FDA announces Animal and Veterinary Innovation Agenda admin September 21, 2023

FDA announces Animal and Veterinary Innovation Agenda

By David Fairfield, Senior Vice President, Feed

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Sept. 15 announced the agency is taking new steps to modernize its approach to evaluating and supporting the development of innovative animal and veterinary products, to increase regulatory flexibility, predictability and efficiency.

The Animal and Veterinary Innovation Agenda released by FDA lists four objectives and details the supporting actions by the agency’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) to foster product development and implement modern approaches to regulating animal and veterinary products. The four objectives are: 1) support technologies and products that address high-priority needs; 2) align regulatory pathways to the modern landscape; 3) enhance CVM’s One Health workforce for the future of innovation; and 4) identify and address gaps specific to new technologies and emerging health threats. 

Related to modernizing regulatory pathways, CVM states in the agenda that it will create a Regulatory Modernization Task Force to review and recommend changes to law and policy, such as through changes to regulations and guidance documents, that align with CVM’s commitment to sensible science- and risk-based regulation. CVM also notes that proposed legislative changes to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, such as the introduction of new approval pathways for zootechnical animal food substances and biologic products for animals, hold promise to create evaluation and approval pathways that are appropriate for novel FDA-regulated product types. NGFA has endorsed the referenced legislation  the Innovative Feed Enhancement and Economic Development Act – currently being considered within Congress that would provide FDA legal authority to approve the use of zootechnical animal food substances – non-nutritive substances with substantiated benefits, such as minimizing food safety pathogens, improving animal productivity, and reducing environmental emissions. 

FDA states it intends to publicly track its progress, collaborate with federal, tribal and state partners, and solicit public input on certain elements of the agenda as it continues to implement a scientifically sound, risk-based regulatory approach that promotes innovation while protecting public health.