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  • Regulatory NewsRegulatory News

    Generic drug approvals continued to fall in 2021

    The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved or tentatively approved 776 Abbreviated New Drug Applications (ANDAs) for generic drugs in 2021, continuing a steady decline in generic approvals in recent years.   In calendar year 2020 , FDA approved or tentatively approved 948 ANDAs for generic drugs, which was down from 1,014 in 2019 . The latest figures are part of the FDA’s Office of Generic Drugs (OGD) 2021 Annual Report .   But the agency approved 93 “fi...
  • Feature ArticlesFeature Articles

    January’s Regulatory Focus: Leadership in RA, expanding diversity, and more

    Feature articles during January focused on regulatory leadership, a novel approach to hiring regulatory professionals, expedited programs for reducing time to approval for certain drugs, and the Cuban biotechnology industry and its response to COVID-19. Keywords – assessment aid, breakthrough therapy, Cuba, diversity, ILAP, leadership, PRIME   Leadership, hiring, and expanding diversity Effective leadership in regulatory affairs is rooted in an understanding a...
  • Feature ArticlesFeature Articles

    Expedited pathways: Breakthrough therapy designation, PRIME, and innovative licensing & access

    Abstract Over the last decade, regulators have introduced initiatives to reduce time to approval for medicines that address an unmet medical need. This article compares the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) breakthrough therapy designation (BTD), the European Medicine’s Agency’s (EMA’s) PRIority MEdicines (PRIME) scheme, and the innovative licensing and access pathway (ILAP) from the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and reviews th...
  • Regulatory NewsRegulatory News

    Stakeholders seek clarity on FDA cell and gene therapy draft guidance

    Industry, medical societies and other stakeholders have weighed in on draft guidance from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) detailing how sponsors that want to study multiple versions of cell and gene therapies could combine them in a single “umbrella” trial.   The draft guidance, released in September 2021, outlined FDA’s proposed thinking for how this process would work. For cell and gene therapies intended to treat a single disease, sponsors would typically ...
  • Regulatory NewsRegulatory News

    Gene therapy developers can expect less hand-holding from OTAT

    A growing workload and insufficient staffing have prompted the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Office of Tissues and Advanced Therapies (OTAT) to institute new processes to expedite its reviews of new cell and gene therapies, said OTAT Director Wilson Bryan at a 6 December webinar sponsored by the Alliance for a Stronger FDA.   At the webinar, Bryan was asked to discuss the impact of the projected workload for OTAT, projections for approving new cell and gene t...
  • Regulatory NewsRegulatory News

    FDA rolls out more guidance on 'N of 1' gene therapies

    Developers of individualized investigational antisense oligonucleotide (ASO) therapies for ultra-rare diseases received additional guidance from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In two draft documents, the agency has provided new information for sponsor-investigators and for those overseeing manufacture of these so-called “N of 1” therapies for people with severely debilitating or life-threatening genetic disease.   "Progress in individualized medicines provi...
  • Feature ArticlesFeature Articles

    October’s Regulatory Focus: Linguistic review, advanced therapies in Asia-Pacific, and more

    Feature articles during October included an in-depth look at the linguistic review process in Europe and  reviews of the regulatory pathways for herbal medicinal products, medical devices, and supplements in the EU and for advanced therapies in the Asian-Pacific region. Also included was an article on the challenges of data integrity remediation in cGMP facilities.   Linguistic review and herbal product regulation The linguistic review process for centrally authori...
  • Regulatory NewsRegulatory News

    In US, unlicensed stem cell clinic numbers keep climbing

    Nearly 1,500 US businesses were engaged in direct-to-consumer marketing of unproven and unlicensed stem cell therapies in 2021, marking a significant uptick over the last five years.   The figure comes from an analysis published in the journal Cell Stem Cell that breaks down the number of clinics promoting various types of putative stem cell treatments in the United States between 2016 and 2021. As of March 31, 2021, there were 1,480 U.S. business operating 2,754 c...
  • 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...
  • Regulatory NewsRegulatory News

    For gene therapies, FDA drafts trial guidance, finalizes "sameness" for orphan exclusivity

      A new draft guidance from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gives cell and gene therapy developers a detailed framework for the conduct of umbrella trials, offering the potential for enhanced speed and efficiency in early-stage clinical trials.   In the umbrella trials envisioned under the draft guidance, two or more versions of a cellular or gene therapy product would be studied for one specific disease using just one trial design, shared infrastructure, a...
  • Regulatory NewsRegulatory News

    Convergence: Inadequate testing of cell and gene therapies draws FDA concern

    The lack of consistent testing in measuring product quality for cell and gene therapies is a major deficiency found by US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reviewers in its information requests (IRs) to manufacturers in their submission of biologics license applications (BLAs).   This observation was made by Kedest Tadesse, senior research manager for Agency IQ, which recently compiled a survey of deficiencies identified in IR letters in FDA’s review of five approved ...
  • Feature ArticlesFeature Articles

    Fostering diversity and talent: A Pfizer case study

    The Pfizer Global Regulatory Affairs (GRA) – Howard University College of Pharmacy (HUCOP) Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE) program fulfills a requirement of the Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) curriculum and helps students explore biopharmaceutical industry career options and prepare for their career after graduation, such as pursuing postgraduate training and seeking employment. The HUCOP Preceptorship Program at Pfizer was designed to broadly increase awareness ...