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Cortney Inman is an associate in the Governmental Practice Group in the firm's Washington, D.C. office and a member of the FDA Regulatory and Life Sciences teams.

On May 21, 2024, the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER) at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published a warning letter issued to Akan Biosciences, Inc. (Akan) for unresolved inspection observations following a back-and-forth between FDA and Akan. The Form FDA-483 highlights a number of observations about 585 vials of an Akan product, but the warning letter spends considerable time beforehand covering reasons why Akan’s product does not meet the requirements of 21 C.F.R. § 1271.10(a), which qualify certain human cells, tissues, or cellular or tissue-based products (HCT/Ps) for exemptions from key FDCA requirements, including premarket review. Akan’s product is an adipose derived, stromal vascular fraction (SVF) cellular product for allogenic use with the brand name Ayama™.Continue Reading FDA Gets Technical on HCT/P Rules in Warning Letter to Human Tissue Company

On January 18, 2024, the Office of Prescription Drug Promotion (OPDP) of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued its first untitled letter of the new year to Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation (Novartis) regarding a promotional, direct-to-consumer broadcast advertisement (TV Ad) for KISQALI® (ribociclib) tablets, for oral use, indicated for the treatment of adult patients with hormone receptor (HR)-positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-negative advanced or metastatic breast cancer in combination with:Continue Reading FDA’s Office of Prescription Drug Promotion Issues Its First Untitled Letter of the Year to Novartis for Misleading Statement Relating to KISQALI®

As we reflect on 2023 and make predictions for 2024, it is remarkable the number of significant events occurring this past year that will be impactful for the activities of the life sciences industry going forward. Although there was no single moment like the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, there are numerous distinct events that will loom large in 2024 and beyond.Continue Reading 2024 Top-of-Mind Issues for Life Sciences Companies

On August 11, 2023, the Office of Prescription Drug Promotion (OPDP) of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an untitled letter to Exeltis USA Inc. (Exeltis) regarding a promotional social media sponsored post for SLYND® (drospirenone) oral progestin tablets, indicated for use by females of reproductive potential to prevent pregnancy (Slynd).[1] The post appeared on Facebook,[2] and, in addition to being false and misleading, also was not submitted to OPDP at the time of publication as required by FDA regulations. This is only the second untitled letter from OPDP of the year, both of which have focused on false and misleading promotional messaging.Continue Reading FDA’s Office of Prescription Drug Promotion Issues Second Untitled Letter of the Year to Exeltis for Misleading Statements Relating to SLYND®

On June 27, 2023, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued its final guidance for the presentation of “Quantitative Efficacy and Risk Information” in direct-to-consumer (DTC) promotional labeling and advertisements for prescription drug, biological products, prescription animal drugs, and OTC animal drugs (collectively, “Promotional Communications”).[1] As identified in both the 2018 Draft Guidance and this final guidance, the FDA has seen an increasing trend of quantitative presentations of efficacy and risk in Promotional Communications submitted to the Agency. OPDP has been taking a close look at these types of claims, focusing on quantitative data in in their only untitled letter of 2023. As further discussed in our June blog post, in their letter to Xeris Pharmaceuticals, OPDP raised concerns regarding percentages that overstated the efficacy of the drug, Recorlev® (levoketoconazole) by omitting necessary context needed to understand the quantitative data.[2]Continue Reading FDA Releases Final Guidance on Quantitative Efficacy and Risk Information in Direct-to-Consumer Promotional Labeling and Advertisements

On May 31, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published a proposed rule to amend its regulations regarding prescription drug product labeling regulations.[1] Under the new rule, each time a prescription drug products is used, dispensed, or administered in an outpatient setting, the patient would receive a one-page “Patient Medication Information” (PMI) Medication Guide that highlights essential information regarding the use of the drug. If implemented, FDA believes this rule will consolidate the various forms of prescription information that are dispensed to patients and consequently alleviate confusion for manufacturers deciding what forms are needed with particular prescriptions. Overall, it appears that the FDA’s goals are twofold: (1) standardization of patient-facing prescription drug product labeling, and (2) to expand accessibility of essential safety and efficacy information relevant to such medications.Continue Reading FDA Issues Proposed Rule for Standardized and Accessible Patient Medication Information

On May 22, 2023, the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER) at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an untitled letter to AT Venture Center for Global Techtrepeneurship, LLC dba Regenerelle, LLC (Regenerelle) for marketing human cells, tissues, or cellular or tissue-based products (HCT/Ps) and exosomes without FDA premarket review. The letter described Regenerelle’s marketing of products derived from umbilical cord as “biological solutions” or “biologic products” that are “intended for a ‘range of clinical applications’ and to treat various diseases or conditions, such as lupus, pain, inflammation, and ‘aging-associated diseases.’” This is CBER’s fourth untitled letter this year, illustrating FDA’s focus on this area of enforcement. This stands in contrast to FDA’s work on the CDER side, where the Office of Prescription Drug Promotion has not issued an untitled letter since June 2, 2022.[1]Continue Reading FDA Cracking Down on Unapproved HCT/Ps with Fourth Untitled Letter of 2023

On Thursday, February 23, the Office of the Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services (“OIG”) issued its first Advisory Opinion (“AO”) of the new year – OIG AO No. 23-01 – permitting a drug manufacturer to provide financial assistance for transportation, lodging, meals, and other out-of-pocket expenses to eligible patients receiving the manufacturer’s drug (the “Arrangement”). Overall, OIG concluded that: (1) the risk of fraud and abuse presented by the manufacturer’s Arrangement was sufficiently low under the Federal anti-kickback statute; and (2) the remuneration offered under the Arrangement was not likely to influence a beneficiary to order the manufacturer’s drug (the “Drug”) from a particular provider and therefore did not constitute grounds for the imposition of sanctions under the Beneficiary Inducements CMP. Ultimately, the crux of this decision came down to the unique manufacturing and distribution of the Drug, which (i) is the only available potentially curative treatment for an ultra-rare disorder; (ii) pursuant to its FDA approval, can only be manufactured at a single facility, located on the campus of a treatment center (the “Treatment Center”); (iii) can only be administered within 3 hours after being manufactured; and thus, can only be administered at the single Treatment Center site.Continue Reading OIG Advisory Opinion Alert: Medical Flights for Patient Access

The Sheppard Mullin Life Sciences Team decided to take a different approach to our year-end review. We surveyed and considered issues most important to our clients, asking the experts across the various specialties in our Life Sciences Practice the following question: What do life sciences companies need to keep top of mind in 2023?Continue Reading 2023 Top-of-Mind Issues for Life Sciences Companies