jurisdictions as well. We have not received approval to market any of our product candidates from regulatory authorities in any jurisdiction. We have only limited experience in filing and supporting the applications necessary to gain marketing approvals and expect to rely on third parties to assist us in this process. Securing marketing approval requires the submission of extensive pre-clinical and clinical data and supporting information to regulatory authorities for each therapeutic indication to establish the product candidate’s safety and efficacy. Securing marketing approval also requires the submission of information about the product manufacturing process to, and inspection of manufacturing facilities by, the regulatory authorities. Our product candidates may not be effective, may be only moderately effective or may prove to have undesirable or unintended side effects, toxicities or other characteristics that may preclude our obtaining marketing approval or prevent or limit commercial use.
The process of obtaining marketing approvals, both in the United States and abroad, is expensive, risky and may take many years. The scope and amount of clinical data required to obtain marketing approvals can vary substantially from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, and it may be difficult to predict whether a particular regulatory body will require additional or different studies than those conducted by a sponsor, especially for novel product candidates such as our Ecobiotic microbiome therapeutics. The FDA or foreign regulatory authorities may delay, limit, or deny approval to market our product candidates for many reasons, including: our inability to demonstrate that the clinical benefits of our product candidates outweigh any safety or other perceived risks; the regulatory authority’s disagreement with the interpretation of data from nonclinical or clinical studies; the regulatory agency’s requirement that we conduct additional pre-clinical studies and clinical trials; changes in marketing approval policies during the development period; changes in or the enactment of additional statutes or regulations, or changes in regulatory review process for each submitted product application; or the regulatory authority’s failure to approve the manufacturing processes or third-party manufacturers with which we contract. Regulatory authorities have substantial discretion in the approval process and may refuse to accept a marketing application if deficient. In addition, varying interpretations of the data obtained from pre-clinical and clinical testing could delay, limit or prevent marketing approval of a product candidate. Any marketing approval we ultimately obtain may be limited or subject to restrictions or post-approval commitments that render the approved product not commercially viable. Of the large number of drugs in development, only a small percentage successfully complete the FDA or other regulatory approval processes and are commercialized.
Furthermore, our product candidates may not receive marketing approval even if they achieve their specified endpoints in clinical trials. Clinical data is often susceptible to varying interpretations and many companies that have believed that their products performed satisfactorily in clinical trials have nonetheless failed to obtain regulatory agency approval for their products. The FDA or foreign regulatory authorities may disagree with our trial design and our interpretation of data from nonclinical and clinical studies. Upon the FDA’s review of data from any pivotal trial, it may request that the sponsor conduct additional analyses of the data and, if it believes the data are not satisfactory, could advise the sponsor to delay filing a marketing application.
Even if we eventually complete clinical testing and receive approval of a biologics license application, or BLA, or foreign marketing authorization for one of our product candidates, the FDA or the applicable foreign regulatory agency may grant approval contingent on the performance of costly additional clinical trials, which may be required after approval. The FDA or the applicable foreign regulatory agency may also approve our product candidates for a more limited indication and/or a narrower patient population than we originally request, and the FDA, or applicable foreign regulatory agency, may not approve the labeling that we believe is necessary or desirable for the successful commercialization of our product candidates. Any delay in obtaining, or inability to obtain, applicable regulatory approval would delay or prevent commercialization of our product candidates and would materially adversely impact our business and prospects.
The development of therapeutic products targeting the underlying biology of the human microbiome is an emerging field, and it is possible that the FDA and other regulatory authorities could issue regulations or new policies in the future affecting our Ecobiotic microbiome therapeutics that could adversely affect our product candidates.
If we experience delays in obtaining approval or if we fail to obtain approval of our product candidates, the commercial prospects for our product candidates may be harmed and our ability to generate revenues will be materially impaired.
A Fast Track designation by the FDA may not actually lead to a faster development or regulatory review or approval process.
We may seek Fast Track designation for some of our product candidates. If a drug or biologic is intended for the treatment of a serious or life-threatening condition and nonclinical or clinical data demonstrate the potential to address unmet medical needs for this condition, the drug or biologic sponsor may apply for FDA Fast Track designation. Fast Track designation provides increased opportunities for sponsor meetings with the FDA during pre-clinical and clinical development, in addition to the potential for rolling review once a marketing application is filed. The FDA has broad discretion whether or not to grant this designation, and even if we believe a particular product candidate is eligible for this designation, we cannot be certain that the FDA would decide to grant it. Even if we do receive Fast Track designation, we may not experience a faster development process, review or approval compared to conventional FDA procedures. Fast Track designation does not assure ultimate approval by the FDA. The FDA may withdraw Fast Track designation if it believes that the designation is no longer supported by data from our clinical development program.