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    FDA Offers Draft Guidance on New Pre-Request for Designation Process

    After announcing a new program for sponsors to request earlier, informal input on combination product designations last August, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a new draft guidance detailing how to prepare such requests. Specifically, this program, referred to as pre-request for designation (pre-RFD) program, allows sponsors to ask FDA how their product will be classified (drug, device, biological product or combination product), and which of the age...
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    European Commission Clears up Questions on Orphan Drug Regulation

    Following a public consultation in November 2015, the European Commission (EC) has released a new communication intended to clarify some lingering questions about the EU's Orphan Regulation . The consultation sought to address five issues that have arisen since the Orphan Regulation came into effect in January 2000: Clarifying the meaning of "significant benefit" How to apply the Orphan Regulation to emerging diseases, such as Ebola, that are not present within...
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    EMA Offers New Guidance on Type II Variations and MA Extensions of Orphan Drugs

    The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has updated its post-authorization guidance on how extensions of marketing authorizations and type II variations may impact orphan-designated medicines. The updates follow the publication of a new  notice by the European Commission on the application of Articles 3, 5 and 7 of Regulation (EC) No. 141/2000 on orphan medicinal products . In this notice, the European Commission provides guidance on the application of the Orphan Regulation,...
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    FDA Helps Fund 21 Early Phase Trials for Rare Disease Treatments

    The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Monday announced it is awarding $23 million in research grants for 21 new clinical trials over the next four years to boost the development of rare disease treatments. The grants, awarded to researchers from academia and industry at domestic and international clinical sites, are part of FDA’s Orphan Products Clinical Trials Grants Program, created in 1983, which has provided more than $370 million (including $19 million ...
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    Global Regulatory Strategy

    This article discusses the development of a regulatory strategy allowing companies to identify opportunities and problems prospectively, improve utilization of company resources and focus the development team on the key objectives and assist in developing products with a positive benefit-risk profile demonstrating differential advantages and value for prescribers and payers. The term "strategy," per Merriam Webster (Edition 11), means "a careful plan or method for achi...
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    FDA Establishes New Process for Preliminary Combination Product Classification

    Top officials at the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) say the agency is developing a new, less formal, way for industry to request input on how combination products will be regulated. Combination Products Combination products are products that combine two or more different types of FDA-regulated products, including drugs, biologics and medical devices. However, when it comes to reviewing such products, FDA makes a determination as to how the product will be classif...
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    European Commission to Overhaul Concept of ‘Similar’ Medicines Within Context of Orphan Legislation

    The European Commission on Friday proposed to review the concept of “similar medicinal products” in the context of its orphan legislation as part of a wider effort to adapt the text to technical progress. Fifteen years after the implementation of the orphan legislation, the commission says it is currently launching initiatives to improve the implementation of the regulatory framework with a view to ensuring timely access to medicinal products.  In this context, the Comm...
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    Physicians Lack Understanding of What ‘Breakthrough’ Designation Means, Study Finds

    A US survey of board-certified internists and specialists revealed “substantial deficits in knowledge” of what it means for a drug to be approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and approved via the “breakthrough” pathway, according to a research letter published in JAMA on Tuesday. Since 2012, FDA has designated certain drugs as "breakthrough” therapies (76 drugs have received the designation through April 2015) if preliminary clinical evidence – such as ...
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    Analysis: Breakthrough Therapies Cut Development Timeline by Two Years

    A nonprofit cancer advocacy group says that the US Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) breakthrough therapy designation has been effective in shortening the amount of time it takes to develop new oncology drugs by more than two years. In a paper published in The Pharmacogenomics Journal in March, the authors from the Friends of Cancer Research say that cancer drugs with breakthrough therapy designations also see faster approval times than non-breakthrough products as ...
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    Regulators, Industry Weigh in on Proposed EU Orphan Regulation Changes

    As the number of orphan drug approvals continues to rise in the EU, the European Commission is now considering feedback from European governments, regulators and industry on how changes to five aspects of the Orphan Regulation may further incentivize the development of drugs for rare diseases. To date, the commission has authorized 117 orphan medicines, 82% of which consist of new active substances, according to a new report .  And while the number of products authorize...
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    Sanofi Redeems $245M Priority Review Voucher for Type 2 Diabetes Treatment

    The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) accepted for review the New Drug Application (NDA) for Sanofi’s investigational type 2 diabetes treatment on Monday and granted the use of another Priority Review Voucher (PRV), which speeds up FDA’s decision by four months. In redeeming the voucher, Sanofi had to pay a $2.7 million fee in addition to the standard new drug filing fee of $2.4 million. Retrophin sold the PRV to Sanofi last May for one of the highest amounts eve...
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    Orphan Medicines in the EU: A 15-Year Review

    With the 15th anniversary of the adoption of the Orphan Regulation in the EU, the European Commission notes in a new report that this landmark regulation has incentivized the development, approval and marketing of more than 100 rare disease treatments, or orphan drugs. According to the European Commission’s fourth inventory of orphan medicines, released Friday, somewhere between 5,000 and 8,000 different rare diseases exist in the EU, impacting between 27 million and 36 ...