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“Deemed to be a License” Provision of the BPCI Act

“Deemed to be a License” Provision of the BPCI Act

The Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act of 2009 (BPCI Act) requires that a marketing application for a “biological product” (that previously could have been submitted under section 505 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act)) must be submitted as a biologics license application (BLA) under section 351 of the Public Health Service Act (PHS Act). This requirement is subject to certain exceptions during a 10-year transition period ending on March 23, 2020.

On March 23, 2020, the BPCI Act requires that an approved marketing application for a “biological product” under section 505 of the FD&C Act shall be deemed to be a license for the biological product (i.e., an approved BLA) under section 351 of the PHS Act. The 10-year transition period between the law’s enactment on March 23, 2010, and March 23, 2020, provides sponsors of biological products that are affected by the statutory transition with time to prepare for the transition, and allows biological products submitted under section 505 of the FD&C Act time to be approved before March 23, 2020.

FDA is working to ensure that there is a seamless transition between regulatory pathways and that there are minimal impacts on manufacturers and patients.

Background:

Although the majority of therapeutic biological products have been licensed under the PHS Act, some protein products (e.g., insulin and insulin analogs, human growth hormone, pancreatic enzymes, reproductive hormones) historically have been approved in new drug applications (NDAs) under the FD&C Act.

The BPCI Act clarified the statutory authority under which these protein products will be regulated by amending the statutory definition of a “biological product” in the PHS Act to include a “protein (except any chemically synthesized polypeptide),” and describing procedures for submission of a marketing application for these protein products.

  • For proposed products, the BPCI Act describes the approval pathways that are available for submission of a marketing application for biological products subject to the transition. After March 23, 2020, all sponsors seeking approval of a biological product that previously could have been submitted under section 505 of the FD&C Act will need to submit a marketing application under section 351 of the PHS Act; either:
    • a 351(a) BLA (i.e., a “stand-alone” BLA); or
    • a 351(k) BLA for a proposed biosimilar product or a proposed interchangeable product.
  • For approved products, the BPCI Act requires that an approved marketing application for a “biological product” under section 505 of the FD&C Act be deemed to be a license for the biological product (i.e., an approved BLA) under section 351 of the PHS Act on March 23, 2020, and regulated under the PHS Act. Once this transition occurs, sponsors can seek approval of products that are biosimilar to, or interchangeable with, these transitioned products.

For additional information on the statutory transition, please refer to the resources below.

Resources:

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