COVID-19 Vaccine Race: FDA Advisory Committee Meeting with Donald Alcendor, PhD

October 26, 2020
Kevin Kunzmann

A glimpse into FDA advisor perspective just weeks before EUAs are anticipated to be sent.

Last Friday, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hosted a Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) meeting to discuss coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) research, development, and eventual licensing with the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER).

Though the live-broadcast meeting did not weigh any regulation decision nor tailor its agenda to any single vaccine candidate or company, it provided the public a glimpse into the mindset of the FDA’s key experts weeks prior to anticipated Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) applications for COVID-19 vaccines.

The advisory committee meeting also allowed for community-based input—of which there was plenty, as advocacy and health organizations alike represented differing patient populations, issues in disparity, and calls for scrutinous, transparent regulation of any possible vaccines.

In this week’s episode of Vaccine Race, Donald Alcendor, PhD, rejoined the limited series to give real-time takeaways from the VRBPAC meeting and what discussion could implicate for COVID-19 vaccine regulation. Among topics, the expert from Maharry Medical College and Vanderbilt University School of Medicine provided perspective on secondary phase 3 assessment endpoints, mandated vaccination groups, pediatric treatment arms, and advocacy representation at the meeting.

With the news of remdesivir’s FDA approval for the treatment of adult and children hospitalized with COVID-19 breaking a day prior, Alcendor also discussed what the decision could mean for eventual vaccine authorization.