The Biden administration has vetted different candidates apart from Dr. Woodcock, however nobody has been publicly introduced because the nominee within the sixth month of the president’s time period. A spokesman for the White Home wouldn’t touch upon the delay, or on the candidates in rivalry. However some people who find themselves nonetheless mentioned to be within the operating embrace: Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, a former high-ranking F.D.A. official and a vice dean for public well being at Johns Hopkins College and Dr. Florence Houn, a former F.D.A. official and previous vp at Celgene who now works as a guide.

One latest addition to the roster is Dr. Michelle McMurry-Heath, a medical physician and molecular immunologist who served as an affiliate science director of the F.D.A. in the course of the Obama administration. However Dr. McMurry-Heath’s candidacy can be difficult by her present job as head of the Biotechnology Business Affiliation, which lobbies on behalf of biotech companies.

In interviews, present and former F.D.A. staff and trade executives cited a number of urgent priorities because the nation emerges from the coronavirus pandemic that gripped the nation.

The company will quickly determine whether or not to grant everlasting approval to the three Covid vaccines already in vast distribution beneath emergency use authorizations, Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson. AstraZeneca and Novavax are anticipated to submit purposes for emergency use authorizations for his or her vaccines quickly. They’re ending amassing information from their U.S. Section 3 trials. AstraZeneca is already licensed in different international locations, though some have restricted its use attributable to unintended effects. Novavax is just not but accredited elsewhere. Sanofi can be in Section 3 of medical trials and expects to use within the fall.

The federal authorities poured greater than $19 billion into vaccines, however lower than half of that into therapeutics. The Biden administration has referred to as for a renewed give attention to growth of therapies for Covid and its problems. A number of therapies — remdesivir, monoclonal antibodies and the steroid dexamethasone — have improved the end result for some Covid sufferers, however they don’t work for everybody.

The F.D.A. has promised a brand new system, generally known as BEST, for monitoring antagonistic reactions to the Covid vaccines, but it is still not up and running as promised. In the meantime, the F.D.A. and the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention are relying closely on older monitoring methods that they acknowledge are deeply flawed, mainly as a result of they depend on sufferers or well being suppliers to report what they imagine to be dangerous reactions to the vaccine with out offering proof. The company is beneath rising strain to repair the system.

For years, clinics, tutorial establishments and business labs have pressed the F.D.A. to allow them to develop their very own in-house exams for numerous illnesses with out company oversight. For simply as lengthy, the F.D.A. has resisted. However in August, the Trump administration ordered the company to permit these lab-developed exams for use to detect quite a few sicknesses together with Covid-19, with out first confirming that they work.