all of the preclinical studies and adequate and well-controlled clinical trials necessary to demonstrate safety and effectiveness.
Orphan drug designation. Under the Orphan Drug Act, the FDA may grant orphan drug designation to therapeutic candidates intended to treat a rare disease or condition, which is generally a disease or condition that affects fewer than 200,000 individuals in the U.S. or more than 200,000 individuals in the U.S. and for which there is no reasonable expectation that the cost of developing and making available in the U.S. a therapeutic candidate for this type of disease or condition will be recovered from sales in the U.S. for that therapeutic candidate. Orphan drug designation must be requested before submitting a marketing application for the therapeutic for that particular disease or condition. After the FDA grants orphan drug designation, the identity of the therapeutic agent and its potential orphan use are disclosed publicly by the FDA. Orphan drug designation does not convey any advantage in or shorten the duration of the regulatory review and approval process. The FDA may revoke orphan drug designation, and if it does, it will publicize the drug is no longer designated as an orphan drug.
If a therapeutic candidate with orphan drug designation subsequently receives the first FDA approval for the disease for which it has such designation, the therapeutic candidate is entitled to orphan product exclusivity, which means that the FDA may not approve any other applications to market the same therapeutic candidate for the same indication, except in very limited circumstances, for seven years. Orphan drug exclusivity, however, could also block the approval of one of our therapeutic candidates for seven years if a competitor obtains approval of the same therapeutic candidate as defined by the FDA or if our therapeutic candidate is determined to be contained within the competitor’s therapeutic candidate for the same indication or disease.
Pediatric exclusivity and pediatric use. Under the Best Pharmaceuticals for Children Act, or BPCA, certain therapeutic candidates may obtain an additional six months of exclusivity if the sponsor submits information requested in writing by the FDA, referred to as a Written Request, relating to the use of the active moiety of the therapeutic candidate in children. The FDA may not issue a Written Request for studies on unapproved or approved indications where it determines that information relating to the use of a therapeutic candidate in a pediatric population, or part of the pediatric population, may not produce health benefits in that population.
In addition, the Pediatric Research Equity Act, or PREA, requires a sponsor to conduct pediatric studies for most therapeutic candidates and biologics, for a new active ingredient, new indication, new dosage form, new dosing regimen or new route of administration. Under PREA, original NDAs, BLAs and supplements thereto must contain a pediatric assessment unless the sponsor has received a deferral or waiver. The required assessment must assess the safety and effectiveness of the therapeutic candidate for the claimed indications in all relevant pediatric subpopulations and support dosing and administration for each pediatric subpopulation for which the therapeutic candidate is safe and effective. The sponsor or the FDA may request a deferral of pediatric studies for some or all of the pediatric subpopulations. A deferral may be granted for several reasons, including a finding that the drug or biologic is ready for approval for use in adults before pediatric studies are complete or that additional safety or effectiveness data needs to be collected before the pediatric studies begin. The FDA must send a noncompliance letter to any sponsor that fails to submit the required assessment, keep a deferral current or fails to submit a request for approval of a pediatric formulation. The FDA also must post the PREA noncompliance letter and sponsor’s response.
As part of the FDASIA, the U.S. Congress made a few revisions to BPCA and PREA, which were slated to expire on September 30, 2012, and made both laws permanent.
Post-approval requirements. Once an approval is granted, the FDA may withdraw the approval if compliance with regulatory requirements is not maintained or if problems occur after the therapeutic candidate reaches the market. Later discovery of previously unknown problems with a therapeutic candidate may result in restrictions on the therapeutic candidate or even complete withdrawal of the therapeutic candidate from the market. After approval, some types of changes to the approved therapeutic candidate, such as adding new indications, manufacturing changes and additional labeling claims, are subject to further FDA review and approval. In addition, the FDA may under some circumstances require testing and surveillance programs to monitor the effect of approved therapeutic