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  5. Coronavirus Treatment Acceleration Program (CTAP)
  1. Coronavirus (COVID-19) | Drugs

Coronavirus Treatment Acceleration Program (CTAP)

What is CTAP?

FDA has created a special emergency program for possible coronavirus therapies, the Coronavirus Treatment Acceleration Program (CTAP). The program uses every available method to move new treatments to patients as quickly as possible, while at the same time finding out whether they are helpful or harmful. We continue to support clinical trials that are testing new treatments for COVID so that we gain valuable knowledge about their safety and effectiveness. Please see our Frequently Asked Questions page for more information on the program.

FDA Voices Articles on CTAP

On April 20, 2020, Commissioner Hahn, CBER Director Marks, and CDER Director Woodcock explain FDA’s strategic approach to COVID-19 therapeutic development via a blog post, "CTAP: The Path Forward."

On July 14, 2020, Commissioner Hahn, Acting CDER Director Cavazzoni and CBER Director Marks explain how we built and manage CTAP operations via a blog post, “CTAP: Behind the Scenes.”

CTAP Dashboard

This dashboard provides a snapshot of development of potential COVID-19 therapeutics. Given the urgent nature of the pandemic and the number of companies and researchers developing COVID-19 related therapies, the following numbers may change frequently. FDA will update these numbers monthly. As of December 31, 2021, the snapshot is:

CTAP Dashboard - 670+ Drug development programs in planning stages; 470+ Trials reviewed by FDA; 14 COVID-19 treatments currently authorized for Emergency Use; 1 Treatment currently approved by FDA for use in COVID-19
1Active Pre-INDs. Excludes vaccines.
2Safe to proceed INDs. Excludes vaccines. Ongoing trials reviewed by FDA fall into two categories: early stage and late stage. Early stage trials (phase 0, 1 and 1/2) test safety and sometimes dosing. They rarely provide sufficient evidence to support Emergency Use Authorization or approval. Late stage trials (phase 2, 2/3, 3, and 4) assess safety and establish whether the treatment is effective. They may generate sufficient evidence to support the statutory standards for Emergency Use Authorization or approval. For additional information regarding the different phases of clinical trials, please visit: What Are the Different Types of Clinical Research?
3Please see the Emergency Use Authorization webpage for more details. This number includes 1 EUA authorizing both medical devices and a drug for emergency use.

Type of COVID-19 Treatment Being Studied. Single agent treatments: Antivirals 50+; Cell & Gene.  Combinations 40+ Therapies 60+; Immunomodulators 130+; Neutralizing Antibodies 60+; Other 110+
1 Corresponds to number of safe to proceed INDs. Excludes INDs related to vaccines
2 For additional information, please see Cellular & Gene Therapy Products
3 Includes INDs with more than one product

The categories in this bar chart span a number of categories.

Antiviral drugs keep viruses from multiplying and are used to treat many viral infections (such as HIV, Herpes, Hepatitis C, and influenza).  

Immunomodulators are aimed at tamping down the body’s own immune reaction to the virus, in cases where the body’s reaction basically goes overboard and starts attacking the patient’s own organs.

Neutralizing antibody therapies may help individuals fight the virus and include manufactured antibodies, animal-sourced antibody therapies, and blood-derived products such as convalescent plasma and hyperimmune globulin, which contain antibodies taken from people who have previously had COVID-19.

Cell therapy products include cellular immunotherapies and other types of both autologous and allogeneic cells, such as stem cells, and related products.

Gene therapy products seek to modify or manipulate the expression of a gene or to alter the biological properties of living cells for therapeutic use.

The diversity of therapeutic approaches being investigated is important because it rapidly expands our understanding of the effect of different categories of potential treatments.

Key Resources on Therapeutic Development  

We understand companies, researchers, patients and consumers need timely information on therapeutic development for COVID-19. Below are key resources for researchers and therapeutic developers, and patients and consumers.

For Researchers and Developers of Therapeutics

FDA is accelerating the development and publication of guidances and other information for industry on developing COVID-19-related treatments. Key references include:

Contact Information for Sponsors

  • Sponsors of CDER regulated therapeutics should send COVID-19 product development inquiries to [email protected]
  • Sponsors of CBER regulated therapeutics should send COVID-19 product development inquiries to  [email protected]. Additional information about CBER-Regulated Therapeutics and CTAP can be found at Coronavirus (COVID-19) | CBER-Regulated Biologics
  • Sponsors who  are unsure of whether their drug is CDER- or CBER-regulated should make initial contact for COVID-19 drug development by contacting FDA at [email protected]
  • Medical devices do not fall within the CTAP program. Device sponsors should contact CDRH directly at [email protected] for in vitro diagnostics (IVDs) and [email protected] for non-IVD medical devices
  • As a general matter, if your product is already assigned to CBER or CDRH or you have been in contact with Center review staff regarding your product, submission of additional inquiries or materials to the CTAP mailbox are not necessary and may result in unnecessary delays in processing your information

For Patients and Consumers

CTAP’s primary goal is to accelerate the development of therapeutics for patients and consumers. Here are a number of resources that may be of interest to patients and consumers:  

Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines (ACTIV) Partnership

Another critical initiative is the Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines (ACTIV) partnership, coordinated by the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH).  ACTIV involves a collaboration among government and industry partners, including FDA, to prioritize vaccine and therapeutic candidates, streamline clinical trials, and rapidly expand the clinical research resources focused on developing therapies for the COVID-19 pandemic.  Among other things, ACTIV government and industry partners provide subject matter expertise and/or funding to identify, prioritize and facilitate the entry of some of the most promising candidates into clinical trials.

CTAP plays an important role in these efforts by providing FDA subject matter expertise for ACTIV initiatives, including for clinical trial design and conduct and relevant FDA regulatory standards for therapeutics.  Under the CTAP program, FDA can better ensure that critical focus is placed on reviewing those therapies prioritized by the ACTIV partnership.  The involvement of FDA in the ACTIV partnership will also help ensure these reviews are more efficient, particularly in evaluating proposed pre-clinical and clinical studies that received ACTIV input.  This more comprehensive and cooperative approach involving key partners can help ensure that safe and effective therapies for COVID are available more quickly for patients. However, it should be noted that FDA’s regulatory functions are distinct from its contribution of technical advice to other US government programs. The FDA will evaluate each product submitted for authorization or approval based on the applicable legal and regulatory requirements and on the bases of the best available scientific and clinical evidence.

CDER and CBER Emergency Use Authorization Transparency

We believe that transparency about CDER’s and CBER’s review of the scientific information supporting their recommendations to issue Emergency Use Authorizations (EUAs) for drugs or biological products promotes public confidence in FDA’s scientific review process and ultimately in using the authorized products appropriately. 

Therefore, our goal is to be as transparent as possible about the scientific basis for recommending that a drug or biological product be authorized for emergency use under section 564 of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 360bbb-3) or be revised or revoked. 

  • When a CDER-regulated or CBER-regulated product is authorized for emergency use, we intend to the extent appropriate and permitted by law to make public the Center’s review of the scientific data and information supporting our recommendation to issue the EUA.
  • When an EUA is revised, we also intend to make public the Center’s review of the scientific data and information supporting our recommendations to revise the EUA. 

Our goal is to disclose information from our EUA review documents as appropriate and consistent with our longstanding practice of posting scientific reviews after new drug and biological product approvals. We may redact certain information that is exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. sec. 552, such as trade secrets or other information identified by the EUA requestors that is exempt under FOIA. The redacted information may vary depending on the type of data contained in the reviews and whether the requestor consents to the release of information that is exempt under FOIA.

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