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    Microbial Vectors Used for Gene Therapy: FDA Offers Final Guidance

    The US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research this week issued final guidance for investigation new drug (IND) submissions for microbial vectors used for gene therapies (MVGTs) in early-phase clinical trials. The 27-page final guidance follows a draft issued in October 2015 and is meant to supplement: “Guidance for FDA Reviewers and Sponsors: Content and Review of Chemistry, Manufacturing, and Control (CMC) Information for Human...
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    EMA to Continue Adaptive Pathways Program as Pilot Ends

    The European Medicines Agency (EMA) on Wednesday published a final report on its experience from its adaptive pathways pilot project, noting that a few aspects of the program need to be further improved and refined moving forward.  Though the vast majority of applications for the pilot were rejected, EMA said that moving forward, the agency needs to further integrate the patient voice into the program and refine the definition of methodologically sound strategies for col...
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    European Commission to Overhaul Concept of ‘Similar’ Medicines Within Context of Orphan Legislation

    The European Commission on Friday proposed to review the concept of “similar medicinal products” in the context of its orphan legislation as part of a wider effort to adapt the text to technical progress. Fifteen years after the implementation of the orphan legislation, the commission says it is currently launching initiatives to improve the implementation of the regulatory framework with a view to ensuring timely access to medicinal products.  In this context, the Comm...
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    EC Report Analyzes Regulatory Frameworks for Advanced Therapies in US, Canada, Japan and Korea

    The European Commission report released Wednesday dissects the similarities in how gene-, cell- and tissue-based advanced therapies are regulated across the four different geographic regions, though ongoing research projects in such therapies are heavily concentrated in the US and Japan. The 327-page report highlights the “high degree of convergence” in the regulation of advanced therapies across the US, Canada, South Korea and Japan, noting that only Japan has enacted (...
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    Advanced Therapies: Stakeholders Call for EMA Changes on Regulations, Manufacturing

    The European Medicines Agency (EMA) on Friday released a report outlining the concerns and regulatory changes described by developers, manufacturers and investors in advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMPs), which include gene therapies, tissue-engineered products and somatic cell therapies, at a meeting last week. The report notes that recurring themes included the need for early interaction with regulators and guidance, more transparency, greater harmonization betwe...
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    FDA Seeks Ban on Electric Stimulation Devices Used in Aversive Therapy

    The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says it intends to ban electrical stimulation devices (ESDs) used to treat aggressive and self-injurious behaviors after an advisory panel recommended banning the devices in 2014. According to FDA, ESDs are only used to treat aggressive and self-injurious behaviors at a single US facility, the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, MA. FDA proposed the ban in a notice appearing in the Federal Register on Friday, saying ...
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    Physicians Lack Understanding of What ‘Breakthrough’ Designation Means, Study Finds

    A US survey of board-certified internists and specialists revealed “substantial deficits in knowledge” of what it means for a drug to be approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and approved via the “breakthrough” pathway, according to a research letter published in JAMA on Tuesday. Since 2012, FDA has designated certain drugs as "breakthrough” therapies (76 drugs have received the designation through April 2015) if preliminary clinical evidence – such as ...
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    EMA Unveils 19 Advanced Therapy Product Classifications

    The European Medicines Agency (EMA) on Tuesday released a host of classification decisions for advanced therapies being developed to treat various types of tissue damage, including burns, scars and non-healing wounds. The agency, through its Committee for Advanced Therapies (CAT), offers sponsors an optional consultation to determine whether a product meets the criteria for an advanced-therapy medicinal product (ATMP) . The classification procedure is laid out in Arti...
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    FDA Looking for Two New Cellular and Gene Therapy Fellows

    • 28 March 2016
    The US Food and Drug Administration’s Division of Cellular and Gene Therapies is opening up two contract fellowship positions: one to study the potential of human pluripotent stem cells for developing gene and cell therapies, and one to further investigate mechanisms that RNA viruses use to inhibit host immune cell function. Candidates with research experience in virology, immunology, cell biology, molecular biology or gene therapy will receive the strongest consideratio...
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    Analysis: Breakthrough Therapies Cut Development Timeline by Two Years

    A nonprofit cancer advocacy group says that the US Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) breakthrough therapy designation has been effective in shortening the amount of time it takes to develop new oncology drugs by more than two years. In a paper published in The Pharmacogenomics Journal in March, the authors from the Friends of Cancer Research say that cancer drugs with breakthrough therapy designations also see faster approval times than non-breakthrough products as ...
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    FDA Sees Spike in Gene and Cell Therapy Applications

    The US Food and Drug Administration’s Cellular, Tissue and Gene Therapies Advisory Committee (CTGTAC) met Tuesday to discuss updates of research programs in the Office of Cellular, Tissue and Gene Therapy (CTGT), which is part of FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER). The research updates came as Raj Puri, MD, PhD, Director, Division of Cellular, and Gene Therapies (DCGT) at CBER told the committee that although his division has only licensed 12 prod...
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    First-in-Class, Rare Disease Drug Approvals Dominated in 2015: A Breakdown from FDA

    Last year was a banner year for the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in terms of new drug approvals, with many of the new drugs coming to market to help rare disease patients and offer new first-in-class options. The total of 45 approvals was well ahead of FDA’s average of about 28 novel approvals between 2006 and 2014, and 36% of those new approvals were for first-in-class drugs while almost half (47%) were to treat rare diseases, or ailments that impact 200,000 or...