Working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to obtain approval of products under the Animal Rule

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While the development of medical products and approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is well known, the development of countermeasures against exposure to toxic levels of radiation, chemicals, and infectious agents requires special consideration, and there has been, to date, little experience in working with the FDA to obtain approval of these products. The FDA has published a regulation entitled “Approval of Biological Products when Human Efficacy Studies are not Ethical or Feasible.” This regulation, known simply as the “Animal Rule,” was designed to permit approval or licensing of drugs and biologics when efficacy studies in humans are not ethical or feasible. To date, 12 products have been approved under the Animal Rule. It is highly recommended that sponsors of products that are to be developed under the Animal Rule meet with the FDA and other government entities early in the development process to ensure that the efficacy and safety studies that are planned will meet the FDA's requirements for approval of the product.

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