Report from FDA PFFD IEM meeting

Great Patient Focused Drug Development (PFDD) meeting at the FDA Tuesday discussing patients perspective on the neurological inborn errors of metabolism (IEM). Dean Suhr, president of the MLD Foundation, spoke on the second panel of the day and was able to both share and stir the pot a bit with regard to some of the patient perspectives on what we want in therapies, risk/benefit, access to trials in the US, compassionate/named access, patient reported outcomes, and consent.  It’s not all about statistics and biochemistry – we have life to live!

View from the panel of ½ of the audience of advocates, families, researchers, and industry

View from the panel of ½ of the audience of advocates, families, researchers, and industry at the FDA PFDD meeting on IEM.

Also met the Medical Officer at the FDA assigned to gene therapy and made sure she talked to Becky Vivian, a MLD mom who was there with her kids Eli and Ella showing the remarkable results from the Italian gene therapy clinical trial.

Both kids had the Italian Gene Therapy and are are on no post-transplant drugs.

The Vivian family – both kids had the Italian Gene Therapy and are on no post-transplant drugs. They, and the rest of the trial participants, are doing great.

In the next couple of days we’ll be sharing how to add your voice to the formal written docket for this meeting. This is our opportunity for the MLD community to be heard so we hope for many of you to share.

A MLD grandmother was also present – we had a great talk. Turns out she is a researcher and has done some work at the NIH. She wants to work with us … and you … to write a paper on bone marrow transplant outcomes. We’ll have more to share on that soon too.

Rare Disease Advocacy – Behind the Scenes

I ran across this article a few minutes ago. It’s a great insight into the challenges those of us working in rare disease advocacy working encounter.

Every person and agency mentioned in this article is someone we at the MLD Foundation regularly come into contact with as we work on behalf of those with MLD.
http://cen.acs.org/content/dam/cen/91/19/09119-cover.pdf

PDUFA – 20 Disease Meeting followup … Firestorm – not!

Thank you all for your response to my recent request to send letters to the FDA on the Patient-Focused Drug Development initiative last week.  Quite a number of you (dozens) responded on behalf of rare disease in general and many on behalf of MLD or lysosomal disease specifically.

As I mentioned in my prior post, we will always be partial to MLD because of our roots – but it’s really the more general rare disease issues that are important to me in most of these policy discussions. Those that know me well know I have a real passion for the rare disease community.

I wanted to address one issue that has come up a couple of times including a recent blog from NORD.  They have twice described the engagement of rare disease advocates in the process as creating a “firestorm” at the FDA.

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FDA … 20 Diseases Being Chosen for PDUFA-V Meetings

Last Thursday, October 25th, I attended the FDA’s Patient-Focused Drug Development public meeting in Washington, DC. This meeting was required by the recently passed FDASIA/PDUFA-V legislation (see Abbreviation Decoder at end of post) and requires the FDA to hold 20 disease-specific meetings over the next 5 years to discuss topics such as:

“the impact of the disease on patients, the spectrum of severity for those who have the disease, the measures of benefit that matter most to patients, and the adequacy of the existing treatment options for patients.”

There were about 150 people in attendance and just over two dozen of us gave public testimony. The FDA is trying to get a better perspective on the needs, desires, and concerns of the patients by holding these 20 meetings.  Since we are directly impacted by the diseases we are best postured to tell them what’s most important to us.

Get involved … your letter to the FDA (see sample below) is needed by the end of the day November 1st! 

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Our new blog …

Welcome to the MLD Foundation’s new blog!  We’re excited to share about topics of interest to the MLD, lysosomal disease, leukodystrophy, and frankly, the entire rare disease community.

Many of you in the general public and the MLD Family know us from the family support we provide to families affected by MLD … MLD Family Conferences™, MLD Family Gatherings™, the MLD Family Discussion List™, the MLD Foundation web site, etc., but that is only a part of what we do!

We spend a lot of “behind the scenes” time working with researchers (both academic and at industry) and an increasing amount of effort affecting policy.  We are active in Newborn Screening, FDA policy (PDUFA, FDADSIA, compassionate access, Patient representative Program, etc.), NIH projects (RDCRN, CPAG, NCATS, GRDR, ORDR, etc.), educating and impacting Capital Hill (we can’t “lobby” but our voices are heard loud and clear on funding, sequester, and impacting new legislation), a slew of rare disease activities (registries, biobanks, World Rare Disease Day) and the list goes on.

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