Request for Information (RFI): FDA Medical Countermeasures Initiative Regulatory Science Program

Notice Number: NOT-FD-11-001

Key Dates
Release Date: August 19, 2011
Response Date:  September 30, 2011

Issued by
U.S. Food and Drug Administration


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In March 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sponsored a workshop—held by the Institute of Medicine (IOM)—to identify opportunities to advance regulatory science for developing and evaluating medical countermeasures for chemical, biological, nuclear, radiological (CBRN) and naturally occurring emerging infectious disease (EID) threats–such as pandemic influenzai. The purpose of this request for information (RFI) is to build on the information elicited during the IOM workshop and garner information that will inform FDA investments in its medical countermeasures regulatory science program by identifying medical countermeasure regulatory science needs, enhancing FDA’s understanding of existing regulatory science capabilities, and identifying opportunities for collaboration.


In August 2010, FDA launched its Medical Countermeasures Initiative (MCMi) in response to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ comprehensive review of the Public Health Emergency Medical Countermeasures Enterprise (Enterprise)ii. The Enterprise Review lays out a vision for a flexible, nimble system to produce medical countermeasures rapidly in the face of any attack or threat, known or unknown and recommends—among other things—a robust 21st-Century medical countermeasures regulatory science program led by FDA to help achieve this vision.

FDA has organized its MCMi around a three pillar action plan based on the expected outcomes and elements of the 21st-Century regulatory science initiative as envisioned in the Enterprise Review:

Mission of the FDA Medical Countermeasures Initiative

The MCMi is designed to bolster the US government’s efforts to increase the availability of and access to safe, effective medical countermeasures—including drugs, vaccines, medical devices  (including diagnostic tests)—against CBRN and EID threats. The overall mission of the MCMi is to promote the development of medical countermeasures by enhancing FDA’s regulatory processes and fostering the establishment of clear regulatory pathways for medical countermeasures, and to facilitate the timely access to available medical countermeasures by establishing effective regulatory policies and mechanisms.

General Program Needs and Scope of Program

Regulatory science refers to the broad range of activities needed to develop and apply new methods, tools and standards to facilitate development of safe, effective, and high quality medical products, including products suitable for at-risk populations (e.g., children, pregnant women, and people with chronic health conditions). The goal of FDA’s MCMi regulatory science program (Pillar II) is to facilitate, simplify, and speed the development and evaluation of medical countermeasures by establishing medical countermeasure regulatory science programs that address complex scientific issues that impede medical countermeasure development.  For example, research aimed to incorporate innovative methodologies that lead to improved potency and sterility assays or may lead to improved data available for regulatory review, allowing for better informed benefit-risk, science-based regulatory decision-makingiii. Topic areas of special interest for medical countermeasure regulatory science include: (1) animal model development and qualification, including those for radiation injury protection, (2) identification and qualification  of  biomarkers for safety and efficacy, (3) immune responses including identification of correlates of protection, (4) methods to assess product quality and related product release assays, (5) risk communication to improve public health outcomes, (7) validation of next-generation in vitro diagnostics platforms, (9) assessing performance of emergency medical equipment, and (10) real-time tracking and evaluation of MCM safety and efficacy during public health emergencies.

Program Structure

The MCMi regulatory science program is focusing on high-priority projects that are of value for public health and national security based on Enterprise partner priorities. FDA is interested in hearing about potential projects that support the development and evaluation of specific medical countermeasure products, classes or groups of medical countermeasure products, or important medical countermeasure technologies. For more information on Enterprise partner medical countermeasure priorities see for example:

The MCMi regulatory science program comprises both intramural FDA and external, FDA-sponsored research components. FDA is strengthening and expanding its intramural medical countermeasures regulatory science program and plans to establish an extramural component to engage entities outside of FDA (e.g., other U.S. government agencies, academia, non-governmental organizations, and industry) in medical countermeasure regulatory science.

Information Requested

FDA is interested in obtaining stakeholder input into its medical countermeasure regulatory science program to help us assess and prioritize medical countermeasure regulatory science needs and gaps and further our understanding of existing regulatory science capabilities. Specifically, FDA is especially interested in the following:

Please identify medical countermeasure regulatory science needs including:

Potential Solutions to Medical Countermeasure Regulatory Science Needs

Please describe ideas and concepts that could lead to potential projects that would help advance regulatory science in areas of unmet needs, even if they involve radical changes to the current approaches and processes, including:

How to Submit a Response

Responses should be limited to a maximum of 5 pages and should be identified with NOT-FD-11-001. Responses are due by September 30, 2011.  Please submit your response to:

This RFI is for information and planning purposes only and shall not be construed as a solicitation or as an obligation on the part of the Government. The Government does not intend to make any award on the basis of responses nor otherwise pay for the preparation of any information submitted or the Government's use of such information. Acknowledgement of receipt of responses will not be made, nor will respondents be notified of the Government's evaluation of the information received. However, should such a requirement materialize, no basis for claims against the Government shall arise as a result of a response to this request for information or the Government's use of such information as either part of our evaluation process or in developing specifications for any subsequent requirement. Information in responses will be held confidential to the extent permitted under applicable laws and regulations. Any proprietary, non-public information should be so marked.

All respondents are asked to indicate the type and size of your organization, e.g., Large Business, Small Business, Veteran-Owned Small Business, Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business, HUBZone Small Business, Small Disadvantaged Business, Women-Owned Business, 8(a), Historically Black College or University/Minority Institution (HBCU/MI), educational institution, profit/non-profit hospital, or other nonprofit organizations including those within the federal government.


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Please direct all inquiries to:

i. See Advancing Regulatory Science for Medical Countermeasure Development - A Workshop. Washington, DC: Institute of Medicine. March 29-30, 2011. Available at

ii. Available at

iii. For examples of the ways FDA envisions employing regulatory science to achieve the goal of Pillar II see Advancing Regulatory Science for Public Health Available at:

iv. Available at

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