Big Drug, Small Panel: US FDA Adcomm For Eisai/Biogen’s Leqembi Includes Only Six Voting Members
Six is the fewest number of voting experts for a drug or biologic advisory committee dating back to at least 2015, according to the Pink Sheet Performance Tracker. Agency issued two conflict-of-interest waivers for the meeting, one of which was to a site principal investigator on lecanemab and aducanumab studies but who is no longer participating in the Leqembi review.
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NurOwn Adcomm Is 20 Members Strong Despite US FDA’s ‘Struggle’ To Find Unconflicted Neurology Experts
Seven panelists are regular members of the Cellular, Tissue and Gene Therapies advisory committee, while many of the 13 temporary voting members bring neurology and neuroscience expertise. In a conflict-of-interest waiver, the agency noted a struggle to find experts in clinical neurology and neurodegenerative diseases who lack disqualifying financial interests.
Late recusal of several potential panelists was the result of a recent docket submission containing a December research community letter signed by dozens of Alzheimer’s experts, FDA said; signatories included neurologist David Weisman, who had received a conflict-of-interest waiver that cited his role in a Phase II lecanemab study but not in an ongoing Phase III study.
The advisory committee convened to consider a traditional approval for Eisai/Biogen’s Alzheimer’s antibody Leqembi was the smallest in recent memory, with just six voting members. Yet, it worked surprisingly well. Is it time to rethink the size of FDA’s expert panels?