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Notice

Emerging Issues and Cross-Cutting Scientific Advances; Establishment of a Public Docket

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AGENCY:

Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

ACTION:

Notice; establishment of docket; request for comments.

SUMMARY:

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is establishing a public docket to receive input on emerging issues and cross-cutting scientific advances that may impact FDA preparedness and inter-Agency activities. Interested parties are invited to submit comments regarding emerging technologies and cross-cutting scientific advances of importance to FDA. The focus is on areas that may impact FDA in 5 or more years.

DATES:

Submit either electronic or written comments by October 21, 2019.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments as follows:

Electronic Submissions

Submit electronic comments in the following way:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. Comments submitted electronically, including attachments, to http://www.regulations.gov will be posted to the docket unchanged. Because your comment will be made public, you are solely responsible for ensuring that your comment does not include any confidential information that you or a third party may not wish to be posted, such as medical information, your or anyone else's Social Security number, or confidential business information, such as a manufacturing process. Please note that if you include your name, contact information, or other information that identifies you in the body of your comments, that information will be posted on http://www.regulations.gov.
  • If you want to submit a comment with confidential information that you do not wish to be made available to the public submit the comment as a written/paper submission and in the manner detailed (see “Written/Paper Submissions” and “Instructions”).

Written/Paper Submissions

Submit written/paper submissions as follows:

  • Mail/Hand delivery/Courier (for written/paper submissions): Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.
  • For written/paper comments submitted to the Division of Dockets Management, FDA will post your comment, as well as any attachments, except for information submitted, marked and identified, as confidential, if submitted as detailed in “Instructions.”

Instructions: All submissions received must include the Docket No. FDA-2016-N-2406 for “Emerging Issues and Cross-Cutting Scientific Advances.” Received comments will be placed in the docket and, except for those submitted as “Confidential Submissions,” publicly viewable at http://www.regulations.gov or at the Division of Dockets Management between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

  • Confidential Submissions—To submit a comment with confidential information that you do not wish to be made publicly available submit your comments only as a written/paper submission. You should submit two copies total. One copy will include the information you claim to be confidential with a heading or cover note that states “THIS DOCUMENT CONTAINS CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION.” The Agency will review this copy, including the claimed confidential information, in its consideration of comments. The second copy, which will have the claimed confidential information redacted/blacked out, will be available for public viewing and posted on http://www.regulations.gov. Submit both copies to the Division of Dockets Management. If you do not wish your name and contact information to be made publicly available, you can provide this information on the cover sheet and not in the body of your comments and you must identify this information as “confidential.” Any information marked as “confidential” will not be disclosed except in accordance with 21 CFR 10.20 and other applicable disclosure law. For more information about FDA's posting of comments to public dockets, see 80 FR 56469, September 18, 2015, or access the information at: http://www.fda.gov/​regulatoryinformation/​dockets/​default.htm.

Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or the electronic and written/paper comments received, go to http://www.regulations.gov and insert the docket number, found in brackets in the heading of this document, into the “Search” box and follow the prompts and/or go to the Division of Dockets Management, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Donna Mendrick, National Center for Toxicological Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Silver Spring, MD 20993, 301-796-8892, Donna.Mendrick@fda.hhs.gov; or Michael Morgan, Office of Regulatory Science and Innovation, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Silver Spring, MD 20993, 240-402-3832, Michael.Morgan@fda.hhs.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

FDA is responsible for protecting the public health by assuring the safety, efficacy, and security of human and veterinary drugs, biological products, medical devices, our Nation's food supply, cosmetics, and products that emit radiation. FDA is tasked with advancing the public health by helping to speed innovations that protect the public health. FDA also has responsibility for regulating the manufacturing, marketing, and distribution of tobacco products, to protect the public health, and to reduce tobacco use by minors. Finally, FDA plays a significant role in the Nation's counterterrorism capability. FDA fulfills this responsibility by ensuring the security of the food supply, and by fostering development of medical products used to respond to deliberate and naturally emerging public health threats.

FDA's ability to achieve its mission relies on awareness of, and proactive preparedness for, emerging issues and scientific advances, which will impact the development of regulated products well in advance of formal FDA regulatory submissions (e.g., 5-10 years). To realize this goal requires long-range horizon scanning by a cadre of scientific leaders from FDA, other government Agencies, interested stakeholders, and the public. Emerging sciences, such as synthetic biology, are expected to impact FDA regulated products in the relatively near term. The goal of this initiative is to identify issues and advances that will impact the Agency in the longer term and thus may be in their infancy.

FDA formed the Emerging Sciences Working Group to provide an FDA-wide science-based forum to identify and Start Printed Page 72059communicate scientific regulatory approaches, in order to prepare for anticipated high impact emerging science and technology. Additionally, the Emerging Sciences Working Group informs and advises Agency and FDA Center leadership on critical and cross-cutting issues likely to impact regulatory policy development.

The Emerging Sciences Working Group is seeking input from the public to identify emerging science and technology. Results from long range horizon scanning will assist FDA regarding emerging issues and cross-cutting scientific advances, which may impact FDA preparedness in the future.

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Dated: October 13, 2016.

Leslie Kux,

Associate Commissioner for Policy.

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[FR Doc. 2016-25223 Filed 10-18-16; 8:45 am]

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