Who We Are

The New Jersey Life Sciences Vendors Alliance (NJLSVA) is a coalition of businesses, individuals and academia who provide goods and services to New Jersey’s life sciences companies.

The NJLSVA was founded to educate suppliers on trends in industry procurement and public policy that affects the life sciences industry.

Rare Diseases

Hill Fight Erupts Over GOP’s Proposed Roll-Back of Tax Credit for ‘Orphan’ Disease Drugs

Washington, DC, November 21, 2017 — Peter Sullivan reports in The Hill that Republicans are seeking to roll back a tax credit for drugs that treat rare diseases, alarming patient groups who fear the move would slow the development of new treatments.

The so-called orphan drug tax credit would be repealed in the tax-reform bill that passed the House last week. Patient groups are lobbying to preserve the credit, as are some drug companies.

The credit, first enacted in 1983, is intended to spur the development treatments for rare, or “orphan,” diseases that affect fewer than 200,000 people. Continue reading

Over 200 Patient Groups Call on House to Reinstate Orphan Drug Tax Credit in GOP’s Tax Reform Bill

Washington, DC, November 9, 2017 — More than 200 nonpartisan patient groups sent a letter to U.S. House of Representatives leadership, Republican and Democratic, urging policymakers not to repeal the Orphan Drug Tax Credit in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

The proposed change to repeal the Orphan Drug Tax Credit would result in one-third fewer new treatments for rare diseases going forward.

Of the approximately 7,000 diseases considered rare in the U.S., only a few hundred have FDA-approved treatments.  The Orphan Drug Tax Credit gives hope to the nearly 95 percent of individuals with rare diseases who are still without a treatment. Continue reading

House Republicans’ Tax Reform Bill Would Repeal Orphan Drug Research Credits; NORD and BIO Respond

Washington, DC, November 6, 2017 — Zachary Brennan reported for Endpoints News that House Republicans on November 2 rolled out their new tax reform bill, which among other provisions to lower taxes for Americans and businesses, proposes to repeal a provision that might cause the biopharma industry some concern.

Under the House bill’s Subtitle E, section 3401 would repeal what amounts to half of the qualified clinical research costs for designated orphan drug products.

Orphan Drug Act Background

Brennan reports that under the Orphan Drug Act of 1983, Congress sought to incentivize the development of drugs to treat rare diseases by offering drugmakers tax credits, fee waivers and a seven-year period of marketing exclusivity for an approved orphan indication. Continue reading

NORD Unveils ‘Do Your Share for Rare,’ Year-Long Campaign for Rare Disease Public Awareness

Danbury, Conn., March 13, 2017 — The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD), the leading independent nonprofit organization representing the 30 million Americans with rare diseases, announced a year-long awareness campaign for rare disease.

Kicking off on February 28 — Rare Disease Day 2017 — “Do Your Share for Rare” features the voices and stories of many living with a rare disease, to inspire and encourage those living outside of the community to get involved in ways big or small. Continue reading

Event: NJ Rare Disease Alliance Commemorates Global Rare Disease Day 2017 on February 27; Focus on Innovation, Research and Access

Glen Ridge, NJ, February 25, 2017 — The New Jersey Rare Disease Alliance, dedicated to improving the lives of the more than 800,000 rare disease patients in New Jersey, will hold its annual Rare Disease Day commemoration on Monday, February 27, at the New Jersey Business and Industry Association (NJBIA), 10 West Lafayette Street, Trenton from 9:00 AM-12:00 PM.

The event is co-sponsored by BioNJ, the HealthCare Institute of NJ (HINJ) and the National Organization for Rare Diseases (NORD). Continue reading

FDA Awards 21 Grants to Stimulate Product Development for Rare Diseases

FDA blueWashington, DC, October 20, 2016 — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on October 17 announced that it has awarded 21 new clinical trial research grants totaling more than $23 million over the next four years to boost the development of products for patients with rare diseases.

These new grants were awarded to principal investigators from academia and industry with research spanning domestic and international clinical sites.

“We are proud of our 30-year track record of fostering and encouraging the development of safe and effective therapies for rare diseases through our clinical trials grant program,” said Gayatri R. Rao, M.D., J.D., director of FDA’s Office of Orphan Product Development, within the Office of Special Medical Programs. Continue reading

PhRMA and The ALS Association Report More Than 560 Medicines in Development for Rare Diseases

Rare Disease 3Washington, DC, May 9, 2016 ― America’s biopharmaceutical research companies are currently developing more than 560 medicines for patients with rare diseases, according to a report released today by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) and The ALS Association.

Medicines in development include therapies for multiple myeloma, cystic fibrosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and enzyme deficiency disorders, providing treatment options for patients that had few or no treatment options before.

Today, there are 7,000 known rare diseases, or diseases that affect fewer than 200,000 people in the United States. Continue reading

Pharmalot: FDA Wants to Nix Voucher Program for Rare Pediatric Disease Drugs

STAT PharmalotBoston, MA, March 7, 2016 ― Pharmalot reporter-blogger Ed Silverman reports in STAT that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) wants to end a voucher program designed to spur development of new drugs for rare pediatric diseases, although a new government report released on Wednesday said it’s too early to say whether it’s working.

Drug makers and advocacy groups, however, told the Government Accountability Office they see value in the program, which expires on Oct. 1.

At issue are pediatric review vouchers.  Created in 2012, the program awards a priority review voucher to a drug maker that wins approval of a treatment for a rare pediatric disease. Companies can later redeem vouchers when seeking approval for another medicine to treat any illness. Continue reading

HINJ, BioNJ Lead Rare Disease Day 2016 Event in Trenton

Trenton Capital Dome  MoonTrenton, NJ, March 1, 2016 ― Steve Wilson report in New Jersey Business that a rare disease is just that — specifically, a malady that afflicts fewer than 200,000 people in the United States.

But while many individual diseases may be rare, many individuals have rare diseases. Hence the slogan of The National Organization for Rare Disorders: “Alone we are rare. Together we are strong.”

That slogan also was the strategy employed by several healthcare organizations, led by BioNJ and the HealthCare Institute of New Jersey (HINJ), in organizing a State House event around the global Rare Disease Day 2016.

Wilson reports that about two dozen participants gathered at NJBIA’s headquarters in Trenton for an hour-long presentation followed by a group trip to the Capitol to meet with Senators who were in town for committee meetings. Continue reading

FDA Providing $2 Million in New Grants for Natural History Studies in Rare Diseases

FDA blueWashington, DC, March 1, 2016 ― The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Monday — Rare Disease Day 2016 — announced the availability of $2 million in research grants to fund natural history studies in rare diseases.

Rare diseases, as defined in the Orphan Drug Act, are diseases or conditions with a prevalence of less than 200,000 persons in the United States.  Though the diseases are individually rare, together, the 7,000 known rare diseases affect approximately 30 million Americans.

The aim of the research is to collect data on how specific rare diseases progress in individuals over time so that knowledge can inform and support product development and approval. This will be the first time the FDA will provide funding through its Orphan Products Grants to conduct these types of studies for rare diseases. Continue reading