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  • Regulatory NewsRegulatory News

    FDA’s COVID-19 vaccine adcomm raises questions as first readouts loom

    With several COVID-19 vaccine candidates nearing Phase 3 readouts and the prospect that one or more could receive emergency use authorization (EUA) before the end of the year, advisors to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) met on Thursday to deliberate the standards the agency has set for authorization or licensure of a vaccine.   In a nine-hour public meeting meant to provide transparency and build public confidence in the process surrounding COVID-19 vaccine d...
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    EMA kicks off rolling review of AstraZeneca COVID vaccine candidate

    The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has begun a rolling review of the COVID-19 vaccine being developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford. This is the agency’s first review of a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.   EMA’s human medicines committee (CHMP) has begun with an evaluation of non-clinical data, announced EMA on 1 October. The rolling review is meant to hasten the time to a decision on the safety and effectiveness of a therap...
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    Former commissioners call on administration to end FDA criticism

    Seven former commissioners of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) came together to call out the Trump administration for undercutting FDA’s credibility as the agency prepares to evaluate clinical trial data for vaccines against SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing the novel coronavirus pandemic.   Their comments, made in an opinion column published 29 September in The Washington Post , were welcomed by the FDA’s current vaccines chief, Peter Marks , MD, PhD, directo...
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    COVID-19 vaccine: Experts warn of waning public confidence

    Conflicting messages and priorities between vaccine makers and federal leaders serve only to exacerbate public mistrust of potential COVID-19 vaccines, according to a perspective piece from Harvard professors published in the New England Journal of Medicine .   Jerry Avorn, MD, and Aaron Kesselheim, MD, both from the division of pharmacoepidemiology and pharmacoeconomics at Harvard Medical School, took to the august publication to share their thoughts on the juxtaposi...
  • Feature ArticlesFeature Articles

    Advanced therapies: ‘Trip hazards’ on the development pathway

    This article concerns the development of advanced therapies and the challenges and complexities of getting them through the developmental pathway, which the authors call “the trip.” The authors examine at strategic levels the importance of some of the fundamental building blocks for the development program and highlight some commonly encountered challenges (trip hazards) for cell and gene therapies and offer “bench-to-bedside” and chemistry, manufacturing, and controls (CM...
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    Hahn says COVID-19 vaccines will be reviewed in ‘real time’

    At an event marking the launch of Moderna’s Phase 3 clinical trial for its mRNA coronavirus vaccine in Miami on Monday, US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Stephen Hahn repeated assurances that his agency would not cut corners in approving a COVID-19 vaccine.   Pfizer also announced on Monday that it would begin a Phase 2/3 study of its COVID-19 vaccine developed in partnership with BioNTech. Both companies say they plan to enroll 30,000 participan...
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    Lawmakers ask FDA to outline COVID-19 vaccine approval process

    Key Democratic members in the US House of Representatives have called on Stephen Hahn, MD, commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), to brief their staff on how the agency plans to make decisions regarding the development, review and deployment of vaccines against the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.   In a letter dated 18 June, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), chairwoman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), chairma...
  • Feature ArticlesFeature Articles

    Bespoke therapies – opportunities, challenges, and hope

    This article discusses the advent of bespoke therapies, defined as the tailoring of medical treatment to the individual characteristics or symptoms and responses of a patient during all stages of care and as a new frontier beyond personalized medicine. The author covers the revolutionary genetic tools implementing such therapies and the clinical and nonclinical safety perspectives for bespoke therapies. The author concludes that with bespoke therapies we are entering a new...
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    Patient Groups, Industry Seek Changes to Rare Disease Drug Guidance

    Patient groups, drugmakers and other organizations are calling for changes to the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) recently revised draft guidance on developing drugs to treat rare diseases.   The 24-page draft guidance was revised last February after first being published in 2015. The revision included updates to the agency’s approach to natural history studies, a discussion of issues for evaluating biomarkers for consideration as surrogate endpoints and a ne...
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    Asia Regulatory Roundup: Singapore’s HSA Apologizes After Vendor Stores Data in Vulnerable Repository

    Welcome to our Asia Regulatory Roundup, our weekly overview of the top regulatory news in Asia.   Singapore’s HSA Apologizes After Vendor Stores Data in Vulnerable Repository   Singapore’s Health Sciences Authority (HSA) has apologized to blood donors after a vendor stored their information in a vulnerable database. HSA learned the database lacked adequate safeguards from a cybersecurity expert and does not think other unauthorized people accessed the information...
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    FDA Finalizes Guidance on Nonclinical Drug Development for Serious Hematologic Disorders

    The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Thursday finalized guidance on the nonclinical studies drugmakers should conduct when developing products to treat severely debilitating or life-threatening hematologic disorders (SDLTHDs).   FDA classifies SDLTHDs as hematologic conditions that cause shorter life expectancy or greatly diminished quality of life even with available treatments.   FDA notes that the guidance does not apply to hematologic cancers and covers...
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    FDA Drafts Guidance on Developing Drugs for Rare Chronic Digestive Disorder

    The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued draft guidance on Wednesday to aid sponsors in the clinical development of drugs and biologics for the treatment of eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE). The 13-page draft guidance document describes the agency’s clinical trial recommendations for EoE drugs. These relate to trial population and design, safety and efficacy considerations, clinical outcomes assessments, as well as pediatric considerations. The clinical developmen...