FDA to Focus on Nanotech Trend

May 10, 2006 | Contact Author | By: Rachel Chapman
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Title: FDA to Focus on Nanotech Trend
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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced plans for a public meeting focused on nanotechnology in the fall of this year. This meeting, according to the agency, will be designed to gather information about current developments in uses of nanotechnology materials in FDA-regulated products. In a Federal Register notice announcing the meeting, FDA asked those interested in presenting at or attending the meeting inform the agency of their interest.

Nanotechnology is described by the National Nanotechnology Initiative as the understanding and control of matter at dimensions of roughly 1 to 100 nanometers, where unique phenomena enable novel applications. Essentially, nanotechnology is a branch of science devoted to the design and production of extremely small matter. Due to the small size and special properties of nanotechnology materials, they have great potential for use in a vast array of FDA-regulated products.

In addition, these small materials often have physical or chemical properties that are different than those of their larger counterparts Differences include altered magnetic properties, altered electrical or optical activity, increased structural integrity, and enhanced chemical and biological properties. These differences have the potential to lead to scientific advances. For example, this technology could be used to create new drug formulations and routes of delivery to previously inaccessible sites in the body.

The FDA said it is holding this meeting to further its understanding of developments in nanotechnology and, more specifically, to learn: what new types of nanotechnology products are under development in the areas of foods (including dietary supplements), food and color additives, animal feeds, cosmetics, human and animal drugs and human biologics and medical devices; about any specific scientific issues related to the development of these products relevant to FDA’s regulation of them; any other issues about which regulated industry, academia and the interested public may wish to inform FDA concerning the use of nanotechnology in FDA-regulated products; and If there are opportunities for the agency to address hurdles that may be inhibiting the use of nanotechnology in medical product development.

While the agency is not accepting registrations at this time, it would appreciate receiving expressions of interest from those intending to attend or present at the meeting. This information will help the agency to prepare and plan for this meeting. Information can be provided to Poppy Kendall at Poppy.Kendall@FDA.HHS.GOV, or +1-301-827-3360. Based on the level of response, the FDA will obtain a venue and structure the meeting to accommodate the audience and range of topics discussed. Details about the venue, specific date, time, and registration will be provided in a Federal Register notice closer to the meeting. You may also look for updates at www.fda.gov/nanotechnology.