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Creating Hope Act 2010 Bill Would Extend Priority Review Voucher System To Rare Pediatric Diseases

August 9, 2010 by  
Filed under Featured Stories

Creating Hope Act 2010 Bill creates hope for treatments to ultra rare and fatal conditions such as Niemann Pick Type C

Great news for the pediatric rare disease community came out late last week — rare disease advocates please get this out on your blogs!

Senators Sam Brownback (R-KS), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Al Franken (D-MN) are supporting the bipartisan bill S. 3697, the “Creating Hope Act of 2010.” Nancy Goodman, Executive Director of Kids v Cancer, is the person leading the charge on S. 3697 and a priority review voucher system for pediatric rare diseases.

In 2009, Nancy lost her son Jacob to a rare pediatric cancer called medulloblastoma. She is an inspiration to all in the rare disease community!

The Creating Hope Act of 2010 builds upon the Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act of 2007, often called the “treat and trade” program, which established a priority review voucher program for drugs or biologics targeting neglected tropical diseases. At the time this bill was passed, rare childhood diseases were excluded.

The Creating Hope Act of 2010 will encourage the creation of new drugs for underserved children like Addi and Cassi who suffer from serious and life threatening medical conditions by providing a priority review voucher (PRV) as an incentive to pharmaceutical companies who develop drugs for rare pediatric diseases like Niemann Pick Type C.

This is exactly the type of novel incentive system I have been asking for that could fast track cyclodextrin research. For example, with a PRV system in place, I could get a company like Johnson and Johnson to actually take on Niemann Pick Type C disease research and help me make a cyclodextrin drug for Niemann Pick Type C kids.  In turn, Johnson and Johnson could receive a priority review voucher that gives them priority FDA review of another application that would otherwise be reviewed under FDA’s standard review clock.

Cyclodextrin research would be fast tracked under a prioorty review voucher sys

This priority review voucher could be used for a blockbuster drug that a company would want want to bring to market and receiving priority review could mean millions of dollars to a Pharma or biotech company.  This is why they would be willing to invest in Niemann Pick Type C research and cyclodextrin and help our small community bring a potentially life saving compound to market for kids like Addi and Cassi.

Since I already have an orphan drug application filed and approved with the FDA, having a priority review voucher system in place potentially makes Niemann Pick Type C an attract investment risk by Pharmas or BioTechs.

Priority reviews vouchers for pediatric rare diseases are a  win-win for everyone!  We need to rally the rare disease community to fight for the passing of S. 3697, Creating Hope Act 2010 bill.

Below are some key provisions of the S. 3697, Creating Hope Act 2010 bill:

  • Extension to pediatric rare diseases: This legislation includes rare pediatric disease within the scope of the program. This category encompasses any disease that is “rare” within the meaning of the Orphan Drug Act (affects less than 200,000 people, or the cost of development would exceed revenue) is recognized in the medical community as affecting a pediatric population and is a new drug that has not received FDA approval for an adult indication
  • Closing a loophole: This legislation would prevent companies from receiving a voucher for tropical disease products that they already market in other countries. This change will ensure that the program rewards only innovative treatments
  • Unlimited transferability of vouchers: A voucher may now be transferred unlimited times provided that the transferee, in each instance of transfer, notifies the FDA of the change in ownership. This change enables drug companies to maximize the value of the voucher in the marketplace
  • Optional upfront priority review designation process: Under the current law, sponsors do not know whether their new drug application will qualify for a voucher until the time of FDA approval. The proposed legislation permits sponsors of both tropical disease drugs and rare pediatric disease drugs to seek a designation that the new drug would qualify for a voucher, should it be approved, even before they submit their new drug application.
  • Adds Chagas disease to the list of neglected tropical diseases: Chagas disease is responsible for more deaths in Central and South America than every other parasite-borne disease, including malaria. Yet, despite its profound impact, research and development of new treatments is severely underfunded. The addition of Chagas to the list of eligible diseases fulfills the intent of the original authors.
  • Reporting and marketing requirements: The Creating Hope Act requires that the sponsor submit a statement of good faith intent to market the eligible drug, as well as a report describing the demand and distribution of the ultimate product.


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