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Notice

Draft Guideline: Target Animal Safety for Veterinary Live and Inactivated Vaccines

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

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AGENCY:

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Notice of availability and request for comments.

SUMMARY:

The International Cooperation on Harmonization of Technical Requirements for the Registration of Veterinary Medicinal Products (VICH) has developed a draft guideline titled “Target Animal Safety for Veterinary Live and Inactivated Vaccines.” This draft guideline provides guidance for designing and executing studies to evaluate the safety of the final formulation of veterinary live and inactivated vaccines in animals. Because the draft guideline may have an effect on the requirements for vaccines that are regulated by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service under the Virus-Serum-Toxin Act, we are requesting comments on the scope of the guideline and its provisions so that we may include any relevant public input on the draft in the Agency's comments to the VICH Steering Committee.

DATES:

We will consider all comments that we receive on or before April 15, 2008.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments by either of the following methods:

Reading Room: You may read any comments that we receive on this docket in our reading room. The reading room is located in room 1141 of the USDA South Building, 14th Street and Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC. Normal reading room hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. To be sure someone is there to help you, please call (202) 690-2817 before coming.

Other Information: Additional information about APHIS and its programs is available on the Internet at http://www.aphis.usda.gov.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Dr. Albert P. Morgan, Center for Veterinary Biologics-Policy Evaluation and Licensing, VS, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 148, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231; (301) 734-8245.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The International Cooperation on Harmonization of Technical Requirements for the Registration of Veterinary Medicinal Products (VICH) is a unique project conducted under the auspices of the World Organization for Animal Health that brings together the regulatory authorities of the European Union, Japan, and the United States and representatives from the animal health industry in the three regions. The purpose of VICH is to harmonize technical requirements for veterinary products (both drugs and biologics). Regulatory authorities and industry experts from Australia and New Zealand participate in an observer capacity. The World Federation of the Animal Health Industry (COMISA, the Confederation Mondiale de L'Industrie de la Sante Animale) provides the secretarial and administrative support for VICH activities.

The United States Government is represented in VICH by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). The FDA provides expertise on veterinary drugs, while APHIS fills a corresponding role for veterinary biological products. As VICH members, APHIS and FDA participate in efforts to enhance harmonization and have expressed their commitment to seeking scientifically based, harmonized technical requirements for the development of veterinary drugs and biological products. One of the goals of harmonization is to identify and reduce the differences in technical requirements for veterinary drugs and biologics among regulatory agencies in different countries.

The draft guideline “Target Animal Safety for Veterinary Live and Inactivated Vaccines” (VICH Topic GL44) has been made available by the VICH Steering Committee for comments by interested parties. The guideline is intended to provide guidance for designing and executing studies to evaluate the safety of the final formulation of veterinary live and inactivated vaccines prior to approval for licensing/registration. Because the draft guideline applies to some veterinary vaccines regulated by APHIS under the Virus-Serum-Toxin Act—particularly with regard to the safety of the dose of the vaccine on the health and welfare of the target animal—we are requesting comments on its provisions so that we may include any relevant public input on the draft in the Agency's comments to the VICH Steering Committee.

The draft guideline reflects current APHIS thinking regarding designing and executing studies to assess the safety of the final formulation of live and inactivated veterinary vaccines in target animals. In accordance with the VICH process, once a final draft of the document has been approved, the guideline will be recommended for adoption by the regulatory bodies of the European Union, Japan, and the United States. As with all VICH documents, each final guideline will not create or confer any rights for or on any person and will not operate to bind APHIS or the public. Further, the VICH guidelines specifically provide for the use of alternative approaches if those approaches satisfy applicable regulatory requirements.

Ultimately, APHIS intends to consider the VICH Steering Committee's final guideline for use by U.S. veterinary biologics licensees, permittees, and applicants. In addition, we may consider using the final guideline as the basis for proposed amendments to the regulations in 9 CFR chapter I, subchapter E (Viruses, Serums, Toxins, and Analogous Products; Organisms and Vectors). Because we anticipate that applicable provisions of the final versions of “Target Animal Safety for Veterinary Live and Inactivated Vaccines” may be introduced into APHIS' veterinary biologics regulatory program in the future, we encourage your comments on the draft guideline. Start Printed Page 8846

The draft guideline may be viewed on the Regulations.gov Web site or in our reading room (see ADDRESSES above for instructions for accessing Regulations.gov and information on the location and hours of the reading room). You may request paper copies of the draft guideline by calling or writing to the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

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Authority: 21 U.S.C. 151 et seq.

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Done in Washington, DC, this 11th day of February 2008.

Kevin Shea,

Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

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[FR Doc. E8-2913 Filed 2-14-08; 8:45 am]

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