US FDA Greenlights First Direct-To-Consumer Cancer-Risk Test
23andMe gained FDA go-ahead for the first direct-to-consumer genetic test for cancer risk, as the firm continues to map out regulatory frameworks for the DTC gene-screening space with its third de novo authorization in three years.
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The agency has responded to a draft diagnostics reform bill in Congress with proposed reforms that diverge some ways from the proposed legislation, but stick with the underlying goal of completely remaking how lab tests, including test kits and lab-developed tests, are regulated. The agency has put forward a proposal to establish a pre-certification process for test developers, divide most tests into high- or low-risk categories (but exempt many from pre-market review) and remove the concept of substantial equivalence.
Starting out 2018, Scott Gottlieb issued a new directive to US FDA staff outlining his priorities and vision. Among the directives is to promote digital health and diagnostics by creating efficient pathways for new products in the areas and focusing on technology to help consumers better track their health.
Formalizing an approach applied to oversight of 23AndMe's direct-to-consumer genetic health risk tests, US FDA Nov. 6 said it plans to allow DTC testing services to be exempted from pre-market review after each individual maker of such an offering comes to the agency for a one-time review to ensure it meets FDA requirements.