IDE maintenance

Investigator Responsibilities

Principal investigators are responsible for maintaining their IDE submission throughout the ‘life' of their IDE. There are several different types of submissions used to notify the FDA of changes and to request approval for modifications to the current investigation.

Supplements and 5 Day Notices


The FDA tracks requests for a new protocol, changes to the approved protocol, or changes to the device, such as device design or manufacturing change, as supplements.

List of submissions tracked as Supplements include:

  • Change in correspondent, manufacturer, or sponsor

  • Request for approval of changes in design or manufacturing

  • Request for approval of a change in informed consent or protocol

  • 5-day notices- Notification that changes not requiring prior approval have been made

  • Request for compassionate use, live case demonstration, or other deviation from approved protocol

  • Request for approval of expansion of the study (patients and/or sites)

  • Request an extension of time to respond to FDA letter

  • Request for waiver

  • Institutional Review Board (IRB) certification

  • Request for Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recategorization

  • Notification of study suspended or resumed

  • Acknowledgement and response to clinical hold

  • Request for approval to terminate the study without final report

  • Request for approval of a new study or protocol

Timeline requirements for supplements

Changes requiring prior approval - most of the time, changes that are made in the Investigational Plan, need to be pre-approved by FDA. Examples of these changes are:

  • Changes in the Investigational Plan or Protocol

    • Affecting the validity of data/information,

    • Patient risk to benefit relationship,

    • Scientific soundness of investigational plan,

    • Right, safety or welfare of subjects.

  • Developmental Changes in the device (including manufacturing changes) that present a significant change in design or basic principle of operation

Changes requiring 5-day notice - these changes do not require prior approval, but notice must be provided to FDA within 5 working days of making the change:

  • Changes Effected for Emergency Use-are considered to be changes in the investigational plan to protect the life or well-being of the subject in the case of emergency. However, these changes must be reported to the FDA within 5- working days.

  • Non-significant changes in design or manufacturing - those changes should also be reported to the FDA within 5-working days.

  • Certain changes to the clinical protocol – for changes that do not fit the criteria for prior approval such as:

    • Modification to inclusion/exclusion criteria to better define the target patient population

    • Increasing the frequency at which data or information is gathered

    • Inclusion of additional patient observations or measurements

    • Modifying secondary endpoints

Other minor changes can be submitted in the annual progress report including minor changes in the following areas: the purpose of the study, risk analysis, monitoring procedures, labeling, informed consent materials, and IRB information.

All IDE submissions should be sent to the person identified by the FDA in your initial notification letter.

Safety Reporting

For IDE reports, the FDA will respond to the sponsor-investigator within 30 days if the FDA has questions or requests for additional information; otherwise the FDA may close the submission without issuing a formal response.

If a report is deficient, the sponsor-investigator's response to the deficiencies identified in the FDA's communication is designated as an amendment to that report.

  • Unanticipated Adverse Device Effects:

    • Any serious adverse effect on health or safety or any life-threatening problem or death caused by, or associated with, a device if that effect, problem or death was not previously identified in nature, severity, or degree of incidence in the investigational plan or application (21 CFR 812.3 (s)).

    • Report to the FDA within 10 working Days

  • Withdrawal from IRB approval

    • Report to the FDA within 5 working days

  • Deviation from the investigational plan

    • The investigator must notify the sponsor and the reviewing IRB of any deviation from the investigational plan to protect the life or physical well-being of a subject in an emergency. If it is not an emergency, prior approval from the sponsor is required for changes in or deviations from the investigational plan. If the change or deviation may affect the scientific soundness of the investigational plan or the rights, safety or welfare of the subject, the sponsor is required to obtain prior IRB approval and also to obtain FDA approval for a significant risk device investigation by submitting an IDE supplement.

    • Report to the FDA within 5 working days

  • Informed Consent Violation

    • Report to the FDA within 5 working days

All IDE submissions should be sent to the person identified by the FDA in your initial notification letter.

IDE Annual Progress Reporting

Progress reports are yearly written submissions from the sponsor-investigator while the IDE is in effect regarding the study progress. Progress reports are intended to provide updated information for the FDA's routine monitoring of the clinical investigation. If the FDA deems that the investigation merits closer monitoring, it can require that reporting occur more frequently (via interim reports).

All IDE submissions should be sent to the person identified by the FDA in your initial notification letter.

Although there is not a standard format for progress reports, specific topics need to be addressed so the FDA can evaluate the investigation effectively. An outline of a typical report is provided below:

1. FDA FORM 3514

The use of this form is optional. If you choose not to use the form, ensure that the relevant information is contained in the cover letter:

  • Statement that this is an original IDE submission

  • Device name and intended use

  • Sponsor's contact information
    Name, address, telephone number, fax number, email address

  • Manufacturer information
    Name, address, contact person, telephone number, fax


Please state your:

  1. IDE number

  2. Device name and indication(s) for use

  3. Sponsor's name address, phone numbers, and fax

  4. Sponsor's email address

  5. Contact person


Data from the beginning of the study should be reported, but data collected since previous report should be identified

  1. Brief Summary of the Study Progress

  2. Number of Investigators/Investigational Sites
    (Include a list of investigators.)

  3. Number of Subject Enrolled

  4. Number of Devices Shipped

  5. Brief Summary of the Results

  6. Summary of Anticipated and Unanticipated Adverse Effects

  7. Deviations from the Investigational Plan

Describe all the deviations from the investigational plan since the last progress report.


A thorough risk analysis and risk mitigation strategies are critical for the FDA's decision to allow a study to continue. Update the risk analysis from your initial application with any relevant changes. Include a summary of any new adverse information (since the last progress report) that may affect the risk analysis. This includes preclinical data, animal studies, foreign data, clinical studies, etc. For more details on what to include in the risk analysis, please see the DTMI original IDE template.

Also, please attach the reprints of any articles published from data collection from this study.

Present a new risk analysis, if necessary, based on any new information and study progress.


  1. Summary of any changes in the manufacturing process and quality control, including changes that have not been submitted as a supplemental application.

  2. Summary of all changes in the investigational plan that were not required to be submitted in a supplemental application.


Progress towards product approval, including a projected date for PMA or 510(k) submission.

If there are any plans to change the investigation, e.g., to expand the study size or indications, to discontinue portions of the investigation or to change manufacturing practices, please state in this section. (NOTE: Actual proposals for these changes should be made in a separate supplemental application since they may require prior approval)

Terminating the IDE / Final Reporting

The IDE final report should be similar in content and format to the previous progress reports submitted for the IDE. The report should contain a complete accounting of subjects, adverse events, and the disposition of all devices.

The cover letter should indicate that the investigation is complete, and that the sponsor-investigator requests that the IDE be terminated with the FDA.

Please visit the FDA web site for more information.