Dr. Scott Gottlieb will be nominated as the next FDA commissioner by President Donald Trump, according to multiple media reports Friday.

A well-known conservative health policy expert, Gottlieb, 42, has been the frontrunner candidate for the top FDA job given his close ties to Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price. He previously served as deputy FDA commissioner under President George W. Bush.

Gottlieb is also the preferred pick of the drug industry and healthcare investors.

If confirmed, Gottlieb is expected to implement Trump's stated desire to cut regulations at the FDA and accelerate the approval of new drugs in order to increase competition and lower drug prices.

Expected nominee for FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb
Expected nominee for FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb

How, exactly, Gottlieb goes about achieving those goals remains to be seen. In years of published writing and speeches, Gottlieb has criticized the FDA for being too bureaucratic and risk averse, particularly when it comes to medical devices. He's also advocated for faster approvals of orphan drugs and generic medicines, including copies of biotech drugs, or biosimilars.

What he has not done (at least not yet) is push for the approval of new drugs based on safety data alone, like some of the other potential FDA commissioner candidates considered for the job by Trump and his team.

His more pragmatic approach to FDA reform is why Gottlieb has been viewed favorably by the drug industry.

The SPDR S&P Biotech ETF (XBI) and the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB) were both rebounding following multiple media reports of Gottlieb's FDA nomination.

Adam Feuerstein writes regularly for TheStreet. In keeping with company editorial policy, he doesn't own or short individual stocks, although he owns stock in TheStreet. He also doesn't invest in hedge funds or other private investment partnerships. Feuerstein appreciates your feedback; click here to send him an email.

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