Scientific Considerations for Complex Drugs

The New York Academy of Sciences presents a full-day conference exploring current definitions, regulatory hurdles, and future challenges for follow-on versions of complex drugs.

Published February 13, 2012

NEW YORK, February 10, 2012 — On March 9, the New York Academy of Sciences will present "Scientific Considerations for Complex Drugs in Light of Established Regulatory Guidance," a full-day conference exploring current definitions, regulatory hurdles, and future challenges for follow-on versions of complex drugs.

Since 2009, the FDA has been working toward implementing the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act, which will establish an abbreviated approval pathway for biological products that are demonstrated to be "highly similar" to or "interchangeable" with a previously approved and regulated drug. However, current U.S. regulations do not make scientific distinctions between small-molecule drugs and non-biological complex drugs; although the latter may present many of the same scientific and clinical challenges to reproduce as biologics.

In light of the approaching approval guidelines for biosimilars in the U.S., and increased international concern for new follow-on biological and non-biological products currently defined as "interchangeable" in both established and emerging markets abroad, the Academy has brought together experts representing a variety of perspectives, including industry, regulatory agencies, physicians, and consumers.

Plenary sessions will address the most recent regulatory developments and experimental design, interchangeability, and immunogenicity issues for follow-on versions of complex drugs; featuring conversations led by Larry Lee, PhD, FDA; Ivana Knezevic, MD, PhD, World Health Organization; Huub Schellekens, MD, PhD, Utrecht University; Janet S. Wyatt, PhD, RN, FAANP, Institute of Pediatric Nursing and Arthritis Foundation; Jan Mueller-Berghaus, MD, Paul-Ehrlich-Institut; Beatriz Silva-Lima, PharmD, PhD, University of Lisbon; Chris Holloway, PhD, ERA Consulting Group; and Andrew D. Zelenetz, MD, PhD, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

An international audience of basic researchers, policy makers, and regulatory and public health experts from academia, industry, government, and NGOs will participate in the conversation about the changing regulatory landscape for biological and non-biological complex drugs. The open format of the meeting, including multiple question and answer periods, and a working lunch brainstorming session culminating in a full-meeting discussion, will foster dialogue between disparate groups that may aid in defining and determining the criteria for follow-on complex drugs and help move U.S. policy forward.

The conference is sponsored by Teva Pharmaceuticals. Promotional Partners: American Society for Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET), Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), Drug Discovery Today, EuropaBio, Nature Drug Discovery, National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD), and Non-Biological Complex Drug (NBCD) Working Group. To register, www.nyas.org/ComplexDrugs.


About the New York Academy of Sciences
The New York Academy of Sciences is an independent, not-for-profit organization committed to advancing science, technology, and society worldwide since 1817. With 25,000 members in 140 countries, the Academy is creating a global community of science for the benefit of humanity. The Academy's core mission is to advance scientific knowledge, positively impact the major global challenges of society with science-based solutions, and increase the number of scientifically informed individuals in society at large. Please visit us online at www.nyas.org.