FDA Extends Enforcement Discretion Policy for Certain Regenerative Medicine Products

Washington, DC–The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is extending the enforcement discretion policy for certain human cell, tissue, and cellular and tissue-based products (HCT/Ps).

As a result of the challenges presented by the COVID-19 public health emergency, the FDA is extending its enforcement discretion policy which will provide manufacturers and potential sponsors an additional six months to determine if they need to submit an Investigational New Drug (IND) or marketing application and, if such an application is needed, to prepare and submit the application, as appropriate.

The FDA’s November 2017 regenerative medicine policy framework was developed to help facilitate and support the innovation of regenerative medicine therapies. The agency also outlined its intent to exercise enforcement discretion, until November 2020, for certain regenerative medicine products, with respect to the FDA’s IND and premarket approval requirements; to give manufacturers time to determine what requirements apply as well as engage with the agency. The FDA is revising the guidance to reflect that FDA generally intends to exercise enforcement discretion with respect to IND and premarket approval requirements for certain HCT/Ps through May 2021.

The agency’s enforcement discretion policy for IND and premarket approval requirements does not apply to products that have been associated with reported safety concerns or have the potential to cause significant safety concerns to patients. The agency has stepped up its oversight of cellular and related products in recent years and has issued compliance actions, including numerous warning and untitled letters, and pursued litigation for serious violations of the law, including some involving patient harm.

Patients should make sure that any regenerative medicine product they are considering is either FDA-approved or being studied under an IND, which is a clinical investigation plan submitted and allowed to proceed by the FDA.

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