The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has taken a significant step in expanding access to COVID-19 testing by clearing the marketing of the first over-the-counter (OTC) antigen test. ACON Laboratories’ Flowflex COVID-19 Antigen Home Test, previously authorized for emergency use, has now undergone a traditional FDA premarket review pathway and is the second home COVID-19 test to receive such clearance. Notably, it is also the first test indicated for use in children under 18. This development aligns with the FDA’s commitment to advancing at-home testing options for various medical conditions, thus enhancing patient access to testing.
Advancing Access to At-Home Testing:
Jeff Shuren, M.D., J.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, highlighted the significance of this achievement, stating, “This marks the latest step forward in our efforts to help test developers provide Americans with continued options for safe and effective COVID tests that can be performed entirely at home.” The FDA’s proactive collaboration with test developers seeking to market their products beyond emergency use authorization underscores their commitment to expanding patient access to testing and supporting the development of at-home tests for various medical conditions.
Flowflex COVID-19 Antigen Home Test:
The Flowflex COVID-19 Antigen Home Test is an OTC test designed for symptomatic individuals within six days of symptom onset. It is cleared for use by individuals aged 14 years or older testing themselves or adults testing individuals aged two years or older. In an FDA-reviewed study, this test demonstrated impressive accuracy, correctly identifying 89.8% of positive and 99.3% of negative samples in individuals displaying signs and symptoms of upper respiratory infection.
Similar to antigen tests authorized for emergency use, the Flowflex COVID-19 Antigen Home Test should be used at least twice over a three-day period, with a minimum of 48 hours between tests. This means that if a symptomatic individual initially receives a negative test result, they should be re-tested once between 48 and 72 hours after the first test using an antigen test for COVID-19 or follow up with a molecular COVID-19 test.
510(k) Premarket Review Pathway:
The FDA reviewed the ACON Flowflex COVID-19 Antigen Home Test through the 510(k) premarket review pathway. The 510(k) is a submission made to the FDA to demonstrate that a new device is substantially equivalent to a legally marketed predicate device. This detailed review process ensures the safety and effectiveness of the test and provides confidence to consumers who choose to utilize it.
The FDA’s clearance of the Flowflex COVID-19 Antigen Home Test as the first over-the-counter antigen test for COVID-19 represents a significant milestone in expanding access to testing. This advancement allows individuals, including children, to conveniently and accurately test for COVID-19 from the comfort of their homes. With the ongoing commitment of organizations like the FDA and test developers, we can continue to develop and enhance at-home testing options, ultimately helping to control the spread of COVID-19 and improve public health.
About the FDA:
The FDA, as an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, plays a vital role in assuring the safety, effectiveness, and security of various healthcare products and regulating industries that impact public health. From drugs and vaccines to medical devices and food safety, the FDA is dedicated to protecting and promoting the well-being of the American public.
FDA Approves First Therapy for Rare Type of Non-Cancerous Tumors
Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Ogsiveo (nirogacestat) tablets for adult patients with progressing desmoid tumors who require systemic treatment. Ogsiveo is the first drug to be approved for the treatment of patients with desmoid tumors, a rare subtype of soft tissue sarcomas.
Desmoid tumors are non-cancerous but can be locally aggressive. The tumors may invade into surrounding structures and organs, resulting in pain, issues with being able to move, and decreased quality of life. Although surgical removal has historically been the treatment of choice, there is a high risk that the tumor will return or that other health challenges will occur after removal; therefore, systemic therapies (cancer treatment targeting the entire body) are being increasingly evaluated in clinical trials.
“The FDA continues to address unmet medical need and advance the development of safe and effective therapies for the millions of Americans whose lives are affected by rare tumors,” said Richard Pazdur, M.D., director of the FDA’s Oncology Center of Excellence and acting director of the Office of Oncologic Diseases in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “Desmoid tumors are rare tumors that can lead to severe pain and disability. Today’s approval will offer the first approved treatment option for patients beyond surgery and radiation.”
The effectiveness of Ogsiveo was evaluated in an international, multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in 142 adult patients with progressing desmoid tumors not amenable to surgery. Patients were randomized to receive 150 milligrams (mg) of Ogsiveo or placebo orally, twice daily, until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity. The main efficacy outcome measure was progression-free survival (the length of time after the start of treatment for which a person is alive and their cancer does not grow or spread). Objective response rate (a measure of tumor shrinkage) was an additional efficacy outcome measure.
The pivotal clinical trial demonstrated that Ogsiveo provided clinically meaningful and statistically significant improvement in progression-free survival compared to placebo. Additionally, the objective response rate was also statistically different between the two arms with a response rate of 41% in the Ogsiveo arm and 8% in the placebo arm. The progression-free survival results were also supported by an assessment of patient-reported pain favoring the Ogsiveo arm.
The most common side effects seen in at least 15% of the patients in the trial were diarrhea, ovarian toxicity, rash, nausea, fatigue, stomatitis, headache, abdominal pain, cough, alopecia, upper respiratory tract infection and dyspnea.
Ogsiveo was granted Priority Review under which the FDA’s goal is to take action on an application within six months where the agency determines that the drug, if approved, would significantly improve the safety or effectiveness of treating, diagnosing or preventing a serious condition compared to available therapies. Ogsiveo also received FDA Fast Track and Breakthrough Therapy designations for the indication noted above, as well as Orphan-Drug designation for treatment of desmoid tumor (aggressive fibromatosis). Orphan-drug designation provides incentives to assist and encourage drug development for rare diseases.
The FDA granted the approval of Ogsiveo to SpringWorks Therapeutics Inc.
Salmonella Outbreak: Cantaloupe Recall Investigation
Salmonella outbreak: Cantaloupes recalled. Ongoing investigation. Stay informed for updates on the recall.
In recent weeks, an outbreak of Salmonella linked to cantaloupes has raised concerns across the United States and parts of Canada. The outbreak, which began in early November 2023, has resulted in numerous cases of illness reported from various states. Health authorities, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), are diligently investigating this outbreak to identify the source of contamination and prevent further illnesses. This blog post aims to provide an overview of the outbreak investigation, affected products and stores, symptoms of Salmonella infection, and recommendations for consumers and businesses.
On November 22, 2023, Crown Jewels Produce, Sofia Produce, and CF Dallas initiated a recall of fresh cantaloupes and related products due to potential Salmonella contamination. As of November 24, CDC reported a total of 99 cases from 32 states, with the latest onset date being November 10, 2023. The investigation is still ongoing, as authorities are working to determine if additional products are linked to the illnesses. The FDA will provide updates on this situation as more information becomes available.
Affected Products and Stores:
The following brands of whole fresh cantaloupes have been recalled:
- Cantaloupes labeled “Malichita” or “Rudy,” with the numbers “4050” and “Product of Mexico/produit du Mexique.”
- These cantaloupes were sold in retail stores located in Arizona, California, Maryland, New Jersey, Tennessee, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Texas, Florida, and Canada. It is important to note that this list may not include all states, as the cantaloupes could have reached consumers through further retail distribution.
Recalled cut cantaloupe and products made from the recalled whole cantaloupes include:
- ALDI’s cantaloupe, cut cantaloupe, and pineapple spears in clamshell packaging with Best-by dates between October 27 and October 31.
- Vinyard’s cantaloupe chunks and cubes, fruit mixes, melon medleys, and fruit cups containing cantaloupe. Most of these products have a “Vinyard” label, and some have a red label with “Fresh” sold between October 30 and November 10 in Oklahoma stores.
- Freshness Guaranteed seasonal blend, melon trio, melon mix, fruit blend, fruit bowl, seasonal fruit tray, fruit mix, and cantaloupe chunks. RaceTrac fruit medley sold in clear square or round plastic containers at select retail stores in Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Illinois, Texas, and Louisiana.
Symptoms of Salmonella Infection:
Salmonella infection typically manifests within 12 to 72 hours after consuming contaminated food and typically lasts for four to seven days. Common symptoms include diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps. It is important to note that severe infections are more likely to occur in children younger than five, the elderly, and individuals with weakened immune systems.
Status and Recommendations:
The investigation into the cantaloupe-related Salmonella outbreak is still ongoing. Authorities will continue to provide updates as new information becomes available. In the meantime, the following recommendations are crucial:
- Consumers, restaurants, retailers, and wholesalers should refrain from consuming, selling, or serving recalled cantaloupes or products containing cantaloupe.
- Those who have frozen cantaloupes for later use should check their freezers and discard any recalled fresh or cut cantaloupes.
- If you are unsure whether your cantaloupe is part of the recall, it is best to err on the side of caution and dispose of it.
- Retailers and wholesalers who received recalled whole melons should identify the boxes labeled “Malachita/Z Farms” or “Malichita” or “Rudy” from Crown Jewels Produce and Sofia Produce (TruFresh) and remove them from their inventory.
- It is crucial to follow FDA’s safe handling and cleaning advice, ensuring that any surfaces and containers that may have come in contact with the recalled products are thoroughly cleaned and sanitized to prevent cross-contamination.
- If you suspect you may be experiencing symptoms of a Salmonella infection after consuming recalled cantaloupes, it is essential to seek medical attention promptly.
The outbreak investigation of Salmonella linked to cantaloupes is a matter of concern, and authorities are actively working to protect public health. By staying informed, following the recommendations, and taking necessary precautions, we can collectively mitigate the risks associated with this outbreak. Stay tuned for updates and adhere to the guidance provided by health authorities to ensure the safety of yourself and your loved ones.
FDA Expands Cinnamon Applesauce Recall: Lead Contamination Concerns
FDA expands recall of cinnamon applesauce pouches due to lead contamination. Illnesses potentially linked to recalled product reported. Investigation ongoing.
In a recent development, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an updated advisory regarding the investigation of elevated lead levels in cinnamon applesauce pouches. This update includes an expanded recall from WanaBana LLC, now encompassing Weis and Schnucks-brand cinnamon applesauce pouches. The move comes in response to growing concerns over potential health risks associated with lead contamination in these products.
Emerging Health Concerns:
As of November 13, 2023, the FDA has received 22 reports of illnesses that may be connected to the recalled cinnamon applesauce pouches. In light of this, the FDA is diligently assessing incoming adverse reports of related illnesses. Their investigation is ongoing, with a primary focus on identifying the source of lead contamination and determining whether additional products are also linked to these reported illnesses.
The FDA’s Commitment:
To ensure public safety, the FDA will continue to update this advisory as new information becomes available. This demonstrates their dedication to protecting consumers and their commitment to swift action when potential health risks are identified.
The expanded recall of cinnamon applesauce pouches serves as a stark reminder of the importance of rigorous product safety measures. It is crucial for consumers to stay informed and heed the FDA’s recommendations regarding recalled products. By working together, government agencies, manufacturers, and consumers can help maintain the highest standards of food safety, ultimately safeguarding the well-being of individuals and families across the nation. https://www.fda.gov/food/alerts-advisories-safety-information/fda-advises-parents-and-caregivers-not-buy-or-feed-wanabana-apple-cinnamon-fruit-puree-pouches?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery
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