On March 5, 2019, Representative Anna Eshoo (D-CA) introduced H.R. 1520, the “Purple Book Continuity Act of 2019.” The bill addresses the availability of information about approved biological products that may support the development of biosimilar products. It has five cosponsors in the House, drawn from both sides of the aisle, and was considered with five other bills by the House Energy and Commerce Committee on April 3, 2019. The Committee advanced the bill, along with five others, as a step toward addressing runaway drug pricing.
Last month, the FDA published the draft guidance “Principles of Premarket Pathways for Combination Products.” The document describes what a combination product is and how to interact with the FDA when developing a combination product, and it identifies some of the principles the agency uses in determining what type of premarket submission should be made.
The FDA has been issuing guidance documents addressing gene therapy development issues for approximately 20 years — a remarkable dedication of resources to an area that did not have a licensed product until 2017. Of the six gene therapy-related draft guidances the agency issued last month, two represent the first of the “suite of disease-specific guidance documents on the development of specific gene therapy products” Commissioner Scott Gottlieb promised in Dec. 2017.
The FDA recently issued for public comment six draft guidance documents intended to serve as part of a modern, comprehensive framework for how CBER will help advance the field of gene therapy.