Rare Pediatric Disease Designations May Be Unavailable After July As Program Renewal Remains Uncertain
Without new legislation, US FDA said that designations, which are required to receive priority review vouchers, cannot be assured if requested after July. While the window for designations formally closes at the end of September when the authorization of the program expires, the agency is telling sponsors that it needs 60 days before that to review any requests. If a product does get a designation, it would need to secure approval by 30 September 2022 to gain a priority review voucher.
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US FDA received 110 designation requests in July, a high mark that reflects the 60 days needed to review such requests ahead of the 30 September statutory expiration; agency is allowing email submission of RPD and orphan drug designation requests during the COVID-19 pandemic and expects to roll out an online portal for orphan designation requests later this year.
US incentive program would gain only four more years, despite calls for a permanent extension.
Waiting for paper letters to arrive can delay drug development, companies contend, but moving completely to e-communication may be difficult for the FDA.