[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The 1983 US Orphan Drug Act has stimulated the development of new therapies for rare diseases. To provide the first comprehensive overview of orphan-designated products and their indications, this article quantitatively analyses the characteristics and distribution of orphan designations and approvals by the US Food and Drug Administration from 1983 to August 2008. Of the 1,892 orphan-designated products, 326 received marketing approval, representing 247 different drugs and more than 200 different diseases. About half of the approvals had occurred by 4 years after designation was granted. The most common patient population size for orphan designations and approvals was fewer than 10,000 patients, and cancer was the most common disease area. The implications of such findings for future development and marketing of therapies for rare diseases are discussed.
dressNature Reviews Drug Discovery 07/2010; 9(7):519-22. · 33.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The 1983 US Orphan Drug Act established a process through which promising therapies are designated as orphan products and, later, with satisfactory safety and efficacy data, receive marketing approval and fiscal incentives. We examined accomplishments in drug development for inborn errors of metabolism (IEMs).
Food and Drug Administration data were used to identify orphan product designations and approvals for IEMs, and the trends for the past 26 years were summarized. Individual clinical development times (CDTs) from filing investigational new drug application to marketing approval were determined.
We examined 1956 orphan product designations from 1983 through 2008 and found 93 (4.8%) for IEMs. Of those, 24 (25.8%) received marketing approval. This proportion of approval was significantly (P = .036) higher than that for non-IEM orphan products (17%). Among the IEM products, disorders of complex molecules received the most designations and approvals (61 and 11, respectively). Among the subgroups, lysosomal storage diseases received the most designations and approvals (43 and 9, respectively), whereas mitochondrial diseases (other than fatty acid oxidation disorders) received 7 designations with no approvals. We then examined the CDTs for the approved IEM products and found a median of 6.4 years (range: 2.6-25.1 years). Biological products had significantly shorter CDTs than drugs (mean: 4.6 vs 11.0 years; P = .003).
For 26 years, the Orphan Drug Act has generated new therapies for IEMs. Why some IEMs have motivated successful drug development and others have not remains enigmatic; yet the needs of IEM patients without treatment are a certainty.