Citing manufacturing concerns, Ocular Therapeutix failed for a second time to secure approval of Dextenza (dexamethasone insert) 0.4mg, which is being evaluated for the treatment of ocular pain following ophthalmic surgery.
Ocular Therapeutix announced that it received a complete response letter (CRL) from the FDA stating that the FDA cannot approve the new drug application (NDA) in its present form. The CRL from the FDA refers to deficiencies in manufacturing processes and analytical testing related to manufacture of drug product for commercial production identified during a pre-NDA approval inspection of the Ocular Therapeutix manufacturing facility that was completed in May 2017.
As previously announced on July 10, 2017, Ocular Therapeutix submitted a response intended to close out all inspectional observations included in the Form FDA-483 issued in May 2017. The company also submitted details of a manufacturing equipment change on July 10, 2017 as an amendment to the NDA resubmission and requested that this be considered a major amendment that would extend the target action date under the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA).
The CRL acknowledges receipt of the company’s NDA amendment dated July 10, 2017, however the amendment was not reviewed prior to the FDA’s action of the CRL. As a result, the FDA did not have the opportunity to review the company’s close-out response prior to issuing the CRL. In addition, as noted in the CRL, the FDA indicated that applicable sections of the amendment submitted by Ocular Therapeutix could be incorporated when responding to deficiencies noted in the CRL.
Satisfactory resolution of the manufacturing deficiencies detailed in the Form FDA-483 is required before the NDA may be approved. The FDA’s letter did not identify any efficacy or safety concerns with respect to the clinical data for Dextenza provided in the NDA nor any need for additional clinical trials for the NDA approval.
“We are evaluating the FDA’s response and plan to work closely with the agency in an effort to satisfy the requirements related to the NDA,” Ocular Therapeutix President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman, Amar Sawhney, PhD, said in a company news release. “Importantly, there were no clinical issues identified in the CRL pertaining to efficacy or safety related to the post-surgical pain indication. We believe that Dextenza can be approved once these open manufacturing items are resolved.”