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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and other organizations are calling for changes to the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) recently revised draft guidance on developing drugs to treat rare diseases.   The 24-page draft guidance was revised last February after first being published in 2015.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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    Rare Pediatric PRV Program Not Linked to Uptick in New Drugs Starting Trials, Study Finds

    The rare pediatric priority review voucher (PRV) program was not found to be associated with an increase in the number or rate of new rare pediatric disease drugs that began clinical trials, a Health Affairs study found. But the researchers from Harvard Medical School, working on what they said is the first study on the impact of the rare disease PRV program on drug development, also found that their data do provide some encouraging news about rare pediatric disease d...
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    European Regulatory Roundup: Critical Moment for EMA (15 December 2017)

    Welcome to our European Regulatory Roundup, our weekly overview of the top EU regulatory news. Commission Creates Roadmap for Evaluation of Pediatric Rare Disease Legislation The European Commission has created a roadmap for evaluating legislation covering pediatric rare diseases. Officials are embarking on the nearly two-year evaluation to understand why regulations on pediatric and orphan medicines have failed to translate into the hoped-for medical advances. ...
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    Have PRVs Incentivized New Rare or Neglected Disease Research? Experts Discuss

    The priority review voucher (PRV) programs, created by Congress with an eye to incentivizing the development of new rare pediatric and neglected tropical disease drugs, have so far rewarded a wide range of small and large biopharma companies and products, though whether PRVs have actually spurred new research remains a question. Andrew Robertson, head of regulatory science and policy at Sanofi, and Rachel Cohen, regional executive director for the Drugs for Neglect...
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    More Efficient Rare Pediatric Drug Development: FDA Drafts Guidance

    The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Wednesday released draft guidance that could help speed the development of treatments for rare pediatric disease drugs. Janet Woodcock, director of FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said the draft guidance "could eliminate the need for certain clinical studies and, when pediatric clinical studies are needed, could reduce the total number of patients who would receive a placebo instead of a potentially helpful...
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    FDA Finalizes Chagas Disease Guidance for Blood Collection Establishments

    The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Tuesday finalized guidance on the use of serological tests to reduce the risk of transmission of T. cruzi , a parasite that causes Chagas disease, in blood and blood components. This guidance supersedes 2010 guidance and finalizes a draft from 2016 that amended the 2010 guidance by expanding its scope to include the collection of blood and blood components for use in manufacturing a product, including donations intende...
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    Shaking Palsy, aka Parkinson's Disease, is Still a Mystery

    This article discusses disease etiology, history and symptoms of Parkinson's disease as well as ongoing research and new treatment options. Introduction There are hundreds of diseases named after a person. These are called "eponymous diseases," and a small sample includes Crohn's disease, Salmonellosis, Huntington's disease, Hodgkin's lymphoma, Lou Gehrig's disease, Tourette's syndrome and the well-known Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's Disease (PD). PD is one of...
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    FDA Issues Disease-Specific Draft Guidance for Pediatric GERD

    The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Thursday issued draft guidance detailing clinical considerations for drugmakers looking to develop products to treat pediatric gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). FDA says the draft is meant to be a starting point for discussions between the agency, drugmakers, academia and the public and sets out the agency's current thinking on potential study populations, endpoints and clinical pharmacology issues related to dosing. Sp...
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    Guest Editorial: Does Nutrition Have a Role in Disease Management?

    This editorial is meant to encourage discussion and thinking about the value of diet and nutrition in the management of disease and a regulatory framework that would be useful in the US to protect public health and provide benefit to individuals who live with chronic disease or an increased risk of such diseases. Introduction The current regulatory approach, with respect to food and nutrition, tends to categorize individuals as consumers or patients and yet these stat...
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    FDA Panel Votes Unanimously in Favor of Gene Therapy to Treat Rare Eye Disorder

    Philadelphia-based Spark Therapeutics took its gene therapy before the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Cellular, Tissue and Gene Therapies Advisory Committee on Thursday and the panel voted 16 to 0 in favor of approving the subretinal injection, representing a major step forward for adeno-associated virus gene therapies. The therapy, known as Luxturna (voretigene neparvovec), has been granted priority review by FDA (the agency has until 12 January 2018 t...
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    Rare Diseases: FDA Awards Grants for 21 Clinical, Natural History Studies

    The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Friday awarded $32 million in research grants to fund 15 clinical studies and six natural history studies for rare diseases. The grants are being funded through FDA's orphan products grants program , with $22 million going to the clinical studies and $9.8 million in combined funding from FDA and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences' (NCATS) Therapeutics for Rare and Neglected Diseases program going to fund...
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    EMA and FDA Look to Facilitate Development of Gaucher Disease Treatments

    The European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Monday released a new strategy document to aid in the development of new treatments for Gaucher disease, a rare lysosomal storage disorder. Given the limited number of patients worldwide with Gaucher disease, EMA and FDA put forth two possible approaches to better facilitate investigations of such products: Extrapolation across age groups within a single drug development program...