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    Animal models have limitations for safety assessment of gene therapies: FDA adcomm

    An advisory committee to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has said animal models are “problematic” in assessing the safety risks of gene therapies derived from adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors.   FDA’s Cellular, Tissue, and Gene Therapies Advisory Committee (CTGTAC) held a virtual meeting on 2 September to discuss the best animal models to study to assess safety of these products.   “AAV are a popular type of gene therapy, yet we are seeing a variety o...
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    FDA's FY2022 Senate funding bill clears Appropriations committee

    The Senate Appropriations committee has completed its markup of the FY2022 budget for the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), advancing by a 25-5 vote a bill that would hold the agency to a $200 million increase in its budget authority.   The bill exited the Appropriations subcommittee responsible for FDA funding on Monday with no objections to the Senate’s proposed 6% increase for the agency over FY2021 figures. (RELATED: Senate subcommittee advances FY2022 FDA f...
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    Makena Withdrawal? A Look at the Timeline and Other Accelerated Approvals

    Earlier this week, an FDA advisory committee recommended that the agency withdraw Amag Pharmaceutical’s preterm birth drug Makena, a treatment that brought in more than $1 billion in sales before failing a confirmatory trial. The agency is now faced with the task of whether to take the committee’s vote and pull Makena from the market or allow it to remain until another confirmatory trial can be completed. Keeping Makena on the market would also present a rare situation,...
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    Senate Committee Advances OTC Monograph Reform Bill

    The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on Thursday advanced a bill by voice vote that would reform the way over-the-counter (OTC) drugs are brought to market by creating a user fee system like the ones used for prescription drugs and devices. The bill, introduced by Sens. Johnny Isakson (R-GA), who’s resigning from the Senate at the end of the year, and Bob Casey (D-PA), aims to speed up the antiquated approval process for OTC drugs and would create ...
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    FDA Advisory Committee Calendar

    Regulatory Focus is pleased to team with Tarius , a regulatory information services provider, to routinely offer information about upcoming FDA Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) meetings for CDER, CBER, and the Office of the Commissioner. Upcoming Meetings   13 September – Allergenic Products Advisory Committee   The committee will discuss and make recommendations on the safety and efficacy of Peanut [Arachis hypogaea] Allergen Powder manufactured by Ai...
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    13 Keys to a Successful FDA Advisory Committee Meeting

    When the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has significant questions or concerns about clinical data submitted in support of a product under review, it often seeks input from independent academicians and clinicians outside the agency. For this reason, FDA has established Advisory Committees comprised of such experts in various therapeutic areas. Currently, there are 49 such standing committees. If your company is a sponsor of a product subject to Advisory Committee rev...
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    When FDA and Advisory Committees Disagree: Study Investigates Gaps

    While only about one in five US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) new drug approvals or safety decisions run counter to outside advisory committee advice, a new study published Monday in the Milbank Quarterly looks further into what happens when both sides disagree. Of the 404 advisory committee meetings that involved voting questions (out of a total of 759 meetings between 2008 and 2015), the study looked at 376 meetings, with 271 (72%) for initial product approvals...
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    Senate Coalesces Around Series of Drug Pricing Bills With Little Impact on Pharma Companies

    The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday advanced four bills to the Senate floor, three of which were bipartisan, and all meant to lower the prices of prescription drugs. The four bills are part of a coordinated push in the Senate and include a larger bill that advanced Wednesday out of the Senate health committee and is expected to be taken up on the Senate floor before the end of July, and another bill that Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) said he was likely to advance ...
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    Foreign Threats to NIH Research: Senate Finance Committee Digs In

    China, Russia and Iran were singled out in a Senate Finance Committee hearing on Wednesday as countries that are looking to either undermine or usurp scientific research conducted with US taxpayer funds. Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) made clear that China is “by far the most prolific offender,” offering the example of attempts by Chinese researchers to steal genetically modified corn seeds in Iowa and send them back to China. “Researchers who are secretly ...
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    HHS Secretary Nominee: 'No Silver Bullet' to Bring Down Drug Prices

    President Donald Trump's Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary nominee Alex Azar told the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday that drug prices "are too high" and he will work to bring them down, though, "There's no silver bullet." Azar previously told the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee that drug prices will be his top priority. The comments on Tuesday followed questions raised by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and others regardi...
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    Updated: House and Senate Pass Tax Overhaul

    The US House of Representatives and the Senate on Wednesday passed the GOP tax overhaul bill. President Donald Trump indicated he will sign the bill into a law. Bill Details Members of the House-Senate Conference Committee on Friday released the final text of the bill, which would reduce the rare disease research tax credits biopharma companies can claim by half . The cut would reduce the credits claimed by companies by $32.5 billion from 2018 to 2027, according t...
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    Senate Tax Plan Seeks to Reform, Rather Than Repeal, Orphan Drug Tax Credit

    The Senate’s tax plan, running counter to the House’s call to eliminate the orphan drug tax credit for research on drugs to treat rare diseases, seeks to modify the credit instead. The proposal would limit what level of expenses will qualify and limit qualified clinical expenses if they are related to the use of a drug which has previously been approved for diseases or conditions affecting more than 200,000 persons in the US. The tax credit is part of a law from...