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Category Archives: Regulatory

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FDA launches temporary “TRIP” program to help HCT/P sponsors gain regulatory clarity

Acting Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Ned Sharpless, M.D. recently announced that FDA is implementing a temporary program called the Tissue Reference Group Rapid Inquiry Program (“TRIP”), which will assist human cell, tissue, and cellular and tissue product (HCT/P) manufacturers, as well as stakeholders that market HCT/Ps, to “obtain a rapid, preliminary, informal, non-binding assessment from

FDA issues benefit-risk framework for assessing opioid drug applications, announces public meeting

Agency seeks input on “comparative advantage” requirement for new opioids Yesterday, as part of its ongoing efforts to combat the current opioid crisis, FDA published a draft guidance, “Opioid Analgesic Drugs: Considerations for Benefit-Risk Assessment Framework,” outlining the benefit-risk framework the Agency intends to use in assessing whether a new opioid drug application meets the

What comes out, must go back in: Court sides with FDA on “same surgical procedure” and “homologous use” definitions governing human cell and tissue products

FDA authority to crack down on illegally marketed stem cell treatments confirmed On Monday, a federal District Court in Florida issued a decisive blow against US Stem Cell Clinic, LLC, granting the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) motion for summary judgment, and stopping the clinic from offering its stem cell therapy to patients. The

FDA’s ‘Project Facilitate’ Pilot to Collect Metrics on Sponsor Expanded Access Denials

This morning, FDA announced it launched its new expanded access pilot called “Project Facilitate,” a concierge call center under the Oncology Center of Excellence (OCE) to facilitate the Single Patient IND (SPI) request process for oncologists.  Under the new program, FDA staff will help guide physicians through the process of applying for expanded access by

NHTSA, FMCSA release advanced notices of proposed rulemaking regarding autonomous driving systems

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today each issued an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) regarding the removal of regulatory barriers to the safe introduction of automated driving systems (ADS) on public roads. I. NHTSA’s ANPRM NHTSA’s ANPRM focuses on how to amend its crash avoidance

DoD Trusted Capital Marketplace

At a press availability on May 10, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, Ellen Lord, discussed the “matchmaking” service the Department of Defense (“DoD” or “Department”) is helping to create, to put small and struggling firms together with trusted sources of capital.  This program may be viewed as a positive step that is

FDA Chief of Staff: OTC reform remains “top priority” for FDA

Speaking Tuesday, May 21, at the Consumer Health Products Association Regulatory, Scientific, and Quality Conference, FDA Chief of Staff Lauren Silvis emphasized that over-the-counter (OTC) monograph reform remains a “top priority” for FDA.  Based on these comments, FDA is clearly not giving up on monograph reform: FDA has long engaged in this effort, and we will

FDA guidance may ease path to biosimilar interchangeability

On Friday, FDA published the final guidance, “Considerations in Demonstrating Interchangeability With a Reference Product,” which is intended to assist sponsors in demonstrating that a biosimilar product is interchangeable with a reference product.  Even as some of the details remain to be hashed out, the guidance makes clear FDA’s desire to minimize the burdens of

FDA Doubles Down on MUsT Studies for Sunscreens and Issues Final Guidance on Absorption Studies that Will Likely Be Needed for Continued Marketing

On May 10, 2019, FDA published a notice of availability for a final guidance document on Maximal Usage Trials (MUsT studies) for topically applied active ingredients being considered for OTC drug monographs, including sunscreens.  As FDA has previously explained, the guidance states that MUsT studies can identify the potential for the systemic exposure for a

FDA publishes final guidance on ANDA/505(b)(2) NDA pathways

On Thursday, FDA published the final guidance document, “Determining Whether to Submit an ANDA or a 505(b)(2) Application” that contains minor revisions to the October 2017 draft guidance.  The final guidance contains no significant substantive changes to the draft version, but here are a few interesting tidbits: FDA will respond to comments seeking clarification on

New FDA draft guidance on voluntary recalls highlights importance of recall initiation plans

On April 23, FDA issued draft guidance entitled “Initiation of Voluntary Recalls Under 21 CFR Part 7, Subpart C,” which aims to clarify how firms in a product distribution chain should prepare to facilitate timely initiation of a voluntary recall, respond to an indication of a problem with a distributed product, and initiate a voluntary

With the Statutory Deadline Approaching, FDA Issues a Proposed Sunscreens Rule

On February 26, FDA published the proposed rule, “Sunscreen Drug Products for Over-the-Counter Human Use,” which describes the conditions under which Over-the-Counter (OTC) sunscreen monograph products are generally recognized as safe and effective (GRASE) and not misbranded.  Primarily, the proposed rule seeks additional information on sunscreen ingredients so that FDA can evaluate their GRASE status

FDA’s Bendeka decision reverses approvals of Treanda generics

Yesterday, FDA released a letter stating how the agency intends to implement the scope of orphan drug exclusivity awarded to Eagle Pharmaceuticals’ Bendeka (bendamustine HCl) by the D.C. Circuit Court in Eagle Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Azar, No. 16-790, ECF No. 64 (D.D.C.) (Jun. 8, 2018).  At issue following the Eagle decision was whether the exclusivity

FDA to consider patent listing, therapeutic equivalence, and other Orange Book issues; agency will issue draft guidance documents, seek public comment

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D. recently announced four steps FDA will be taking to ensure that the Orange Book (FDA’s publication of Approved Drug Products with Therapeutic Equivalence Evaluations) provides the greatest benefit to patients and providers, and (perhaps in particular) generic drug developers.  The Commissioner’s announcement addresses several important issues, including patent listing standards

European Commission publishes factsheet on the (in vitro) medical devices procurement ecosystem

Introduction The European Commission has published a factsheet addressed to organisers of public tenders involving medical devices. The goal of the factsheet is to provide hospitals, clinics, ministries and competent authorities responsible for the procurement of (in vitro) medical devices with guidance concerning Medical Device Regulation (MDR) and the In Vitro Device Regulation (IVDR). This

The EMA has published a Concept paper for a Guideline for the development of medicinal products containing allergens to treat rare allergic diseases

Introduction On 13 December 2018, the EMA published a “Concept paper on a Guideline for allergen products development in moderate to low-sized study populations”. Four EMA guidelines concerning medicinal products containing allergens are currently applicable. They provide guidance for the clinical development and quality control of medicinal products containing allergens. All of these guidelines start

Pharma Companies May Benefit from Proposed Patent Law Changes in China; Public Comment Invited

On January 4, China’s National People’s Congress (NPC) released draft amendments to the Chinese Patent Law, proposing expanded and enhanced protections that may provide real benefits to companies that develop new drugs.  A potentially important condition to one of the key proposed changes specific to new drugs is that it would be available only for

European Commission publishes factsheet on medical devices and in vitro medical devices for non-EU and non-EEA competent authorities

Introduction The European Commission has published a factsheet addressed to competent authorities of third countries. This factsheet is one of several guidance documents published by the European Commission to clarify points and answer questions regarding the implications of the Medical Device Regulation (MDR) and the In Vitro Medical Device Regulation (IVDR). The factsheet is intended

The European Commission started implementing its “no-deal Brexit” Contingency Action Plan

Introduction On 19 December 2018, the European Commission published a Communication addressed at the EU institutions. The Communication relates to the preparation for the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, in case of a “no-deal” Brexit. The Communication discussed 14 measures that the European Commission has adopted to prepare for the “no-deal”

Likely FDA Impact of the Government Shutdown: Regulatory Submission Reviews, Inspections, and Research Projects

The U.S. government shutdown that began December 22, 2018 affected only about a quarter of federal agencies, because most had already been funded for FY 2019.  Unfortunately, FDA is one of the agencies with at least some functions shut down, as was announced yesterday.  Among other things, FDA has furloughed 42% of its employees, according

Small Business Runway Extension Act of 2018 Becomes Law: Increases Revenue Look-back Period to Five Years for Small Business Size Eligibility Determinations

On December 17, 2018, the Small Business Runway Extension Act of 2018 (“Act”) (H.R. 6330) was passed by President Trump into law. The new law amends the Small Business Act at 15 USC 632 to require that the size of a federal contractor for purposes of determining small business eligibility be measured based on the

EMA publishes draft Guideline on clinical investigation of haemophilia B medicinal products

Introduction The EMA has published a draft Guideline on clinical investigation of recombinant and human plasma-derived factor IX products.[1] The purpose of this guideline is to provide applicants and regulators with harmonised requirements for applications for marketing authorisation of haemophilia B medicinal products. In July, a similar guideline was adopted concerning haemophilia A medicinal products.

No-deal Brexit: the future of consumer rights in the UK

Notwithstanding the fact that a draft deal has been agreed between the EU and the UK at a technical level, the developments of recent days and weeks have made it clear that significant obstacles will need to be overcome before any deal can be finalised and ratified. In light of this uncertainty, there remains a