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TOPIC: Knoepfler interview with FDA

Knoepfler interview with FDA 11 Dec 2014 11:21 #2898

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In the publishing "world" of regen med, Paul Knoepfler from UC Davis (iPCs expert) is certainly the most well-known blogger and often gets asked of his opinion on pressing issues. This guy even has access to the FDA.

He published an interview with the FDA this month, addressing the well-known issues of clinics offering SVF treatment...

Full article here - Knoepfler Blog

the main text here---

Paul Knoepfler: A number of stem cell researchers have noted a lack of apparent FDA/CBER action in 2014 with regards to stem cell clinics selling interventions based on SVF or other unapproved stem cell products and/or apparent non-homologous use coupled to broad claims by clinics (e.g. “our stem cell treatments can treat 20 different conditions”), etc. Without commenting on specific cases of course, could you comment on why the FDA/CBER appear to be relatively less active in regulating stem cell clinics in 2014? For example, in 2012-2013 there were numerous Warning Letters issued, but none in 2014 related to stem cells to my knowledge. It certainly seems that the problem of stem cell clinics is not going away so that’s not the explanation so less FDA action. If anything there are dramatically more of such clinics in the US now than in past years. Why is CBER not taking action?
FDA: As discussed above, CBER is actively working to develop guidance on the issues relating to SVF and other unapproved stem cell-based products. These guidances will offer necessary clarification with regard to HCT/P regulations.
As you know, FDA cannot comment on any potential actions or open investigations.
Paul Knoepfler: Right To Try (RTT) laws have been passed in several states and the current trend seems to be for more states to pass such laws. What is CBER’s view of RTT? How do these state laws interface with the federal laws that authorize the FDA to regulate investigational drugs?
FDA: State laws, such as the Right to Try laws, do not supersede federal laws. Please keep in mind that through FDA Expanded Access or “compassionate use”, investigational products often can be made available for a patient with a serious or immediately life-threatening disease who does not respond to current approved treatments for a variety of reasons.
Additionally, Right to Try Laws share similar aspects to the use of an investigational product under FDA’s expanded access. In both cases, a treating physician must recommend the experimental product and be able and willing to use it to treat the patient. Additionally, the drug manufacturer must be willing to provide the experimental product. States cannot force drug manufacturers to provide their products, nor can they force physicians to recommend an experimental product or use such a product to treat a patient.
Paul Knoepfler: Many members of the stem cell community find it notable that CBER conducts its own stem cell research including on MSCs. Could you please tell us more about this research program and its goals? What has it achieved so far and what do you foresee for its future?

FDA: The MSC Consortium, which started work in mid-2010, was established to facilitate the development of products and therapies that utilize mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). Through research, the Consortium aims to answer the complex scientific questions that face the development of stem cell-based products. The research of the Consortium is meant to contribute to the understanding of the underlying science regarding MSCs and the goal is that increasing understanding of MSCs will facilitate development of safe and effective MSC-based products.
The Consortium is studying eight unique cell lines from eight distinct adult donors, who donated stem cells from their bone marrow. The cells were purchased from commercial sources.
The type of cell into which MSCs will differentiate depends on the conditions under which they are grown. Similarly, factors such as the age or gender of the MSC donor may affect the quality and performance of these cells. The Consortium’s research is looking at how the biological functions of MSCs may be impacted by factors such as growth environment or donor characteristics.
Additionally, the Consortium has identified the need for further characterization of MSC-based products in order to better understand the diversity amongst subpopulations of these cells. FDA researchers are working on ways to better characterize MSCs, such as through development of assays and screening for MSC molecular markers or other characteristics that correlate with biological properties of MSCs. By identifying these correlative characteristics, researchers hope to develop ways to characterize MSCs with measurements that more reliably predict the biological functions of MSC-based products.

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Board moderator and Site-owner. I still regret the day I started analysing the prospects of MacroPore (now Cytori) back in 2004- a left-over from the tech-bubble at that time from the century change in my portfolio- and became addicted to Cytori´s fat cell technology. :cry:

Knoepfler interview with FDA 11 Dec 2014 12:01 #2899

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CBER is actively working to develop guidance on the issues relating to SVF and other unapproved stem cell-based products. These guidances will offer necessary clarification with regard to HCT/P regulations.


When the draft- outstanding at present- becomes law and the details on SVF are known by the industry, "they" suddenly will be dealing with DRUGS and certainly some enforcement will occur.

In view of the past - CYTX will be the ONLY device based client of CBER and most likely be a monopolist in the US.

For those who know device law- 510k´s are NOT very well protected- any Company can ask for a CLASS II device approval based on an EXISTING "device predicate" i.e. another substantially equal device which already has 510K approval. With CLASS III devices, where PMA clinics are required on an IDE basis, this is NOT the case. :grin: :vegas:
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Board moderator and Site-owner. I still regret the day I started analysing the prospects of MacroPore (now Cytori) back in 2004- a left-over from the tech-bubble at that time from the century change in my portfolio- and became addicted to Cytori´s fat cell technology. :cry:
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