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  • Feature ArticlesFeature Articles

    The RACE is on: Opportunities in pediatric oncology product development

    Pediatric oncology patients continue to have significant unmet medical need. Although the Pediatric Research Equity Act (PREA) mandated evaluation of new drugs for pediatric patients, the rarity and uniquity of pediatric cancers allowed for waivers or exemptions from PREA requirements. The passing of FDA Reauthorization Act amendments in 2017 included the Research Acceleration for Cure and Equity Act, which expands the scope of oncology products subject to PREA. Sponsors d...
  • 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      A new draft guidance from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gives cell and gene therapy developers a detailed framework for the conduct of umbrella trials, offering the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   In the umbrella trials envisioned under the draft guidance, two or more versions of a cellular or gene therapy product would be studied for one specific disease using just one trial design, shared infrastructure, a...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

    EFPIA, others question EC's proposed orphan and pediatric drug development updates

    An initiative by the European Commission (EC) to boost the development of pediatric drugs and medicines for people with rare diseases has received stakeholder feedback that in many cases expresses concern with the proposed upending of the status quo.   A 60-day period of public consultation for the initiative’s roadmap closed at the end of July; in all, 112 comments were received from individuals, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), public authorities, medical socie...
  • Regulatory NewsRegulatory News

    FDA approves aducanumab for use in Alzheimer’s disease

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Monday announced the approval of Biogen’s human monoclonal antibody Aduhelm (aducanumab) for use in patients with Alzheimer’s disease under the agency’s accelerated approval pathway.   FDA’s approval of aducanumab is based on results from two Phase 3 clinical trials of patients with early Alzheimer’s disease (AD), EMERGE and ENGAGE . Both trials were stopped in March 2019 due to apparent futility by a data safety monito...
  • Regulatory NewsRegulatory News

    Euro Convergence: How orphan drug suppliers can win labelling exemptions

    A strong local presence in EU markets is needed when seeking labelling exemptions that help reduce the cost of providing orphan products, according to experts who spoke at RAPS Euro Convergence 2021.   Manufacturers of orphan drugs can gain exemptions from some labelling requirements at an EU level and from individual member states, a potentially valuable flexibility for companies that make orphan drugs targeting very small numbers of patients. Such products face speci...
  • Regulatory NewsRegulatory News

    CHMP recommends eight new medicines in April, including two orphans

    In its April meeting, the European Medicines Agency’s (EMA’s) human medicines committee recommended eight new medicines for approval, including three new non-orphan medicinal products and two orphan medicines.   EMA’s Committee for Medical Products for Human Use (CHMP) also issued positive opinions for extensions of therapeutic indications for nine medicines, bringing the total new indications for 2021 to 23.   Leo Pharma’s Adtralza (tralkinumab) was recommended ...
  • Regulatory NewsRegulatory News

    FDA Rare Disease Day: Collaboration begins with patients

    A few ingredients are essential to advancing therapies for rare diseases: organized patients, the involvement of academic researchers, and support and flexibility from the US Food and Drug Administration and industry. That’s according to Frank McCormack, MD, professor of medicine at the University of Cincinnati. “It begins with the courage and resolve of patients. The patients had the foresight to organize, and facilitate and fund research, and then they lined up for tr...
  • Regulatory NewsRegulatory News

    FDA on Rare Disease Day: New initiatives and an upcoming conference

    On Monday, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a series of efforts and a day-long conference centered on addressing the unmet needs of patients with rare diseases. FDA leaders announced the initiatives in recognition of Rare Disease Day, observed on February 28.   A new request for applications (RFA) issued by FDA augments the agency’s Orphan Products Grants Program. The RFA is seeking natural history studies to address unmet needs in rare diseases, l...
  • Regulatory NewsRegulatory News

    FDA launches online orphan submissions portal

    The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Monday launched a new cloud-based submission portal for orphan drug designation requests, shifting away from the current paper and CD-based submission process. The new portal, first announced in January, is part of the agency’s orphan drug technology modernization effort and fits in with its broader technology modernization plans. The shift to electronic submissions follows a decade of increasing orphan drug designation reques...
  • Regulatory NewsRegulatory News

    FDA orphan drug updates at NORD Summit

    Officials from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) provided updates on the agency’s efforts to support the development of medical products for rare diseases at the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) Summit this week.   In his keynote address on Thursday, FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn said that FDA had already approved 51 orphan indications through July of this year and acknowledged that the agency’s Office of Orphan Products Development (OOPD) has se...
  • Regulatory NewsRegulatory News

    European Commission reviews impact of orphan, pediatric regulations

    The European Commission on Tuesday published the results of a yearslong evaluation of the EU’s orphan and pediatric medicines regulations it says will be used to guide future legislative changes and shape the EU pharmaceutical strategy.   The more than 100-page evaluation reviews the positive impacts and shortcomings of the orphan regulation, Regulation (EC) No 141/2000 , and the pediatric regulation, Regulation (EC) No 1901/2006 , based on external studies and var...
  • Regulatory NewsRegulatory News

    Experts address clinical challenges for ultra-rare diseases at BIO

    A panel of experts at BIO Digital on Wednesday discussed some of the challenges and regulatory considerations for sponsors developing treatments for ultra-rare diseases where clinical trials could involve a very small number of patients.   When asked where companies should begin their development for extremely rare diseases, Brad Glasscock, global vice president and head of global regulatory affairs at BioMarin said, “First and foremost I think is understanding whether...