• RF Quarterly
    Feature ArticlesFeature Articles

    RF Quarterly, December 2021: Key takeaways from RAPS Convergence 2021

    Welcome to the December issue of RF Quarterly which focuses on key takeaways from RAPS Convergence 2021, including patient-focused approaches in regulatory decision making and drug development, the transition from convergence to harmonization for global pharmaceutical regulatory requirements, pediatric drug development, and regulatory and clinical strategies.   Patient perspective and global harmonization There is increasing recognition of the importance of patients...
  • RF Quarterly
    Feature ArticlesFeature Articles

    Pediatric drug development: Increasing success and overcoming obstacles

    This article discusses pediatric drug development in the EU and US, with an emphasis on overcoming regulatory obstacles. The authors present the commonalities and differences between US and EU regulations and guidelines and examine the legislative acts and subsequent regulatory requirements, while outlining the necessary steps for successful implementation of pediatric drug clinical trials. They conclude with a discussion of three case studies that highlight strategic init...
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    The RACE is on: Opportunities in pediatric oncology product development

    Pediatric oncology patients continue to have significant unmet medical need. Although the Pediatric Research Equity Act (PREA) mandated evaluation of new drugs for pediatric patients, the rarity and uniquity of pediatric cancers allowed for waivers or exemptions from PREA requirements. The passing of FDA Reauthorization Act amendments in 2017 included the Research Acceleration for Cure and Equity Act, which expands the scope of oncology products subject to PREA. Sponsors d...
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    Global pediatric development: Challenges, potential solutions, and opportunities

    The US and EU require sponsors to evaluate their drugs for use in children. The low prevalence of many conditions in children means sponsors commonly want to conduct one pediatric development program that satisfies the requirements of both the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and European Medicines Agency (EMA). However, multiregional pediatric development is challenging. This article will describe some of the challenges associated with pediatric development, offer po...
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    Effectiveness of the rare pediatric disease priority review voucher program

    The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) awards priority review vouchers (PRVs) as an incentive to encourage development of therapeutics for underserved medical needs. The program, introduced in 2007 for neglected tropical diseases, was expanded to include rare pediatric diseases in 2012 and medical countermeasures in 2016. Of these three programs, the most successful has been for rare pediatric diseases, with studies indicating the pediatric PRV program stimulates clinic...
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    Strategies for pediatric clinical trials and drug development

    This article discusses the considerations for designing and conducting pediatric clinical trials from a pediatrician’s perspective. The author covers pediatric subpopulations, issues related to age, endpoints, and pharmacokinetic considerations, while presenting practical solutions and ethical considerations. Patient and family‒centric approach to studies and engagement with patient advocacy groups are also discussed. The author concludes with some recommendations about pe...
  • Regulatory NewsRegulatory News

    New public-private consortium will tackle gene therapies for rare diseases

    Two federal agencies are partnering with pharmaceutical companies and non-profit organizations to form a consortium aimed at boosting the development of gene therapies for rare diseases.   In a Wednesday announcement, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) revealed the launch of the Bespoke Gene Therapy Consortium (BGTC). The consortium’s work will be managed by the Foundation for the NIH and sit within the NIH Acceleratin...
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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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    FDA panel split on approach to COVID-19 vaccines for younger children

    Members of the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) disagreed as to whether the agency should grant emergency use authorizations (EUAs) for COVID-19 vaccines for children at a 10 June meeting.   Some said that EUAs were necessary to get the pediatric population vaccinated quickly to achieve herd immunity as the country emerges from the pandemic and that these vaccines should be available soon as th...
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    FDA approves aducanumab for use in Alzheimer’s disease

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Monday announced the approval of Biogen’s human monoclonal antibody Aduhelm (aducanumab) for use in patients with Alzheimer’s disease under the agency’s accelerated approval pathway.   FDA’s approval of aducanumab is based on results from two Phase 3 clinical trials of patients with early Alzheimer’s disease (AD), EMERGE and ENGAGE . Both trials were stopped in March 2019 due to apparent futility by a data safety monito...
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    FDA clarifies deferral policy on pediatric studies for new cancer drugs

    Final guidance from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) specifies when sponsors must conduct pediatric studies for new cancer drugs as well as when those requirements can be waived or deferred.   Sponsors are required to evaluate these oncology drugs in pediatric populations for applications submitted on or after 18 August 2020, under changes made by the FDA Reauthorization Act of 2017 (FDARA).   The guidance addresses molecularly targeted oncology drugs for ...
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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...