13 Tips for Successful FDA Meetings

There are many reasons for meeting with the FDA during development of a regenerative medicine product. Some regenerative medicine products are more novel than others, meaning they are so unique they have never been studied in human clinical trials. Others may not be first of its kind, but may be used in novel clinical applications or be manufactured in new ways in comparison to competitor products. The nuts and bolts of preparing to meet with the FDA will be covered in a separate posting.

There are a number of opportunities for informal and formal communications with the FDA. For the purpose of this post, I am assuming you have requested a formal meeting with the FDA, perhaps to discuss the filing of an investigational new drug (IND) application to initiate human clinical studies.

Usually, to reach this point you will have expended a significant amounts of time and money. Therefore you don’t want to blow it by not being prepared to meet effectively with the FDA. Below is my list of tips to help the process go more smoothly:

  1. Remember, The FDA Wants You to Succeed
  2. Leave the “Dog & Pony” Show at Home
  3. Safety is the FDA’s Primary Focus
  4. Provide Clarification for FDA Identified Issues
  5. The FDA Will Have Questions, Lots of Them
  6. Designate a Spokesperson to Lead the Discussion
  7. Unity is a Virtue
  8. Take Time to Summarize
  9. Call in Early
  10. Call a “Time Out” if Needed
  11. Identify yourself
  12. You May Get the FDA’s Comments Early
  13. Overall, Remain Calm, Be Factual and Enjoy the Experience.

Read on, for my thoughts on how each of these tips can be used to ensure a smooth meeting with the FDA.

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What the Heck is a Regenerative Medicine Therapy?

My favorite working definition for regenerative medicine is any medical intervention that is intended to repair, replace, restore or regenerate (the 4 R’s) the cellular, tissue or organ systems in the human4Rs.jpg body. As described by one of my former FDA colleagues, Dr. Steven Bauer, cellular therapies represent one branch of regenerative medicine that on their own can fulfill the 4 R’s. However, it is clear that many other medical technologies will contribute to the field of regenerative medicine. See my post on how the FDA views the world of regenerative medicine.

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