FDA warns of fraudulent and unapproved flu products

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FDA warns of fraudulent and unapproved flu products

As part of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s ongoing efforts to protect consumers from health fraud, the agency is reminding consumers to be wary of unapproved products claiming to prevent, treat or cure influenza, or flu. This year’s severe flu season raises new concerns about the potential for consumers to be lured into buying unproven flu treatments, and even worse, buying counterfeit antivirals online from websites that appear to be legitimate online pharmacies. Continue Reading


FDA updates the label of Tasigna to reflect that certain patients with a type of leukemia may be eligible to stop treatment after sustained response

FDA updates the label of Tasigna to reflect that certain patients with a type of leukemia may be eligible to stop treatment after sustained response

Discontinuation in treatment marks a first in chronic myeloid leukemia 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today updated the product label for the cancer drug Tasigna (nilotonib) to include information for providers about how to discontinue the drug in certain patients. Tasigna, first approved by the FDA in 2007, is indicated for the treatment of patients with Philadelphia chromosome positive (Ph+) chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). With today’s updated dosing recommendations, patients with early (chronic) phase CML who have been taking Tasigna for three years or more, and whose leukemia has responded to treatment according to specific criteria as detected by a test that has received FDA marketing authorization, may be eligible to stop taking Tasigna. Continue reading


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FDA clears stereotactic radiotherapy system for use in treating breast cancer

FDA clears stereotactic radiotherapy system for use in treating breast cancer
Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration cleared a new noninvasive stereotactic radiotherapy system intended for use in treating cancer in breast tissue. Continue reading.

December 22, 2017


FDA clears stereotactic radiotherapy system for use in treating breast cancer


Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration cleared a new noninvasive stereotactic radiotherapy system intended for use in treating cancer in breast tissue.

“With today’s clearance, patients will have access to a treatment option that provides greater accuracy in delivering radiation therapy to breast tumors while saving surrounding breast tissue,” said Robert Ochs, Ph.D., acting deputy director for radiological health in the Office of In Vitro Diagnostics and Radiological Health in the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health.

Radiation therapy is an important treatment option for cancer patients. Approximately 60 percent of all cancer patients will be treated with some form of radiation therapy. During radiation therapy, tumor cells are killed when their DNA is damaged by the radiation being absorbed into them. While radiation therapy has the potential to kill tumor cells, it can also damage healthy tissue around the tumor.

The GammaPod system is intended for use in the noninvasive stereotactic delivery of a radiation dose to a portion (partial volume) of the breast in conjunction with breast conserving treatment. During the procedure, radiation is delivered to specific areas of the breast. The GammaPod has not been shown to be as effective as whole breast radiation therapy (WBRT) and is not intended to replace WBRT.

The GammaPod system is a dedicated stereotactic radiation therapy technology designed to treat breast cancer. GammaPod uses thousands of focused beams of radiation from 36 rotating radioactive Cobalt-60 sources in combination with a two-layer, vacuum-assisted cup that immobilizes the breast to achieve a more accurate delivery of radiation. The GammaPod design to immobilize the breast during treatment provides the benefit of minimizing the radiation dose to the surrounding healthy tissues in the breast, heart and lungs.

For today’s clearance, the FDA reviewed scientific evidence including a clinical study of 17 patients that tested the feasibility of accurately delivering the prescribed dose to the breast tumor while minimizing radiation to the healthy tissue. The clinical evidence supports delivering the prescribed dose to the breast tumor with minimal radiation-induced side effects such as skin redness or erythema.

The GammaPod system was reviewed through the premarket notification 510(k) pathway. A 510(k) is a premarket submission made by device manufacturers to the FDA to demonstrate that the new device is substantially equivalent to a legally marketed predicate device.

The FDA granted clearance of the GammaPod to Xcision Medical Systems, LLC.

Statement from FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., on newsteps to advance medical device innovation and help patients gain faster access to beneficial technologies

Statement from FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., on newsteps to advance medical device innovation and help patients gain faster access to beneficial technologies

Enabling patients and providers to have efficient access to new and innovative medical products that meet the FDA’s gold standard for safety and effectiveness is a core part of our mission. We’re advancing these goals as part of the Medical Innovation Access Plan that I announced earlier this year. While we’ve unveiled parts of that plan already, we’ll be releasing its full detail shortly. As one part of that effort, we’re announcing some additional steps we’re taking right now to promote beneficial medical device innovation. Continue reading.

Report from the EMA-FDA QbD pilot program

Image result for QBDReport from the EMA-FDA QbD pilot program

In March 2011, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the United States Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) launched, under US-EU Confidentiality Arrangements, a joint pilot program for the parallel assessment of applications containing Quality by Design (QbD) elements.

The aim of this program was to facilitate the consistent implementation of QbD concepts introduced through International Council for Harmonisation (ICH) Q8, Q9 and Q10 documents and harmonize regulatory decisions to the greatest extent possible across the two regions.

To facilitate this, assessors/reviewers from US and EU exchanged their views on the implementation of ICH concepts and relevant regulatory requirements using actual applications that requested participation into the program. The program was initially launched for three years. Following its first phase, both agencies agreed to extend it for two more years to facilitate further harmonization of pertinent QbD-related topics.

The program officially concluded in April 2016. During this period, the agencies received 16 requests to participate. One submission was rejected because the approach presented was not limited to QbD applications, and another application was not reviewed because it was never filed by the applicant.

In total, two Marketing Authorisation Applications (MAA)/New Drug Applications (NDA), three variation/supplements and nine scientific advice applications were evaluated under this program. One MAA/NDA was assessed under the parallel assessment pathway, with the rest following the consultative advice route. Based on the learnings during the pilot, FDA and EMA jointly developed and published three sets of Question and Answer (Q&A) documents.

These documents also addressed comments from the Japanese Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency (PMDA), which participated as an observer, offering input to further facilitate harmonization. The objective of these Q&A documents was to generate review guides for the assessors/reviewers and to communicate pilot outcomes to academia and industry.

Additionally, these documents captured any differences in regulatory expectations due to regional requirements, e.g. inclusion of process validation information in the dossier. The following topics were covered in each of the three Q&A documents: –

Q&A (1) published on Aug 20, 2013 included the following topics: (a) Quality target product profile (QTPP) and critical quality attributes (CQA), (b) Criticality, (c) Level of detail in manufacturing process descriptions, and (d) QbD for analytical methods1 –

Q&A (2) published on Nov 1, 2013 on Design Space Verification, that included definition, presentation, justification (including potential scale-up effects) and verification of design spaces both for active substances and finished products2 –

Q&A (3) published on Dec 19, 2014 included the following topics: (a) Level of detail in the dossier regarding Risk Assessment (RA), (b) Level of detail in the dossier regarding Design of Experiments (DOE) and Design Space3 R


Additionally, the FDA-EMA pilot provided the agencies an opportunity to harmonize regulatory expectations for the following precedent-setting applications that were reviewed under the consultative advice pathway: – The first continuous manufacturing (CM) based application submitted to both agencies.

Based on the learnings from this application, the following areas related to CM were harmonized: batch definition; control of excipients; material traceability; strategy for segregation of nonconforming material; real-time release testing (RTRT) methods and prediction models; and good manufacturing practice (GMP) considerations for RTRT, validation strategy, models, and control strategy. – A post approval supplement that included a broad based post-approval change management plan/comparability protocol.

Both agencies were harmonized on the expected level of detail in the protocol and considerations for implementation of a risk based approach to evaluate the changes proposed in the protocol. In line with the scope of the QbD pilot program, joint presentations of key findings were publically presented and discussed with stakeholders at different conferences.

These included the Joint EMAParenteral Drug Association QbD workshop4 organized in 2014 which also included participation from FDA and PMDA.

Overall, it is concluded that, on the basis of the applications submitted for the pilot, there is solid alignment between both Agencies regarding the implementation of multiple ICH Q8, Q9 and Q10 concepts. The FDA/EMA QbD pilot program opened up a platform for continuous dialogue which may lead to further communication on areas of mutual interest to continue the Agencies’ support for innovation and global development of medicines of high quality for the benefit of patients.

Both agencies are currently exploring potential joint activities with specific focus on continuous manufacturing, additional emerging technologies, and expedited/accelerated assessments (e.g. PRIME, Breakthrough). Additionally, EMA and FDA are hosting experts from each other’s organisations to facilitate dialog and explore further opportunities.

References: 1. EMA-FDA pilot program for parallel assessment of Quality-by-Design applications: lessons learnt and Q&A resulting from the first parallel assessment http://www.ema.europa.eu/docs/en_GB/document_library/Other/2013/08/WC500148215.pdf

2. FDA-EMA Questions and Answers on Design Space Verification http://www.ema.europa.eu/docs/en_GB/document_library/Other/2013/11/WC500153784.pdf

3. FDA-EMA Questions and answers on level of detail in the regulatory submissions http://www.ema.europa.eu/docs/en_GB/document_library/Other/2014/12/WC500179391.pdf

4. Joint European Medicines Agency/Parenteral Drug Association quality-by-design workshop http://www.ema.europa.eu/ema/index.jsp?curl=pages/news_and_events/events/2013/12/event_detai l_000808.jsp&mid=WC0b01ac058004d5c3

EMA/ FDA Mutual Recognition Agreement on drug facility inspections moving forward

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EMA/ FDA Mutual Recognition Agreement moving forward
A possible agreement between the EMA and the US FDA on mutual recognition agreement on drug facility inspections could already be signed in January 2017.


A possible agreement between the European Medicines Agency EMA and the US Food and Drug Administration FDA on mutual recognition of drug facility inspections could already be signed in January 2017. This is noted in a report of the EU Commission: “The state-of-play and the organisation of the evaluation of the US and the EU GMP inspectorates were discussed. In light of the progress achieved, the conclusion of a mutual recognition agreement of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) inspections by January 2017 is under consideration.”

But, according to the Commission, some issues are still not resolved – like, for example, the exchange of confidential information and the inclusion of veterinary products in the scope of the text.

The “Report of the 15th Round of Negotations for the Transatlantic Trade and Invesment Partnership” summaries the 15th round of negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) from 3rd to 7th October 2016 in New York.

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FDA presentation at the ECA Conference Particles in Parenterals

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At the Particles in Parenterals Conference Dr Stephen Langille from the US FDA gave a talk on the FDA’s current thinking with regard to the visual inspection of medicinal products for parenteral use.


Dr Stephen Langille from the US FDA gave a talk on the FDA’s current thinking with regard to the visual inspection of medicinal products for parenteral use. In his presentation he showed the number of recalls caused by visible particulate matter over the last 11 years. For him, most of the recalls were justified when the types of particles found were taken into consideration. He also emphasized that something is possibly wrong in the visual inspection process if particles found in the market are bigger than 1000 µm.

The prevention of particles is very important to him. From his perspective the best particle is one which is not in the product. Also important to him are threshold studies, meaning to show the minimum particle size which can still be detected (dependent of product and type of container). These threshold studies are crucial for the setup of the test sets and the qualification of the inspectors of the manual inspection. He also mentioned the semi-automated inspection process. For him semi-automated inspection is good for detecting container-closure issues, like missing stoppers. But he also questioned whether an inspection time of about one second is suitable to detect particles with a size of 200µm for example. In the discussion he was asked about FDA’s opinion on the USP chapter <790>. In his opinion, USP chapter <790> can be an effective tool for ensuring that the manufacturing process and 100% inspection process are adequate to limit visible particle contamination. However, cGMPs must be followed during the manufacturing and visual inspection process. Meeting the requirements of USP <790> should not be used to excuse not meeting cGMPs.

You will find the complete presentation in the members area of the ECA webpage.

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