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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2007 Sep;1112:351-6.

Issues in pharmaceutical development of thymosin alpha1 from preclinical studies through marketing.

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SciClone Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 901 Mariner's Island Blvd., San Mateo, CA 94404, USA.


SciClone Pharmaceuticals licensed the commercial and patent rights to thymosin alpha1, for geographical regions of the world excluding the United States and Europe, in the early 1990s. With this license, SciClone embarked on global drug development, and the issues encountered for thymosin alpha1 are reflective of the roller coaster of modern approval of pharmaceuticals. Most of the required toxicology studies had been completed prior to licensure, but some newer studies had to be conducted to obtain approvals in certain countries. The recent development of the "International Conference on Harmonisation of Technical Requirements for Registration of Pharmaceuticals for Human Use" (ICH) guidelines allows for a clearer definition of the required battery of toxicology studies, although some countries still have not adopted these guidelines, and the local regulations have had to be understood and followed. Other hurdles include the complications that manufacturing requirements can differ between countries, and certain countries require local clinical experience trials in addition to SciClone's cumulative clinical data. A further obstacle was the pleiotropic nature of the mechanism of action of thymosin alpha1, with the resulting difficulty in the unraveling of its pharmacologic effects. With close attention to these regulatory details, SciClone has obtained approvals in more than 30 countries and has successfully begun commercial sales.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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