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New Drug Application (NDA)


The New Drug Application (NDA) is a comprehensive document submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) by drug companies seeking approval for a new drug. The NDA includes data from animal and human clinical trials, pharmacokinetics, toxicology, dosage, and manufacturing information. Approval of the NDA by the FDA provides the green light for the drug to be marketed to the public.


New Drug Application (NDA) would be phonetically transcribed as: new – /njuː/drug – /drʌg/application – /ˌæplɪˈkeɪʃən/(NDA) – /ˌɛnˈdiːˈeɪ/ Please note that this transcription uses the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) and represents General American English pronunciation. Different accents and dialects will have variations.

Key Takeaways

  1. New Drug Application (NDA): The NDA is the final step in the drug approval process, which is managed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The NDA presents all the findings about a particular drug to demonstrate its safety and efficacy. The FDA then reviews the NDA before making a decision whether or not to approve the drug for public use.
  2. Content of NDA: The NDA includes a wide variety of information about the drug, such as preclinical and clinical test results, data regarding the drug’s behavior in the body, an outline of manufacturing methods, proposed labeling, and the measures taken for quality control.
  3. Timeline and cost: The entire process of drug development to NDA filing is lengthy and expensive. It often takes about 10 years and can cost over 2 billion USD, according to some estimates. Despite these factors, the successful approval of a NDA means that a new and potentially life-saving drug is available to patients.


The New Drug Application (NDA) is a crucial term in business and finance, particularly within the pharmaceutical industry. It represents the final step in the drug approval process carried out by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Through the NDA, drug developers formally propose that the FDA approve a new pharmaceutical for sale and marketing in the U.S. This application is the vehicle used by drug companies to communicate to the FDA significant scientific and regulatory information about the drug. The FDA’s approval of an NDA signifies that it deems the drug safe and effective for public use, and it allows the drug company to market and distribute the drug, indicating possible return on investment for the company. Hence, the NDA carries major financial implications for both the drug’s developers and potential investors.


The New Drug Application (NDA) plays a crucial role in the drug development process, primarily serving as the definitive step that a drug sponsor takes to seek approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to commercialize a new pharmaceutical product in the United States. The fundamental purpose of the NDA is to demonstrate to the FDA that the proposed drug is safe for use, effective for its intended use, appropriately labeled, and manufactured under stringent quality controls. This crucial phase in drug development allows the FDA to evaluate whether the new product can be brought out to the market.Moreover, the NDA also plays a crucial role in ensuring that consumers are fully informed about a new drug. It includes complete data gathered during the drug’s testing phases, proposed labeling information to ensure the drug is used safely and effectively and how it will be manufactured, processed, and packaged to maintain its quality. Hence, the NDA is the catalyst for a pharmaceutical product’s journey to the market where it provides health benefits for people, and consequently, commercial returns for the company that developed it.


1. Pfizer’s New Drug Application for Palbociclib: In 2014, the pharma giant Pfizer submitted an NDA to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its drug Palbociclib, intended for the treatment of postmenopausal women with estrogen receptor-positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-negative advanced breast cancer. Following its review, the FDA granted accelerated approval in 2015, subsequently extending it to additional patient populations based on further submitted studies.2. Gilead Sciences and the NDA for Remdesivir: In August 2020, Gilead Sciences submitted an NDA to the FDA for Veklury (Remdesivir), an antiviral medication to treat COVID-19 in hospitalized patients. After an emergency use authorization was granted by the FDA earlier in May, the NDA submission led to its final approval as the first treatment for COVID-19 by the FDA in October 2020.3. Johnson & Johnson’s Spravato (Esketamine): This nasal spray, utilized for treatment-resistant depression, had its NDA accepted by the FDA in August 2018. The application included safety and efficacy data from a phase III clinical trial, following which approval was granted in March 2019 for use in conjunction with an oral antidepressant in adults with treatment-resistant depression.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What does the term New Drug Application (NDA) mean in the finance/business context?

A New Drug Application (NDA) refers to the formal last step taken by a drug company to ask the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve a new pharmaceutical for sale and marketing.

Why is the NDA process important for pharmaceutical companies?

The NDA is the main regulatory vehicle through which drug sponsors formally propose that the FDA approve new pharmaceuticals for sale and marketing in the U.S. It’s their chance to prove the drug’s safety and efficacy and could thus lead to a significant increase in business once approved.

How does an NDA affect financial outlook for a company?

The approval of an NDA can significantly enhance the financial outlook of a pharmaceutical company by allowing it to sell and market the drug. Conversely, if an NDA is not approved, the company may not sell the drug, thus affecting its potential revenue stream.

What are the potential market impacts when an NDA is approved?

If an NDA is approved, it can create a new market or allow for increased competition in existing markets, which can stimulate economic activity. Also, it can increase the company’s share price due to positive investor response.

How much does it cost to develop a drug and file an NDA?

Developing a drug and bringing it to market through an NDA is an expensive process and can typically cost in excess of a billion dollars, factoring in research, trials, manufacturing, and the application process itself.

Is there any financial benefit for a company during the NDA process?

During the NDA process, a company cannot sell the drug under review, but the process can attract potential investors, partnerships and potentially boost company’s stock price due to expected future revenue from the new drug.

What happens if a company’s NDA gets rejected?

If a company’s NDA gets rejected, it may significantly impact the company’s finances as the resources invested in the drug’s development may not yield returns. Furthermore, it can cause a fall in the company’s stock price due to negative market anticipation.

How long does the NDA review process take?

The NDA review process duration can vary, but it typically takes around 10 months from the time of submission. This duration can represent a significant period of forecasted product pipeline for the concerned company.

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