Is orphan drug status beneficial to tropical disease control? Comparison of the American and future European orphan drug acts.
OBJECTIVES To quantify past outcomes of tropical pharmacology research and development (R & D) and to assess past benefits of the American orphan drug act and potential benefits of the future European orphan drug regulation on tropical diseases. METHODS: This paper presents two analyses: a 1983-97 retrospective study of the United States Orphan Drug Act concerning rare diseases and a prospective study of the European Proposal for a Regulation Concerning Orphan Drugs and its possible impact on tropical diseases. RESULTS: Different programmes have in the past tried to stimulate R & D in this area, but results remain limited. Of 1450 new chemical entities marketed between 1972 and 1997, 13 were specifically for tropical diseases and considered as essential drugs. Between 1983 & 1997, the US Orphan Drug Act approved 837 drugs and marketing of 152 new molecular entities (NMEs). Three NMEs have been designated for malaria and human African trypanosomiasis. Seven others, already commonly used in tropical diseases, received either orphan designation or an orphan approval for another indication. Pharmaceutical companies benefit from the US framework only when the US market exclusivity clause was applicable. Future European orphan drug regulation appears to be similar to the US Orphan Drug Act. CONCLUSION The orphan drug programmes relating to rare diseases have met with some success. Considering tropical diseases rare diseases seems inadequate to boost pharmaceutical R & D. However, some provisions of the European text may be relevant to tropical diseases, admitting the need for a more specific rule for evaluations of this kind of drug and recognizing the existence of 'diseases of exception'. (+info)
Development of orphan vaccines: an industry perspective.
The development of vaccines against rare emerging infectious diseases is hampered by many disincentives. In the face of growing in-house expenditures associated with research and development projects in a complex legal and regulatory environment, most pharmaceutical companies prioritize their projects and streamline their product portfolio. Nevertheless, for humanitarian reasons, there is a need to develop niche vaccines for rare diseases not preventable or curable by other means. The U.S. Orphan Drug Act of 1983 and a similar proposal from the European Commission (currently under legislative approval) provide financial and practical incentives for the research and development of drugs to treat rare diseases. In addition, updated epidemiologic information from experts in the field of emerging diseases; increased disease awareness among health professionals, patients, and the general public; a list of priority vaccines; emergence of a dedicated organization with strong leadership; and the long-term pharmacoeconomic viability of orphan products will be key factors in overcoming the complexity of orphan status and the limited need for vaccine. (+info)
Functional foods: the Food and Drug Administration perspective.
Because the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) does not provide a statutory definition of functional foods, the Food and Drug Administration has no authority to establish a formal regulatory category for such foods. The primary determinant of the regulatory status of a food is its intended use, which is determined largely by the label and labeling information accompanying the product. This information includes nutrient information, nutrient content claims, and various types of health claims. In marketing these foods, manufacturers may come under one of several existing regulatory options. The first decision manufacturers will make that will help determine their product's regulatory status is whether the product is a food or a drug. Thus, manufacturers and retailers have a range of legal and regulatory categories in which their products may be classified. This article describes the definitions provided in the FFDCA for a drug and a food, the safety and labeling requirements of various food categories, and types of possible claims for dietary supplements. (+info)
What are today's orphaned vaccines?
Development costs for new biological agents are increasing, and the time span from laboratory research to introduction of a product on the world market is becoming ever longer. Complex regulatory requirements add barriers and additional costs to early introduction abroad. This results in reluctance by manufacturers to undertake development of a vaccine that will be used for a tropical disease in only the public sector of a poor country. The chances of recovery of huge investment costs before patents expire are not good, unless such a new vaccine can also be sold at high cost in North America and Europe. These are some of the reasons that we still do not have a modern Japanese encephalitis vaccine or products against malaria and dengue fever. Many tropical countries must find a way to develop their own vaccine production facilities. Innovative help for technology transfer will have to be forthcoming, or many new life-saving products will never bridge the gap between research unit and production. (+info)
Initial lessons from public-private partnerships in drug and vaccine development.
In recent years, venture capital approaches have delivered impressive results in identifying and funding promising health discoveries and bringing them to market. This success has inspired public sector experiments with "social venture capital" approaches to address the dearth of affordable treatment and prevention for diseases of the developing world. Employing the same focus on well-defined and measurable objectives, and the same type of connections to pool and deploy resources as their for-profit counterparts, social venture capitalists seek to use the tools and incentives of capitalism to solve one of its biggest failures: the lack of drugs and vaccines for diseases endemic to low-income populations. As part of a larger trend of partnerships emerging in health product donation and distribution, public-private partnerships for pharmaceutical development have led research and development (R&D) efforts to generate more accessible and efficacious products for diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis, and AIDS. In this article, three R&D-focused partnerships are explored: the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative; the Medicines for Malaria Venture; and the newly formed Global Alliance for TB Drug Development. The article highlights key elements essential to the success of these ventures. (+info)
Building local research and development capacity for the prevention and cure of neglected diseases: the case of India.
This paper examines the proposal to build research and development (R&D) capabilities for dealing with neglected infectious and tropical diseases in countries where they are endemic, as a potentially cost- and time-effective way to fill the gap between the supply of and need for new medicines. With reference to the situation in India, we consider the competencies and incentives needed by companies so that their strategy can be shifted from reverse engineering of existing products to investment in R&D for new products. This requires complex reforms, of which the intellectual property rights agreement is only one. We also consider whether Indian companies capable of conducting research and development are likely to target neglected diseases. Patterns of patenting and of R&D, together with evidence from interviews we have conducted, suggest that Indian companies, like multinational corporations, are likely to target global diseases because of the prospect of much greater returns. Further studies are required on how Indian companies would respond to push and pull incentives originally designed to persuade multinational corporations to do more R&D on neglected diseases. (+info)
Gleevec for the treatment of chronic myelogenous leukemia: US. Food and Drug Administration regulatory mechanisms, accelerated approval, and orphan drug status.
Gleevec (imatinib mesylate), a highly promising new drug for the treatment of chronic myelogenous leukemia in blast crisis, in accelerated phase, and in chronic phase after interferon failure or intolerance, received orphan drug status from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Office of Orphan Products Development on January 31, 2001, and accelerated approval from the FDA for the above three indications on May 10, 2001. The purpose of this report is to summarize FDA regulatory mechanisms, i.e., accelerated approval and orphan drug regulations, that have permitted patients to receive this drug as rapidly as possible. (+info)
U.S. Food and Drug Administration drug approval summaries: imatinib mesylate, mesna tablets, and zoledronic acid.
The purpose of this report is to summarize information on drugs recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Three drugs have recently been approved: Gleevec (imatinib mesylate) at a starting dose of 400 or 600 mg daily for the treatment of malignant unresectable and/or metastatic gastrointestinal stromal tumors; Mesnex (mesna) tablets as a prophylactic agent to reduce the incidence of ifosfamide-induced hemorrhagic cystitis, and Zometa (zoledronic acid) for the treatment of patients with multiple myeloma and for patients with documented bone metastases from solid tumors, in conjunction with standard antineoplastic therapy. Prostate cancer should have progressed after treatment with at least one hormonal therapy. The recommended dose and schedule is 4 mg infused over 15 minutes every 3-4 weeks. These three drugs represent three different types of drug approval: Gleevec is an accelerated approval and supplemental new drug application (NDA); Mesnex tablets represent an oral formulation of a drug approved 14 years ago as an intravenous formulation, and Zometa represents a standard NDA for a noncytotoxic, supportive-care drug. Information provided includes rationale for drug development, study design, efficacy and safety results, and pertinent literature references. (+info)