CBER's mission is to protect and enhance the public health through the regulation of biological and related products including blood, vaccines, allergenics, tissues, and cellular and gene therapies. Biologics, in contrast to drugs that are chemically synthesized, are derived from living sources (such as humans, animals, and microorganisms), are not easily identified or characterized, and many are manufactured using biotechnology. These products often represent cutting-edge biomedical research and, in time, may offer the most effective means to treat a variety of medical illnesses and conditions that presently have few or no other treatment options.
CBER's review of new biological products, and for new indications for already approved products, requires evaluating scientific and clinical data submitted by manufacturers to determine whether the product meets CBER's standards for approval. After a thorough assessment of the data, CBER makes a decision based on the risk-benefit for the intended population and the product's intended use. CBER's authority resides in the Public Health Service Act and in specific sections of the Food Drug and Cosmetic Act.
Although medical products are required to be safe, safety does not mean zero risk, since all medical products are associated with some level of risk. A safe biological product is one that has reasonable risks, given the patient's condition, the magnitude of the benefit expected, and the alternatives available. The choice to use a biological product involves balancing the benefits to be gained with the potential risks. CBER is committed to a product approval process that maximizes the benefits and minimizes the risks to patients of the biological product.
CBER is committed to providing up-to-date information to the public, healthcare professionals, the media and product manufacturers about the products CBER regulates through the Center's website. Site content is developed and reviewed by CBER staff prior to publication.