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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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    TGA gives Pfizer COVID vaccine provisional determination

    Another vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the novel coronavirus, has received provisional determination from Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). Pfizer, doing business in Australia as Pfizer Australia Pty Ltd, received the determination on 14 October for its messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) COVID-19 vaccine candidate, BNT162b2.   The decision comes after a 9 October decision by TGA to grant provisional determination to AstraZeneca’s rec...
  • RoundupsRoundups

    Asia-Pacific Roundup: Japan’s PMDA shares principles for evaluation of COVID-19 vaccines

    Japan’s Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency (PMDA) has published principles for evaluating COVID-19 vaccines. The principles echo guidelines published in other parts of the world, for example by recommending that studies are designed to show vaccines prevent COVID-19.   PMDA, like its peers, is against the use of surrogate measures given the lack of evidence linking them to the key endpoint of COVID-19 prevention. Clinical trials to assess the preventive effect ...
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    TGA explains how it will handle lapsed conformity assessments due to MDR delays, COVID

    Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) on Tuesday released guidance explaining its approach to medical device conformity assessment recertification in light of delays in the implementation of the EU Medical Devices Regulation (MDR) and disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.   “[TGA] is issuing this guidance to inform sponsors … about the general approach the TGA will take to the lapsing of conformity assessment documents due to delays in audits due ...
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    TGA moves AstraZeneca's vaccine on first step toward approval

    The Australian Therapeutic Good Administration (TGA) has taken the first step toward provisional approval of the vaccine against COVID-19 being developed by AstraZeneca in collaboration with the University of Oxford. The decision was made after reviewing the firm’s clinical trial plan and weighing the threats of the pandemic, said TGA in announcing its decision.   On 9 October, TGA gave AstraZeneca’s recombinant chimpanzee adenovirus vector vaccine, ChAd0x1-S, a prov...
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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...
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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...
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    Australia and Canada Jointly Approve Breast Cancer Drug

    As part of a push toward regulatory convergence, Health Canada and Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) last week jointly approved Eli Lilly’s Verzenio (abemaciclib) for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer. Each regulator evaluated different parts of the regulatory submission dossier, although both made independent decisions regarding approval. Health Canada also worked with the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH) on the appr...
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    Two Gene Therapy Approvals Headline CBER’s FY 2018 Report

    The US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER) on Wednesday published its Fiscal Year 2018 report, highlighting two gene therapy approvals, as well as the approvals of a hepatitis B vaccine, a vaccine to prevent shingles and a flu vaccine for children as young as six months. Both of the gene therapy approvals occurred at the very beginning of the previous fiscal year, with CBER signing off on Spark Therapeutics’ Luxturna...