The pharmaceutical and biologics industry recently received updated FDA guidance on the use of Generally Accepted Scientific Knowledge (GASK) in regulatory submissions.
The FDA guidance provides new examples of when it is applicable to leverage GASK data to meet safety requirements required in a new drug application. Clinical information in the drug discovery data that supports the nonclinical safety of a drug can contain GASK citations. Additionally, the citations would be based on existing clinical studies that have been validated by FDA in approved products on the market.
What is GASK?
Generally Accepted Scientific Knowledge refers to information and methods widely considered as accepted by life science industry experts. It can include established scientific principles, published papers, and best practices that have passed the regulatory scrutiny of drug development. GASK is most often utilized during the evaluation of safety and efficacy data of regulated products.
The FDA guidance elaborates on the process of FDA regulators and how new drug applications are evaluated. Further, the FDA often requires life science companies to provide a significant amount of regulatory data to support safety and efficacy claims.
This regulatory clinical research often comes from clinical trials, preclinical studies, and other types of scientific data sources. However, in scenarios where there may be limited clinical trial data conducted, GASK can be used to provide supporting documentation for regulatory compliance.
Life science companies are required to offer nonclinical information to support regulatory approval of a New Drug Application (NDA) or Biologics License Application (BLA). Additionally, the FDA guidance elaborates on how nonclinical information helps the Agency focus on important matters, such as:
- Identifying pharmacological effects, including the mechanism of action of the drug in vitro and/or in vivo
- Identifying absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion of the drug in vitro and/or in animals
- Identifying possible consequences of exposure duration (e.g., chronic)
- Identifying risks for special populations (e.g., pediatrics)
The FDA guidance goes on to describe unique conditions in which sponsors have successfully used GASK in their product development program. Each sponsor cited these GASK resources to meet FDA’s regulatory approval requirements instead of conducting certain nonclinical studies:
- Products containing a substance that naturally occurs in the body. Sponsors submitted GASK regarding that substance and the known effects on biological processes.
- Demonstrated drug impact on a particular biological pathway. Sponsors submitted GASK regarding the impact and FDA regulators concluded specific nonclinical studies were not necessary to support drug approval and drug labeling.
The FDA guidance continues by listing examples of substances that are typically present in a healthy human body. For example, endogenous substances where the drug replaces a substance that should naturally be present but, for pathological reasons, a patient may lack sufficient amounts. The FDA approved drug may enable and help accelerate the proper functioning of the human body.
Additionally, a key driver of using GASK for FDA approval is the patient who has been prescribed a drug & the pharmacological impact experienced. Existing human pharmacokinetic studies and toxicology studies are recommended and may support the approval of the regulatory application. Specifically, regulators wil look to examine if the drug helps increase the level of the endogenous substance to the level of a healthy individual.
Further, exogenous substances that are already present in a patient’s diet may help expedite U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval. This scenario includes a patient’s exposure to an unmodified food substance that doesn’t exceed typical levels of dietary exposure when the drug is taken orally. The FDA guidance also states that certain nonclinical studies may be unnecessary based on the relevance of the exogenous substance to the clinical research submitted.
New Drug Application
If an FDA sponsor utilizes GASK information in their new product application, they must submit justification in the appropriate regulatory submission filing (e.g. BLA submission, 510(k) submission, etc.). The FDA guidance recommends as early as possible in product development to the assigned FDA regulator.
Finally, food and drug regulation feedback would be provided to the sponsor for the proposed regulatory strategy for approval. The FDA submission should incorporate evidence for the use of GASK, including textbook excerpts and/or non-product-specific published literature.
About Regulatory Compliance Associates (RCA)
Regulatory Compliance Associates (RCA) provides life science consultants & consulting services to the following industries for resolution of compliance and regulatory challenges:
We understand the complexities of running a life science business and possess areas of expertise that include every facet of R&D, operations, regulatory affairs, quality, and manufacturing. Our life science consultants are used to working on the front lines and thriving in the scrutiny of FDA, Health Canada, MHRA and globally-regulated companies.
As your partners, we can negotiate the potential minefield of regulatory compliance and regulatory due diligence with insight, hindsight, and the clear advantage of our unique expertise and experience.
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About Sotera Health
The name Sotera Health was inspired by Soteria, the Greek goddess of safety, and reflects the Company’s unwavering commitment to its mission, Safeguarding Global Health®.
Sotera Health Company, along with its three best-in-class businesses – Sterigenics®, Nordion® and Nelson Labs®, is a leading global provider of mission-critical end-to-end sterilization solutions and lab testing and advisory services for the healthcare industry. With a combined tenure across our businesses of nearly 200 years and our industry-recognized scientific and technological expertise, we help to ensure the safety of over 190 million patients and healthcare practitioners around the world every year.
We are a trusted partner to more than 5,800 customers in over 50 countries, including 40 of the top 50 medical device companies and 8 of the top 10 pharmaceutical companies.
About RCA’s Pharmaceutical Consulting Services
Regulatory Compliance Associates (RCA)® has helped thousands of pharmaceutical companies meet regulatory, compliance, quality assurance, and remediation challenges. With more than 20 years of experience with FDA, Health Canada, EU and global regulatory agencies worldwide, RCA offers leading pharmaceutical consultants that can help you navigate through the challenges associated with evolving industry regulations.
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Regulatory affairs is Regulatory Compliance Associates®’s backbone and we fully understand the complexities of the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industries. Our expertise spans all facets and levels of Regulatory Affairs, from Regulatory Support for New Products to Life Cycle Management, to other services like Outsourced Regulatory Affairs, Submissions, Training, and more.
As your partner, we can negotiate the potential assessment minefield of pharmaceuticals with insight, hindsight, and the clear advantage of our breadth and depth of knowledge and experience. We offer the following four regulatory affairs services for pharmaceutical companies.
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Regulatory Compliance Associates® Quality Assurance services include assessments, strategy, implementations, staff augmentations, and identification of quality metrics to ensure continuous improvement, aligning with your business needs and goals. Our consultants are quality life science consultants with experience spanning major corporations and start-ups. We know firsthand how to achieve, maintain, and improve quality, and we excel in transferring this knowledge to your organization.
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About RCA’s Medical Device Consulting Services
The regulatory process surrounding the medical device industry involves strict adherence to pre/post-market compliance throughout a device’s life cycle. Even a single compliance issue you have can turn into a significant effect on your business. RCA®‘s medical device consultants can help guide you through any stage of this strategic process, with capabilities during product development through the regulatory clearance/approval of your product.
Our team of over 500 life science consultants — including former FDA officials and other leaders in the field of medical device regulation — will work with your company to create a quality assurance and regulatory compliance approach tailored to your products and regulatory needs. RCA works with both international Fortune 100 companies and small local start-ups, as well as law firms requesting remediation for warning letters, 483’s, import bans or consent decrees.
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Regulatory affairs is Regulatory Compliance Associates® ‘s backbone, and we handle more submissions in a month than many manufacturers do in a lifetime. We have experience working with the FDA, global regulatory bodies and / or agencies, and notified bodies worldwide. Therefore, you can count on us for in-depth and up-to-date insights which increase speed-to-market.
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Increasingly, life science companies are feeling the pressure of greater scrutiny by regulators, and responding by developing sustainable compliance strategies. Whether it’s preparing for an audit, developing a response to an FDA finding, or remediation to an adverse event, Regulatory Compliance Associates® Inc. can help.
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Regulatory Compliance Associates®‘s Quality Assurance services include quality system assessments, strategy, implementations, and identification of quality metrics to ensure continuous improvement, aligning with your business needs and goals. Our life science consultants are quality experts with experience spanning major corporations and start-ups. We know firsthand how to achieve, maintain, and improve quality, and we excel in transferring this knowledge to your organization.
In the medical devices field, quality assurance (QA) is more than merely ensuring the quality of a finished product. You need the tools to monitor and regulate every process from the design of a new product to continued quality compliance as the device is sent to market. At RCA®, we offer you the assistance you need to monitor these processes and ensure quality compliance every step of the way.
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Regulatory Compliance Associates® is widely recognized within the life science industry and global regulatory agencies for its ability to help companies successfully resolve complex regulatory challenges, including remediation. With a proven track record of success, we have significant experience with the development of responses to 483 Observations, Warning Letters, Untitled Letters and Consent Decrees.
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Whether it’s a strategy, a technical plan, or project, Regulatory Compliance Associates® life science consultants can help ensure a successful mix of people and product so your project is on time, on budget, and you’re never embroiled in a costly mistake.
Our 500 industry Experts are here to provide the unique insight you need before an M&A deal, through a staffing crisis and in every area of your product’s development and life cycle. As the trusted medical device manufacturing consultants of thousands of companies around the world, we have the knowledge and expertise needed to deliver exceptional results to your business — no matter your size or unique needs.
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