US CBER says relocation may delay review submissions but not lot tests

By Gareth Macdonald

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Food and drug administration

CBER says relocation may delay review submissions but not lot reviews
The US agency that oversees biopharmaceuticals will continue to assess lot release samples for approved productions but BLA review timelines may be impacted by its move to a new HQ in Maryland.

The Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER) made the announcement yesterday, explaining that its move to the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) White Oak campus in Maryland will begin on April 25, take five weeks and may delay reviews.

During the move, CBER will make every effort to conduct its business with minimal disruption. This includes making efforts to meet review time frames and to minimize any potential delays. Should delays affecting receipt and review of applications and other submissions occur, we intend to update this Website if needed​.”

The CBER advised developers planning to file biologics license applications (BLA), other regulatory submissions and correspondence via its online portal​ or – for written requests – to its current document control centre in Rockville, Maryland.

It also said “the notice of new address for regulatory submissions and other mail will be posted on this website​ [CBER} in early May, when the CBER Document Control Center begins moving​.”

Lot release

One of the other key functions of the CBER, at least in terms of its day to day interaction with biopharmaceutical developers, is checking product samples to determine if they have been produced in accordance with specifications set out in the applicable BLA.

And for this function – known as lot release – the agency does not anticipate any disruption even while the relevant reviewers – the sample custodians - are moving.

CBER will not be able to receive lot release samples during the two weeks surrounding this personnel move. This pause will allow us to assure the orderly transfer of lot release samples to the FDA White Oak campus in the weeks immediately before and after this move.​ 

Therefore, lot release samples should be shipped to CBER either before the pause, using the current Nicholson Lane address for CBER’s Sample Custodian, or after the pause, using the new White Oak address for the Sample Custodian once it takes effect. This pause does not involve or impact CBER’s ability to receive lot release protocols.

The agency added that it “plans to communicate directly with those manufacturers affected by this temporary interruption in CBER’s receipt of lot release samples​.”

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