The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been regulating human islets for allo-transplantation as a biologic drug in the US. Consequently, the requirement of a biological license application (BLA) approval before clinical use of islet transplantation as a standard of care procedure has stalled the development of the field for the last 20 years. Herein, we provide our commentary to the multiple FDA’s position papers and guidance for industry arguing that BLA requirement has been inappropriately applied to allogeneic islets, which was delivered to the FDA Cellular, Tissue and Gene Therapies Advisory Committee on 15 April 2021. We provided evidence that BLA requirement and drug related regulations are inadequate in reassuring islet product quality and potency as well as patient safety and clinical outcomes. As leaders in the field of transplantation and endocrinology under the “Islets for US Collaborative” designation, we examined the current regulatory status of islet transplantation in the US and identified several anticipated negative consequences of the BLA approval. In our commentary we also offer an alternative pathway for islet transplantation under the regulatory framework for organ transplantation, which would address deficiencies of in current system.
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- Allogenic islet cell transplantation
- Food and drug administration