The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced new steps that it is taking to modernize its approach to evaluating and supporting the development of innovative animal and veterinary products, including cell-cultured and other novel ingredients for feed.

The Animal and Veterinary Innovation Agenda lists four objectives and details actions that FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) will take to foster product development and implement smart, risk-based approaches to regulating modern animal and veterinary products. The new agenda applies to products like novel food ingredients that work in animals’ guts to increase nutritional efficiency and production, as well as cell-based animal feed ingredients. The four objectives of the agenda are to:

  1. Support technologies and products that address high-priority needs
  2. Align regulatory pathways to the modern landscape
  3. Enhance the One Health workforce for the future of innovation
  4. Identify and address gaps specific to new technologies and emerging health threats.

FDA is planning to reassess and adjust its animal and veterinary product review programs and processes to account for the diversity of products developed using innovative technologies. For example, the agency has been working with U.S. Congress on expanded legislative authorities that will introduce new approval pathways for zootechnical animal food substances. These are novel food ingredients that function in the gut of an animal to affect qualities like feed efficiency, reduced waste output, or reduced pathogens in food products made from the animal.

Additionally, in recognition of the One Health approach to human, animal, and environmental health, the agenda focuses on connecting experts on intersecting science across the agency. CVM will continue its work with the agency’s Office of the Chief Scientist, which is a cross-cutting office that supports FDA research, science, and innovation in order to leverage and expand scientific expertise across the agency.

The agenda also includes plans to continue investment in data modernization, to re-imagine CVM’s vision for its science program, and to scan for emerging technologies and scientific developments that may eventually lead to new kinds of animal and veterinary products. Anticipating potential innovations will allow the agency to proactively seek information and adapt its review processes to evaluate the questions raised by new technologies and the products they generate, reducing delays in first-of-kind product reviews.