Agreement singed between FDA and Arkansas to launch regulatory science center

The State of Arkansas has signed an agreement with the U.S. FDA’s National Center for Toxicological Research (NCTR) to create a virtual Center of Excellence for Regulatory Science.

The FDA signed its first Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with a state in an effort to establish a joint center to enhance regulatory science. In support of the agency’s mission to uphold and protect public health, this MOU provides the backbone for educational training, joint research, outreach, and collaborations.

The terms of the MOU also necessitate the setting up of a committee to be co-chaired by NCTR and the state of Arkansas, further comprising academic institutions and state government representatives as partners with the FDA.

The memorandum was signed in Jefferson, Ark at the center’s Jefferson Laboratories, during the ceremony in recognition of NCTR’s 40th anniversary. FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D., Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe, and NCTR Director William Slikker, Ph.D., were the signatories of the MOU.

Hamburg said, “This MOU is an important part of modernizing the FDA through the leveraging of intellectual, human, and financial resources to better protect and promote public health. We applaud Governor Beebe and the state of Arkansas for partnering with us.”

The FDA’s public health mission is backed by the NCTR that offers global leadership and pioneering scientific solutions. The NCTR assists the agency in regulatory decision-making processes by conducting peer-reviewed research and designing novel scientific tools. It further encourages national and international partnerships with worldwide scientists from academia, government, and industry and facilitates multidisciplinary training.

The NCTR aims to advance safety evaluation of FDA-regulated products by collaborations with researchers in industry government, and academia to design, refine, and promote the modern emerging technologies. Its peer-reviewed interdisciplinary toxicology research characterizes intricate processes that manage toxicity, recognizes the biological effects of potentially toxic chemicals, as well as designs techniques to advance evaluation of human exposure, vulnerability, and hazards of pathogens and toxins in FDA-regulated products.

Gov. Beebe said, “This signing further secures NCTR as one of Arkansas’s top research facilities. The center has brought scientific leaders from around the world to Arkansas for decades, and we are excited about its continued mission to protect the health of all Americans.”
Through the newly established Center of Excellence for Regulatory Science, the MOU is said to facilitate worldwide access to scientists and regulators to supplementary training and resources.

NCTR Director, William Slikker, Ph.D, said, “For 40 years dedicated NCTR scientists have played a pivotal role in aiding the mission of our agency. The scientific innovations and novel research approaches developed here have aided the work of the FDA to predict potential toxicity of FDA-regulated products. This MOU enables us to draw down on the research and development ongoing within the state of Arkansas which will truly help us to continue advancing regulatory science.”

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services comprises an agency known as the FDA that has the onus of safeguarding public health by ensuring the protection, efficiency, and safety of vaccines, human and veterinary drugs, and other biological products for human use, and medical devices. The responsibility of the safety and security for cosmetics, food supply, products that give off electronic radiation, dietary supplements, and tobacco products for the USA also rest in the hands of the FDA.

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