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    News in Focus: PDUFA VII is a step in the right direction for the rare disease community

    Craig Martin is chief executive officer of Global Genes, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to increase public awareness for rare disease and globally connect, empower and educate individuals and rare disease foundations in person, print and online. More than 400 million people worldwide are affected by 7,000+ rare diseases. In the U.S., around 1 in 10 people (more than 33 million Americans) have a rare condition. More than half of rare disease patients are chi...
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    Orphan product designation requests climb in the US, remain steady in the EU

    The number of new requests for orphan drug designation in the United States increased 41% from 2019 to 2020, bringing the number of requests to 753 for 2020, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.   There was also a significant jump in rare pediatric disease designation requests, which rose 330% from 2019 to 2020, for a total of 284 requests in 2020. The agency received 20 humanitarian use device designation requests, similar to the number received in 2019...
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    FDA Rare Disease Day: Collaboration begins with patients

    A few ingredients are essential to advancing therapies for rare diseases: organized patients, the involvement of academic researchers, and support and flexibility from the US Food and Drug Administration and industry. That’s according to Frank McCormack, MD, professor of medicine at the University of Cincinnati. “It begins with the courage and resolve of patients. The patients had the foresight to organize, and facilitate and fund research, and then they lined up for tr...
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    FDA on Rare Disease Day: New initiatives and an upcoming conference

    On Monday, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a series of efforts and a day-long conference centered on addressing the unmet needs of patients with rare diseases. FDA leaders announced the initiatives in recognition of Rare Disease Day, observed on February 28.   A new request for applications (RFA) issued by FDA augments the agency’s Orphan Products Grants Program. The RFA is seeking natural history studies to address unmet needs in rare diseases, l...
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    Stakeholders call for regulatory clarity in rare disease research network

    Stakeholders weighing in on a proposed rare disease clinical trials network called for regulatory clarity, smart use of existing resources, and a move toward harmonized trial standards and assessments.   As part of the launch of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s Rare Disease Cures Accelerator , the agency asked for stakeholder input on how FDA and other agencies can achieve a more cooperative approach in supporting the drug development pipeline for rare dise...
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    FDA officials update on orphan drugs, gene therapies at DIA

    Officials from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) discussed the agency’s recent efforts to support the development of products to treat rare diseases during a session at DIA’s Global Annual Meeting on Wednesday.   Orphan and rare pediatric disease designations   While the number of products approved to treat rare diseases has increased over the last decade, the vast majority of rare diseases lack approved treatment options.   Janet Maynard, director of F...
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    Experts address clinical challenges for ultra-rare diseases at BIO

    A panel of experts at BIO Digital on Wednesday discussed some of the challenges and regulatory considerations for sponsors developing treatments for ultra-rare diseases where clinical trials could involve a very small number of patients.   When asked where companies should begin their development for extremely rare diseases, Brad Glasscock, global vice president and head of global regulatory affairs at BioMarin said, “First and foremost I think is understanding whether...
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    FDA seeks input on rare disease clinical trials network

    To further the establishment of a rare disease clinical trials network, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is asking for input from the public and a broad array of stakeholders.   In a press release, the agency noted that it is “looking to provide a more cooperative approach” in supporting the drug development pipeline for rare diseases.   The call for information comes as the FDA is launching a Rare Disease Cures Accelerator . This accelerator will establi...
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    Regulatory NewsRegulatory News

    Regulatory Explainer: Everything You Need to Know About FDA’s Priority Review Vouchers

    Since 2007, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a handful of special "priority review" vouchers (PRVs) which allow its recipient to expedite the review of any one of its new drug products. What are these vouchers, why is FDA issuing them and what benefit might they have for society? Find out in our latest Regulatory Explainer on the Priority Review Voucher system. Last updated on 25 February 2020 to include: Vifor Pharma said on 17 February that it p...
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    N-of-1 Trials: FDA Plots Path to Regulation

    The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is taking notice of a unique and recent phenomenon where physicians and specialists can create a tailored treatment to help or even cure an individual patient with a rare genetic mutation that could prove fatal. In an editorial published Tuesday in the New England Journal of Medicine , Janet Woodcock, director of FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, and Peter Marks, director of the agency’s Center for Biologics Evalua...
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    Rare Disease Clinical Trials: FDA Awards $15M in Grants

    After receiving 89 clinical trial grant applications, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Tuesday selected 12 projects that will be funded with more than $15 million over the next four years.   The announcement of the new funding comes as approximately 30 million Americans are affected by 7,000 known rare diseases, but only a few hundred treatments exist for these rare diseases.  Two-thirds of the 2019 grants will go to studies affiliated with universities,...
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    Rare Pediatric Disease PRVs: FDA Updates Guidance

    The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Monday released revised draft guidance on rare pediatric disease priority review vouchers (PRVs), which are awarded to companies developing certain rare pediatric disease treatments and can then be sold. From 2014 to today, FDA has issued 20 rare pediatric disease PRVs, with one selling for $350 million to AbbVie in 2015 and more recently selling for between $80 million and $130 million. The revisions to FDA’s guidance i...