FDA Efforts to Advance Development of Gene Therapies


The first draft guidance, Chemistry, Manufacturing, and Control (CMC) Information for Human Gene Therapy Investigational New Drug Applications (INDs), provides sponsors with recommendations on how to provide sufficient CMC information to assure safety, identity, quality, purity and strength/potency of investigational gene therapy products. The guidance applies to human gene therapies and to combination products that contain a human gene therapy in combination with a drug or device. In addition, this guidance is organized to follow the structure of the FDA guidance on the Common Technical Document.

The second draft guidance, Testing of Retroviral Vector-Based Gene Therapy Products for Replication Competent Retrovirus (RCR) during Product Manufacture and Patient Follow-up, provides additional recommendations regarding the proper testing for RCR during the manufacture of retroviral vector-based gene therapy products, as well as during the follow-up monitoring of patients who’ve received retroviral vector-based gene therapy products. Specifically, the draft guidance recommends the identification and amount of material to be tested. The guidance also provides advice on general testing methods.

The third draft guidance, Long Term Follow-Up After Administration of Human Gene Therapy Products, provides recommendations regarding the design of long-term follow-up (LTFU) observational studies for the collection of data on delayed adverse events following administration of a gene therapy product. Because of some of the additional uncertainty intrinsic to a novel platform like gene therapy -- including questions related to the durability of the treatment effects as well as the theoretical potential for off-target effects if the genes do not insert correctly -- there’s an increased need for robust long-term follow-up of patients in the post-market period. This guidance describes product characteristics, patient-related factors, and the preclinical and clinical data that should be considered when assessing the need for LTFU observations and describes the features related to effective post-market follow up.

Once finalized, these draft guidances will replace previous guidances issued by the FDA in April 2008 (CMC) and November 2006 (RCR and LTFU).

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