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Notice

Draft Guidance for Industry: Use of Nucleic Acid Tests to Reduce the Risk of Transmission of West Nile Virus from Donors of Whole Blood and Blood Components Intended for Transfusion and Donors of Human Cells, Tissues, and Cellular and Tissue-Based Products (HCT/Ps); Availability

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AGENCY:

Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is announcing the availability of a draft document entitled “Guidance for Industry: Use of Nucleic Acid Tests to Reduce the Risk of Transmission of West Nile Virus from Donors of Whole Blood and Blood Components Intended for Transfusion and Donors of Human Cells, Tissues, and Cellular and Tissue-Based Products (HCT/Ps)” dated April 2008. This draft guidance is intended for establishments that collect Whole Blood and blood components intended for transfusion and establishments that make donor eligibility determinations for donors of human cells, tissues, and cellular and tissue-based products (HCT/Ps). The document provides recommendations for testing of donations of Whole Blood and blood components and HCT/P donor specimens for West Nile Virus (WNV) using an FDA-licensed donor screening assay. FDA believes that the use of a licensed nucleic acid test (NAT) will reduce the risk of transmission of WNV, and therefore recommend use of a licensed NAT to screen donors of Whole Blood and blood components intended for transfusion and for testing donors of HCT/Ps for infection with WNV. FDA recommends the use of licensed NAT testing for WNV within 6 months after a final guidance is issued.

DATES:

Although you can comment on any guidance at any time (see 21 CFR 10.115(g)(5)), to ensure that the agency considers your comment on this draft guidance before it begins work on the final version of the guidance, submit written or electronic comments on the draft guidance by July 28, 2008.

ADDRESSES:

Submit written requests for single copies of the draft guidance to the Office of Communication, Training, and Manufacturers Assistance (HFM-40), Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER), Food and Drug Administration, 1401 Rockville Pike, suite 200N, Rockville, MD 20852-1448. Send one self-addressed adhesive label to assist the office in processing your requests. The draft guidance may also be obtained by mail by calling CBER at 1-800-835-4709 or 301-827-1800. See the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for electronic access to the draft guidance document.

Submit written comments on the draft guidance to the Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852. Submit electronic comments to http://www.regulations.gov.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Tami Belouin, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (HFM-17), Food and Drug Administration, 1401 Rockville Pike, suite 200N, Rockville, MD 20852-1448, 301-827-6210.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

FDA is announcing the availability of a draft document entitled “Guidance for Industry: Use of Nucleic Acid Tests to Reduce the Risk of Transmission of West Nile Virus from Donors of Whole Blood and Blood Components Intended for Transfusion and Donors of Human Cells, Tissues, and Cellular and Tissue-Based Products (HCT/Ps)” dated April 2008. This draft guidance is intended for establishments that collect Whole Blood and blood components intended for transfusion and establishments that make donor eligibility determinations for donors of human cells, tissues, and cellular and tissue-based products HCT/Ps. The document provides recommendations for testing of donations of Whole Blood and blood components and HCT/P donor specimens for WNV using an FDA-licensed donor screening assay. FDA believes that the use of a licensed NAT will reduce the risk of transmission of WNV, and therefore recommend use of a licensed NAT to screen donors of Whole Blood and blood components intended for transfusion and for testing donors of HCT/Ps for infection with WNV. FDA recommends the use of licensed NAT testing for WNV within 6 months after a final guidance is issued.

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The draft guidance is being issued consistent with FDA's good guidance practices regulation (21 CFR 10.115). The draft guidance, when finalized, will represent FDA's current thinking on this topic. It does not create or confer any rights for or on any person and does not operate to bind FDA or the public. An alternative approach may be used if such approach satisfies the requirement of the applicable statutes and regulations.

II. Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

This draft guidance refers to previously approved collections of information found in FDA regulations. These collections of information are subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520). The collections of information in 21 CFR part 312 have been approved under 0910-0014; 21 CFR part 601 have been approved under 0910-0338; CFR part 606 have been approved under 0910-0116; and 21 CFR part 7, subpart C, have been approved under 0910-0249.

III. Comments

The draft guidance is being distributed for comment purposes only and is not intended for implementation at this time. Interested persons may submit to the Division of Dockets Management (see ADDRESSES) written or electronic comments regarding the draft guidance. Submit a single copy of electronic comments or two paper copies of any mailed comments, except that individuals may submit one paper copy. Comments are to be identified with the docket number found in the brackets in the heading of this document. A copy of the draft guidance and received comments are available for public examination in the Division of Dockets Management between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Please note that on January 15, 2008, the FDA Division of Dockets Management Web site transitioned to the Federal Dockets Management System (FDMS). FDMS is a Government-wide, electronic docket management system. Electronic comments or submissions will be accepted by FDA only through FDMS at http://www.regulations.gov.

IV. Electronic Access

Persons with access to the Internet may obtain the draft guidance at either http://www.fda.gov/​cber/​guidelines.htm or http://www.regulations.gov.

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Dated: April 22, 2008.

Jeffrey Shuren,

Associate Commissioner for Policy and Planning.

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[FR Doc. E8-9253 Filed 4-25-08; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4160-01-S