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    Merck and PhRMA to FDA: Wait for ICH Before Finalizing Guidance on Toxicity Testing for Cancer Drugs

    Drugmakers and industry groups are calling on the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to hold off on finalizing a draft guidance until the International Council on Harmonisation (ICH) finalizes its own guidance on the topic of reproductive toxicity testing for oncology drugs. Comments were released last week on the FDA draft guidance from late September. Industry group PhRMA and Merck both called on FDA to ensure consistency between the draft guidance and relevant I...
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    Drug Labels: Experts Note Importance of Faster Updates

    The topic of cancer drug labels and how they can be updated more quickly, as well as how the labeling system needs to be reformed was front and center at several panels at the Friends of Cancer Research's annual meeting in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday. Janet Woodcock, director of the US Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER), noted her agency has been working on the issue of label updates for a number of years, particul...
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    EMA Responds to BMJ Article Questioning Benefits of Recent Cancer Drug Approvals

    As more cancer drugs are approved and prices continue to rise, questions have circulated on whether these drugs are extending patient survival or improving quality of life (QoL). A research article published in the BMJ last week reviewed the approval of drugs by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) from 2009 to 2013 and noted that most drugs entered the market without evidence of survival benefits or QoL. "When there were survival gains over existing treatment o...
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    Study Finds FDA Action on Unapproved Drugs Led to Higher Prices, Longer Shortages

    A new study finds that the US Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) 2006 initiative to get manufacturers selling unapproved drugs to submit the drugs for approval or remove them from the market led to higher prices and longer shortages for those drugs. Background Today, drugs must be reviewed by FDA for safety and efficacy or in some cases conform to an over-the-counter (OTC) monograph before they can be marketed in the US. However, in the years between the 1938 Food, D...
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    FDA Finalizes HPV Diagnostic Study Guidance

    The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Thursday finalized its 2015 draft guidance on the types of studies necessary to establish the performance characteristics of diagnostics used to detect human papillomavirus (HPV) when screening for cervical cancer. Background HPV is the leading cause of cervical cancer, with fourteen genotypes of the virus considered to be carcinogenic or high-risk. According to the Centers for Disease Control, cervical cancer was the leading...
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    FDA Approves Pfizer’s Mylotarg 7 Years After it was Pulled From the Market

    The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Friday approved Mylotarg (gemtuzumab ozogamicin) for the treatment of adults with newly diagnosed acute myeloid leukemia whose tumors express the CD33 antigen (CD33-positive AML) and for patients aged two years and older with CD33-positive AML who have experienced a relapse or who have not responded to initial treatment.  In 2010, Pfizer voluntarily withdrew the treatment, 10 years after it won accelerated approval, wh...
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    FDA, NCI to Collaborate Further on Cancer Research

    The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and National Cancer Institute (NCI) on Monday unveiled a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to further cooperate on understanding the molecular biology of cancer as it relates to diagnostic measurements, product development and treatment. "The purpose of this MOU is to engage in scientific and programmatic collaborations in clinical proteogenomics cancer research, such as statistical experimental design, instrument/technolo...
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    FDA Warns 14 Companies for Selling Fake Cancer Treatments

    The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Tuesday released warning letters sent to 14 US-based companies for selling dozens of unapproved cancer treatments online and through social media. The companies, FDA says, have 15 days to respond with plans to address the violations or face possible criminal prosecution, including up to a year in federal prison and fine of $100,000 or twice the companies' gains on the fraudulent products. The agency is also advising patients ...
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    FDA Officials Question Lack of New Cancer Drugs Developed in Combination With Radiation

    Although almost half of patients with cancer who are cured will have received radiation therapy as a component of their care, there is still a dearth of new therapies being developed in combination with radiation, officials from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) wrote in an article published this week. The authors, including Richard Pazdur, director of FDA's Oncology Center of Excellence, and FDA medical officer Amanda Walker, say that since 2006 there have been ...
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    Pediatric Cancers: New Bill Seeks to Close Clinical Trial Requirement Loopholes

    A new bipartisan bill reintroduced in the House and Senate in late February, which could ultimately be attached to the reauthorized Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA), seeks to close the loopholes biopharmaceutical companies use to skirt around clinical trial requirements for cancer treatments in pediatric populations. Background Pediatric study requirements are included in both the Pediatric Research Equity Act (PREA), which requires biopharma companies to ...
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    FDA’s Pazdur and Blumenthal: The March of Checkpoint Inhibitors Will Continue

    More approvals of new immune-checkpoint inhibitors, targeted and personalized therapies, as well as the use of real-world evidence are coming in the near future, Richard Pazdur, director of the Office of Hematology and Oncology at the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and associate director Gideon Blumenthal wrote in a comment published this week in Nature . Those expectations follow 2016 oncology approvals for FDA that included five new molecular entities and 17 ef...
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    CTTI Offers Recommendations for Pediatric Clinical Trials for Antibiotics

    The Clinical Trials Transformation Initiative (CTTI) has released a set of recommendations it says will improve the use of antibiotics in children. According to CTTI, a public-private partnership aimed at improving the quality and efficacy of clinical trials, challenges in enrolling and completing pediatric clinical trials for antibiotics leads to a situation where such drugs are used in children despite lacking adequate labeling for pediatric populations. Furthermore, ...