Mark M. Yacura, Partner

Relevant Experience

Drug and Biologic Products

  • Represented and advised companies on drug approval strategies for abbreviated new drug applications, 505(b)(1) and 505(b)(2) new drug applications, and suitability petitions, as well as Orphan Drug, patent term, and new drug exclusivities and user fees matters.
  • Attended FDA pre-IND, end of Phase II, pre-NDA, and other official meetings to negotiate and advocate for client's drug testing plan for approval.
  • Advised clients and negotiated with the FDA to obtain Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) approval for complex generics, as well as for generics mimicking an innovator drug that had been voluntarily removed from the market for reasons other than safety.
  • Reviewed labels, promotional labeling websites, and advertising of prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) drug products to advise clients on compliance with the "intended use" aspects of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) and related laws. Advised clients on "off-label" promotion issues based on scientific literature.
  • Advised companies sponsoring drug companies, clinical trial service companies (CRO), institutional review boards (IRB), and clinical investigators on compliance and enforcement actions regarding good clinical practices and investigator fraud issues.
  • Assisted clients on FDA and DEA inspections of their manufacturing facilities, including responses to Form 483 observations and compliance requirements.
  • Represented clients in response to official FDA Warning Letters, Untitled Letters, and Consent Decrees concerning unapproved new drug, misbranding, adulteration and good manufacturing practice violation allegations. Represented clients whose products are subject to border stops and seizure actions.
  • Advised clients on product life cycle issues, including approval of new dosage forms for existing products and new uses for existing products.
  • Counseled clients on various forms of exclusivities, including new drug exclusivities and Waxman/Hatch patent exclusivities, 30-month stays, and Orange Book issues.
  • Assisted companies marketing metered dose inhalers and propellant issues.
  • Assisted clients regarding Citizen Petitions on a variety of subjects including the status of "old" generally recognized as safe and effective (GRASE) and Drug Efficacy Study Implementation (DESI) drugs and requesting FDA to refund improper user fee assessments.
  • Represented clients on Prescription Drug Marketing Act requirements regarding promotions of their prescription drugs.
  • Assisted clients in obtaining monographs in the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) for their drug ingredients and drug products.
  • Represented makers of homeopathic drug products regarding label claims and FDA inspections.
  • Assisted clients with obtaining release of detained products at the U.S. borders.
  • Counseled medical gas companies regarding drug and device claims for their combination product.
  • Assisted clients regarding various DEA registration, drug shortage, rescheduling, and alleged compliance/enforcement violations.
  • Advised clients regarding various drug reimbursement and rebate issues before the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), as well as fraud, abuse, and antitrust issues.
  • Performed due diligence for banks, private equity, or venture capital groups on regulatory health of companies who were targets of a merger or acquisition, or targets for inclusion in an investor portfolio.
  • Expertised the FDA regulatory sections of S-1 and various securities statements.

Medical Devices and Diagnostics

  • Advised diagnostic clients on various permitted "research only" uses and other device status issues, such as whether the diagnostic product will require a 510(k) or a premarket approval (PMA) based on intended use and claims made.
  • Advised clients on approval/clearance strategies for medical device and diagnostic product. Prepared or aided in the preparation of 510(k) and investigational device exemptions (IDE), and reviewed labeling for submissions.
  • Counseled clients on compliance/enforcement initiatives by the FDA, including manufacturing inspections, Form 483 responses, Warning Letter responses and product recalls.
  • Met and negotiated with the FDA regarding product clearance, labeling, and enforcement initiatives on behalf of clients.
  • Represented clients regarding combination products issues involving both device and drug products.
  • Advised clients in the cell phone industry on FDA clearance and CMS reimbursement possibilities for the use of their PDMA technology to monitor patient with heart disease, diabetes, or other disease states.

Food and Dietary Supplements

  • Reviewed labels and promotional labeling for compliance with the FDCA and its implementing regulations.
  • Assisted clients with various FDA enforcement initiatives, including Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMP) inspection product recalls, responses to Warning Letters, border detentions, seizure actions, consent decrees, and injunctions.
  • Reviewed advertising claims in print and electronic media (e.g., Internet and infomercials) regarding compliance with the Federal Trade Commission Act (FTCA). Represented clients before FTC state agencies and the National Advertising Division of the Better Business Bureau on false or misleading claims allegations.
  • Advised clients on parameters for making health claims for various traditional or functional foods.
  • Advised dietary supplement makers regarding proper dietary supplement claims and avoidance of drug claims identified in FDA regulations.
  • Advised dietary supplement makers regarding new dietary ingredient filing requirements.
  • Assisted clients in creating expert panels for evaluations as to the GRASE status of the product.
  • Assisted clients in the preparation of food additive applications.
  • Represented clients whose food products were contaminated with various microorganisms, such as E. Coli or Salmonella, and a client whose grain products were sprayed with unapproved pesticides.
  • Advised prebiotic ingredient maker on clinical testing issues and regarding formula requirements.
  • Expert witness regarding food labeling requirements for blended juices in private law suit.
  • Advised various energy drink marketers on ingredient label content and Internet issues for compliance with the FDCA and the FTCA.
  • Advised beer clients on various ingredient safety and adulteration issues, use of genetically modified yeasts in the manufacturing process; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATF) label warning requirements; and EPA issues regarding the use of chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) as a refrigerant.
  • Advised foreign beer maker regarding contaminated agricultural ingredient and its regulatory impact.
  • Advised several clients on medical food regulatory criteria and FDA enforcement.

Cosmetics and Skin Care Products

  • Advised skin care clients on the line between permitted anti-aging cosmetic label and labeling claims and drug claims, as well as the boundary between cosmetic and drug claims about reducing the appearance of scars.
  • Represented clients in response to Federal Trade Commission (FTC) cease and desist letters regarding alleged unsubstantiated claims.
  • Reviewed infomercials regarding various cellulite claims for their truthfulness and substantiation by clinical studies.
  • Represented clients regarding border detentions and assisted the clients in relabeling the product to include permitted cosmetic claims so that products could enter U.S. commerce.
  • Represented foreign sunscreen makers regarding petitioning the FDA for inclusion in the OTC monograph for sunscreens.
  • Represented clients before the National Advertising Division of the Better Business Bureau regarding alleged unsubstantiated claims.
  • Represented and advised client regarding the cosmetic use and medical device approval of hyaluronic acid product for wrinkle filling.