More progress is needed in science to improve regulating drugs and medical devices by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), according to a diverse group of speakers at the first conference of the University of Maryland’s new Center of Excellence in Regulatory Science and Innovation (CERSI), on Sept. 5.
Over 150 government, industry, and academic representatives came to College Park for the first CERSI Day, the annual showcase event for the new center.
Funded by a grant from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the CERSI is a collaborative initiative between the University of Maryland College Park and Baltimore campuses that focuses on the science of developing new tools, standards and approaches to assess the safety, efficacy, quality and performance of FDA-regulated products in an effort to help modernize and improve the ways drugs and medical devices are reviewed and evaluated. The investment is part of the FDA’s effort to foster a robust, collaborative, regulatory science culture that enables FDA to address the scientific challenges presented by revolutions in medical product development, according to the agency’s website.
The CERSI Day event featured a welcome and introductory overview from the center’s co-directors, Dr. William Bentley, chair of the Fischell Department of Bioengineering within the A. James Clark School of Engineering at the College Park campus, and Dr. James Polli, professor and Ralph F. Shangraw/Noxell Endowed Chair in Industrial Pharmacy and Pharmaceutics at the School of Pharmacy, based on the Baltimore campus. The remainder of the program featured talks from FDA Chief Scientist Dr. Jesse Goodman and industry representatives, including Dr. Robert Conley of Eli Lilly and Company, Dr. James McElvain of Kythera Biopharmaceuticals, Dr. Jack Cook of Pfizer, and Dr. Steve Castellino of GlaxoSmithKline. CERSI Day also featured poster presentations by University of Maryland researchers.
The event was made possible by support from the FDA and additional support from CERSI Industrial Consortia member organizations, including AdvaMed, Becton Dickinson, Lockheed Martin, MDMA, SAIC, Siemens, and Weinberg Medical Physics, LLC.
"Modernizing the science of how products are developed and evaluated is a complex challenge requiring teamwork," said Dr. Goodman in his opening comments. "The CERSI idea -- bringing together academia, the FDA, and also providing a place where industry can be part of that equation -- is really important because this isn't something we can do alone. The system and problems are too complex. We're faced with revolutions in science that provide new challenges and opportunities, and I'm very optimistic that people working together can take advantage of these opportunities to improve health."
To pave the road to a new regulatory paradigm, CERSI will fund four 10-month Innovation Awards of $50,000 each to faculty to research improving pre-clinical assessments of safety and efficiency, ensuring readiness to evaluate better technologies, and harnessing data to improve health outcomes.
For more information, visit: http://newsdesk.umd.edu/global/release.cfm?ArticleID=2779
September 5, 2012