• Feature ArticlesFeature Articles

    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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    ICMRA releases framework for aligning global track and trace systems

    The International Coalition of Medicines Regulatory Authorities (ICMRA) has issued a broad set of recommendations outlining how regulators and industry can set up track and trace systems that are globally aligned to ensure counterfeit or falsified products do not infiltrate supply chains.   The report , which was issued by a joint regulators/industry working group, explores the technical features that would allow for interoperable national and regional track and trace...
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    EMA nominates executive director to replace Rasi

    The European Medicines Agency’s (EMA) Management Board on Thursday nominated Emer Cooke from a short list of candidates to succeed Guido Rasi as the agency’s next executive director.   Rasi, whose second term as EMA executive director ends on 15 November, served as Executive Director from 2011-2014 before being forced to step down after the European Union Civil Service Tribunal annulled his appointment. (RELATED: Rasi returns to head EMA for five-year term , Regula...
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    Danish Medicines Agency Ramps Up Capacity in Medical Devices

    The Danish Medicines Agency's Medical Devices Unit is “massively building up capacity” in the area of medical devices, the agency said Tuesday, to better deal with the incoming EU device legislation and to address rapid changes in technological development. A new fee structure will allow the devices unit to increase its staff capacity from about 14 employees to about 40 employees once all new employees have been recruited next spring. The unit will also work more closel...
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    FDA Launches Expanded Access Pilot ‘Project Facilitate’

    The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Monday launched a new pilot program, dubbed Project Facilitate, aimed at helping physicians complete expanded access requests for cancer patients.   “The FDA has been working diligently to improve the Expanded Access framework, including development of an updated and more streamlined application form, but despite recent improvements, we understand that for many patients or health care professionals, especially those not fami...
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    Right to Try One Year Later: Limited Patient Involvement but More FDA Clarity Coming

    The Right to Try Act has officially been in place for one year and although just two patients have publicly announced that they have used the law to gain access to experimental therapies, hundreds more may follow. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Thursday offered a new website to explain what patients and what investigational drugs are eligible under the law. The website includes eight questions and answers on the law, clarifying that companies are not r...
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    EMA Tells Pharma Companies to Continue to Prep for UK’s Withdrawal

    With an extension in place that will push the UK's withdrawal from the EU back to either April or May, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) told pharmaceutical companies on Monday to continue their preparations for Brexit. Under the European Council decision from last Friday, if the withdrawal agreement between the UK and the EU is approved by the UK House of Commons by 29 March 2019, the extension will be until 22 May 2019. But if the withdrawal agreement is not approve...
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    EMA Launches Operations in Amsterdam

    The European Medicines Agency (EMA) on Monday kicked off operations at its temporary premises at the Spark building in Amsterdam Sloterdijk after moving out of its Canary Wharf office in London on 1 March.   EMA says it is also working with Dutch authorities to finish readying its temporary premises ahead of 30 March, when the agency’s seat officially switches from London to Amsterdam.   “By Monday 18 March, when EMA will be settled in the Spark building, close to ...
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    EMA Expands Online Portal for Parallel Distribution Submissions

    The European Medicines Agency (EMA) on Monday announced that going forward, parallel distributors will be required to use its recently launched secure online portal, known as Iris, to manage and submit parallel distribution notifications.   Background   Parallel distribution, also known as re-exportation, is a process by which companies in the EU distribute centrally authorized medicines between member states, independent of their marketing authorization holder (...
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    European Commission Consults on Orphan Drug Applications

    The European Commission on Tuesday launched a targeted consultation to provide input on a revision of its guideline on the content and format of applications for orphan drug designation, as well as the transfer of designations between sponsors.   "The comments received will be taken into account by the European Commission in the finalization of the guideline on the format and content of application for designation as orphan medicinal products and on the transfer of des...
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    European Commission Updates Q&A on Safety Features for Medicinal Products

    The European Commission recently released an updated document setting out nine new and one revised frequently asked questions and answers on the implementation of the rules on the safety features for medicinal products for human use. Building off a previous update in November , five of the new questions deal with general issues, like whether medicinal products can carry more than one batch number, or whether during the transitional period manufacturers located in the E...
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    UK Looks to Ensure Pharma Submissions Can Continue Under No Deal Brexit

    The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is preparing to ensure that if the UK leaves the EU without a deal, pharmaceutical companies can continue to submit regulatory and notification information to the UK. “If the UK leaves the EU with no deal, the UK would no longer be part of the EU medicines and medical devices regulatory networks. Submissions related to human medicines would need to be submitted directly to the MHRA,” the agency said. ...