HealthWatch: FDA Fast Track Drugs

Published 11/15 2013 12:51PM

Updated 11/26 2013 05:59PM

ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- In 1997, the food and drug administration modernization act directed FDA to create a mechanism where important new drugs could get to patients more quickly. Under this act, drugs can be designated as "fast track" if they met two criteria: the drug must show promise in treating a life-threatening condition and the drug must address an unmet medical need.


Researchers are on the fast track to develop a drug to treat major depressive disorder in patients who don't respond to standard therapies.



The company's drug influences the opioid pathway, but in a non-addictive way and is designed to be taken once a day.



About 16 million people in the U.S. suffer from MDD in a given year, the majority of whom may not respond adequately to anti-depressant therapy.



Another potential breakthrough that has received fast track status is for a drug that could diminish gluten-induced intestinal injury in patients with celiac disease.


Currently, there are no approved therapies. Patients' only option is to attempt to follow a strict, life-long gluten-free diet.


Celiac disease is the most common autoimmune disease, affecting more than two million people in the U.S.


The FDA receives approximately 100 to 130 applications a year, and has stated that close to 80 percent of all filed applications will eventually be approved.


Last year, only 22 drugs were accepted.

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