FDA awards $23 million in grants to Orphan drug development

On October 17th, FDA announced that over $23 million in grants will be given to 21 new clinical trial research grants for development work in new therapies/devices for rare diseases over the next four years.  The grants were awarded through the Orphan Products Clinical Trials Grants Program.

“We are proud of our 30-year track record of fostering and encouraging the development of safe and effective therapies for rare diseases through our clinical trials grant program,” said Gayatri R. Rao, M.D., J.D., director of FDA’s Office of Orphan Product Development, within the Office of Special Medical Programs. “The grants awarded this year will support much-needed research in 21 different rare diseases, many of which have little, or no, available treatment options.”

Take a look at the press release to see a list of the grant recipients and a description of the study. Need assistance in managing your orphan drug designation or regulatory filing? Contact Pearl Pathways for an experienced team in orphan products.

FDA is building NEST for medical device

Jeffrey Shuren, M.D., J.D., Director of FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health recently posted an article on the FDA Voice stating that the FDA is examining the ways they work with hospitals regarding data collection for medical devices. Hospitals can contribute to the safe use of medical devices by participating in the National Evaluation System for health Technology (NEST).

NEST is being built to look at evidence across the total product lifecycle of medical devices — excellent information to be passed along to patients. Need assistance with your post market surveillance program? Contact Pearl Pathways to partner with you.

Listen to the patient and learn

Theresa Mullin, Ph.D. and Director of FDA’s Office of Strategic Programs in the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research recently posted a blog on FDA Voice updating about the progress that has been made in the effort to listen and capture patient perspectives on the impact of their conditions on their day to day lives.  On September 27th, the FDA held the 20th Patient Focused Drug Development (PFDD) meeting — a milestone meeting in the important work of listening to the patient.  Patient perspective is valuable information in drug development and is a priority for FDA, healthcare providers and industry.  Hearing from the patient community, their families and caregivers is important knowledge that will allow all to do their jobs even better in drug development, in reviews and in making decisions.  Take a look at the Voice of the Patient Reports for an in-depth look at how disease impacts daily lives.  It is a very important perspective to understand.

FDA wants your data…

Pharma groups use quality metrics to monitor their own quality and identify areas to improve.  FDA will soon be requesting this valuable data and making use of it – a revision to the FDA’s draft guidance on quality metrics is planned still for 2016.

FDA plans to use this data “…to help develop compliance and inspection policies and practices, such as risk-based inspection scheduling of drug manufacturers; to improve the Agency’s ability to predict, and therefore, possibly mitigate, future drug shortages; and to encourage the pharmaceutical industry to implement state-of-the-art, innovative quality management systems for pharmaceutical manufacturing.”

Check out this article where Zachary Brennan, RAPS, summarizes a list of the types of data the agency will be looking for.

 

Looming deadline for manufacturers of antibacterial wash

Final ruling from the FDA was released on 9/6 that gives manufacturers of consumer antibacterial wash one year to remove 19 banned ingredients from their products.  The ingredients are not generally recognized as safe and effective and consumer antibacterial washes containing these will be considered misbranded effective 1 year after final rule publication in the Federal Register and cannot be sold.  Companies can submit for new drug applications which will be required for marketing, remove from the market or reformulate their products.  Read more in Zachary Brennan’s article on RAPS and in the Final Rule.

Need help in complying to this final rule?  Contact Pearl Pathways.

UDI deadline extended for products with NHRIC and NDC codes

Unique Device Identifier (UDI) provision implementation is proving to be a large undertaking — a project involving many dependent tasks with multiple stakeholders including supply chain, pharmacies and payers.  “The UDI Rule, established in the Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act of 2007 (FDAAA), includes a provision that rescinds any NHRIC or NDC number assigned to a device.”  The extension to 2021 is being allowed to avoid possible disruption that could interfere with patient access to devices.  The extension was made based on feedback from industry — the guidance released on August 30th indicates that “FDA has revised the guidance to reflect the Agency’s intent not to enforce the prohibition against providing National Health Related Item Code (NHRIC) and National Drug Code (NDC) numbers on device labels and device packages, with respect to finished devices that are manufactured and labeled prior to September 24, 2021.  We expect the UDI labeling requirements will be fully implemented by September 24, 2021.  We also believe additional time is appropriate for stakeholders to adopt medical device reimbursement, supply chain, and procurement systems, which do not depend on having an NHRIC or NDC number on the device label.”  Zachary Brennan reports additional information on this topic in his informative article on RAPS.

Need help ensuring your company’s UDI compliance?  Contact Pearl Pathways to start the discussion of how we can help your team.

FDA is sending a message to 15 device manufacturers

FDANews reported in a recent article that 15 new warning letters were issued to device manufacturers for GMP violations.  One letter was issued to a U.S. company with the remaining 14 issued for foreign manufacturers.  The warning letters were issued after FDA investigators conducted inspections of the manufacturing facilities and found violations.  FDA states that manufacturers should correct violations promptly and failure to correct may result in legal action.

If you need help with device manufacturing challenges, Pearl Pathways can help you achieve quality compliance in your manufacturing.  Contact us and we can make a plan together.

Common Electronic Submissions Gateway (CEGS) targeted by years’ end

Striving for greater alignment in regulatory approaches, both FDA and Health Canada are continuing work to put in place the Common Electronic Submissions Gateway (CEGS) to allow industry to submit simultaneously to both regulators.  Full functionality is expected to be completed at the end of 2016.  CEGS is one initiative of the Canada-US Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC).  RCC also has other Joint Action Plan Initiatives in developing common monographs for routine OTC drugs and teaming up to eliminate duplicate efforts on routine surveillance of GMP inspection reports.

“Increased collaboration between regulatory agencies in Canada and the U.S. will reduce unnecessary duplicative costs for manufacturers of pharmaceutical and therapeutic products, further streamline regulatory decision-making, and minimize the delays in bringing health and personal care products to the marketplace, thereby expanding consumer choice without compromising the safety, efficacy and quality of products,”  a joint action plan for the RCC says.

For more details and links, check out Zachary Brennan’s article in RAPS.

Newly released PDUFA VI goals letter from FDA

FDA released its “goals letter”  on performance goals and procedures for the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) for 2018 – 2022.  This is important news about the human drug review program — both for industry and patients.  FDA is holding a public meeting on August 15; information can be found here,  and you can register here.

Take a look at Zachary Brennan’s detailed summary in his article on RAPS.  Brennan says the “goals letter” document tells how and where the FDA spends user fees from industry.  It also communicates deadlines for upcoming guidance documents and new projects, and provides new review times for new drug applications (NDA) and biologics license applications (BLA) and more.

Preparation is key in preventing delays for obtaining orphan drug designation

Orphan Drug products give patients with rare diseases hope. The Orphan Drug Act, originated in 1983, features incentives for companies to develop drugs to treat a rare disease or condition by giving tax credits on clinical trials, eligibility for seven years of market exclusivity and no user fees.  More and more companies are jumping on this bandwagon which no doubt means a demanding number of requests for the FDA to review.  FDA continues to work on their review processes as Gayatri Rao, M.D., J.D. explains in her recent article on the FDA voice.  Her message to companies is to prepare designation requests with much attention to detail and requirements.  This preparation will minimize the number of review cycles needed with the FDA and get the therapies to the patient faster.  Call on Pearl Pathways to work with you and provide the attention to detail you require in your orphan drug designation requests.