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10-K
SERES THERAPEUTICS, INC. filed this Form 10-K on 03/16/2017
Entire Document
 

In the United States, the FDA regulates drug and biologic products under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, its implementing regulations and other laws, including, in the case of biologics, the Public Health Service Act. Our product candidates are subject to regulation by the FDA as biologics. Biologics require the submission of a biologics license application, or BLA, and approval by the FDA before being marketed in the United States. None of our product candidates has been approved by the FDA for marketing in the United States, and we currently have no BLAs pending. If we fail to comply with applicable FDA or other requirements at any time during product development, clinical testing, the approval process or after approval, we may become subject to administrative or judicial sanctions. These sanctions could include the FDA’s refusal to approve pending applications, suspension or revocation of approved applications, warning letters, product recalls, product seizures, total or partial suspensions of manufacturing or distribution, injunctions, fines, civil penalties or criminal prosecution. Any FDA enforcement action could have a material adverse effect on us.

The process required by the FDA before our biologic product candidates may be marketed in the United States generally involves the following:

 

completion of pre-clinical laboratory tests and animal studies performed in accordance with the FDA’s good laboratory practice, or GLP, regulations;

 

submission to the FDA of an IND, which must become effective before clinical trials in the United States may begin;

 

performance of adequate and well-controlled human clinical trials to establish the safety and efficacy of the product candidate for each proposed indication, conducted in accordance with the FDA’s good clinical practice, or GCP, regulations;

 

submission to the FDA of a BLA;

 

satisfactory completion of an FDA inspection of the manufacturing facility or facilities at which the product is produced to assess compliance with cGMP regulations; and

 

FDA review and approval of the BLA prior to any commercial marketing, sale or shipment of the product.

The testing and approval process requires substantial time, effort and financial resources, and we cannot be certain that any approvals for our product candidates will be granted on a timely basis, if at all.

Pre-clinical and Clinical Trials

Once a product candidate is identified for development, it enters the pre-clinical testing stage. Pre-clinical studies include laboratory evaluations of drug chemistry, formulation and stability, as well as studies to evaluate toxicity in animals, which must be conducted in accordance with GLP requirements. The results of the pre-clinical studies, together with manufacturing information and analytical data, are submitted to the FDA as part of an IND. The IND automatically becomes effective 30 days after receipt by the FDA, unless the FDA, within the 30-day time period, raises concerns or questions about the conduct of the clinical trial, including concerns that human research subjects will be exposed to unreasonable health risks. In such a case, the IND sponsor and the FDA must resolve any outstanding concerns before the clinical trial can begin. Submission of an IND may result in the FDA not allowing clinical trials to commence or not allowing clinical trials to commence on the terms originally specified in the IND. A separate submission to an existing IND must also be made for each successive clinical trial conducted during product development, and the FDA must grant permission, either explicitly or implicitly by not objecting, before each clinical trial can begin.

Clinical trials involve the administration of the product candidate to human subjects under the supervision of qualified investigators. Clinical trials are conducted under protocols detailing, among other things, the objectives of the clinical trial and the parameters and criteria to be used in monitoring safety and evaluating effectiveness. Each protocol must be submitted to the FDA as part of the IND. An independent institutional review board, or IRB, for each investigator site proposing to participate in a clinical trial must also review and approve the clinical trial before it can begin at that site, and the IRB must monitor the clinical trial until it is completed. The FDA, the IRB, or the sponsor may suspend or discontinue a clinical trial at any time on various grounds, including a finding that the subjects are being exposed to an unacceptable health risk. Clinical testing also must satisfy extensive GCP requirements, including requirements for informed consent.

For purposes of BLA approval, clinical trials are typically conducted in three sequential phases, which may overlap or be combined.

 

Phase 1 — Phase 1 clinical trials involve initial introduction of the investigational product into healthy human subjects or patients with the target disease or condition. These studies are typically designed to test the safety, dosage tolerance, absorption, metabolism and distribution of the investigational product in humans, the side effects associated with increasing doses, and, if possible, to gain early evidence on effectiveness.

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