on the East Coast this past weekend prompted the postponement of a high-profile US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory committee hearing for a Duchene Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) drug that is stirring up public controversy and will eventually lead to an up or down decision testing FDA’s resilience to public pressure. The advisory committee meeting, which the Jett Foundation, a DMD advocacy group, said Tuesday will likely be rescheduled withi...
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    Experts Call for New Regulatory Pathways for Antibiotics

    Faced with the increasing threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), experts are calling for more incentives to boost investment in new antibiotics. At the FDA/CMS Summit in Washington, DC today, representatives from several companies developing new antibiotic treatments said that while recent initiatives such as the Generating Antibiotics Now Act (GAIN Act) have helped revitalize investment in antibiotic development, more needs to be done to encourage research and deve...
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    Health Advocacy Groups Call for Changes to Priority Review Voucher Program

    A group of health advocacy organizations are calling on the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) to tighten requirements for obtaining priority review vouchers for drugs for tropical diseases. In a letter addressed to HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) on Tuesday, seven organizations including Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi), Center for Global Health Policy, TB Alliance, Treatment Acti...
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    Senators Propose New Exclusivity Voucher, Priority Review Voucher Programs

    Senators on both sides of the aisle are trying to incentivize the development of new drugs for newborn babies and medical countermeasures via a new exclusivity voucher and a priority review voucher system that are similar to the voucher programs already linked to tropical and rare pediatric disease treatments. Neonatal Exclusivity Voucher Last month, Sen. Robert Casey (D-PA) introduced a bill, known as Promoting Life-Saving New Therapies for Neonates Act of 201...
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    Senators Introduce Two Bills to Streamline FDA Reviews of Medical Devices

    Sens. Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Joe Donnelly (D-IN) late Wednesday announced the introduction of two new bills that would further streamline the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval process for certain medical devices. One of the bills -- the Rare Device Innovation Act -- would expand the threshold by which FDA could approve medical devices that treat rare diseases, including ALS, cerebral palsy, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, mesothelioma and tuberculosis. Currently, FDA...
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    Harvard Professor Questions Success of FDA's Priority Review Voucher Program

    As the Senate debates whether to extend or make permanent the US Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) priority review voucher (PRV) program, a Harvard medicine professor says that so far, at least for tropical diseases, there's "little reliable evidence" that the program has spurred novel drug development. Background Since 2007, the FDA has issued seven PRVs (the most recent of which came earlier this month), which allow sponsors to speed the review of any one...
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    FDA Raises Fee Rate for Rare Pediatric Disease Priority Reviews for FY2016

    The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Friday announced that it would increase the rare pediatric disease priority review voucher fee rate for FY 2016 by about $200,000. The new rate -- $2,727,000 – is effective on 1 October and will remain in effect for the next year. FDA previously set the fee rates at $2,562,000 for FY 2015 and $2,325,000 for FY 2014. The new rate is based on FDA's estimate that the cost of a standard review for new molecular entity (NME) new dr...
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    Studies Raise New Concerns Over FDA's Expedited Approval Designations, Supplemental Indications

    An increasing number of newly-approved drugs by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have been associated with expedited development or review programs, though many of these approved drugs are not first in class and potentially less innovative, according to two new studies published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ). Background Under the standard regulatory review process, FDA has 10 months to review a potential new drug's safety and efficacy based on a company'...
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    Bipartisan Group of Senators Introduces Bill to Speed Development of Rare Disease Drugs

    A new bipartisan bill aims to help accelerate the development of targeted drugs to treat rare diseases, including Duchenne muscular dystrophy, cystic fibrosis, some cancers and other genetic diseases. Although it's unclear how exactly the bill will aid in the development of targeted rare disease treatments, one of the cosponsors, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), said the bill would clarify the US Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) current authority to consider resear...
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    FDA Raises Fee Rate for FY16 Tropical Disease Priority Reviews

    The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has raised the tropical disease priority review fee rate for fiscal year 2016 to about $2.73 million, which is effective from the beginning of next month through 30 Sept, 2016. The new rate is about $200,000 more than last year's rate , but more than $2m less than the rate for fiscal year 2012. Back in 2008, FDA issued guidance for industry on tropical disease priority review, detailing the way in which the vouchers can be sol...
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    FDA Exercising 'Extraordinary' Flexibility on Drugs for Rare Diseases, New Study Finds

    The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is a reasonable regulator. That's the conclusion of a new analysis looking at the measures taken by FDA to review and approve new drugs intended for use in rare diseases affecting small populations of patients. Background The root of this "reasonable" argument starts with a law intended to facilitate the development of new therapies for patients with rare diseases. Under the 1983 Orphan Drug Act , a rare disease is one which a...
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    Australia Wants Input on Orphan Drugs Program as it Conducts Review

    Regulators in Australia today released a discussion paper intended to solicit comments on its orphan drugs program, in light of changes in the landscape for rare diseases since the program's inception in 1997. Orphan Drugs Regulation in Australia Orphan drugs are products intended to treat, diagnose or prevent rare diseases. Because the potential treatment populations for these drugs are small, regulators often offer incentives to encourage the development of treatments...