Quality Challenges of Accelerating Investigational Products

Last November, officials from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) met with industry representatives in London to discuss the various quality challenges that arise when the development of investigational products is accelerated .

The report was recently published, and can be found here.

The workshop discussed process validation, control strategies, good manufacturing practice (GMP) compliance, comparability, stability and regulatory tools of early access approaches. Throughout they discussed two elements:

  • Scientific which includes technologies and scientific concepts or principles for development, manufacture and quality risk management, which may or not be present or implied in existing guidelines. Examples include concurrent validation, new modelling methodologies, new analytical techniques, etc.
  • Regulatory/procedural tools are described in the legal, regulatory framework and can be specific to PRIME (or Breakthrough Therapies) (e.g. kick-off meetings) or generally applicable [e.g. Post-approval change management protocols (PACMPs), recommendations, scientific advice (SA)].

I strongly recommend reading the report in it’s entirety.

FDA enforcement actions decline

Investigative report on FDA enforcement under Trump from Science’s news department shows a steep decline in enforcement actions.

I’ve noticed this, but it is good to see actual data behind it.

I’ll be frank, it would take a lot of data that does not exist to make me feel the companies under the FDA’s oversight have gotten better as a whole. Anecdotally, well there are a lot of less than sterling players out there.

I have mostly questions:

  1. Have we seen this trend in previous Republican administrations, and is it more pronounced here?
  2. Is there any evidence that the increase under Obama was a reaction to the previous Republican administration? Are we in a cycle of lax and then tougher enforcement that maybe evens out? That sort of variance is not healthy.
  3. What, if any data, will we be able to see about impact? There are certainly concerns that the FDA has not done enough. Will this be exacerbated?
  4. What will it take for this to start affecting the mutual recognition agreements with the EU and other major bodies?

The FDA and Prescription Drugs: Current Controversies in Context

Harvard is offering a free course though edX on how the FDA regulates pharmaceuticals and explore debates on prescription drug costs, marketing, and testing.
— Check out  www.edx.org/course/the-fda-and-prescription-drugs-current-controversies-in-context

According to the syllabus, the course will be set up with six modules:

Module 1: Overview and history of the FDA
Module 2: Drug development and approval
Module 3: Drug pricing in the United States
Module 4: Marketing strategies
Module 5: Post-approval evaluation
Module 6Emerging medical technologies

An Analysis Of FDA FY2018 Drug GMP Warning Letters

BioProcess Online has a nice summary of the drug GMP warning letters issued in FY2018, as well as a comparison of trends since fiscal year 2013.
— Read on www.bioprocessonline.com/doc/an-analysis-of-fda-fy-drug-gmp-warning-letters-0003

Data Integrity definitely continues to be a theme, and I agree that we are seeing a growing trend around process validation. I also think root cause investigations was a theme of 2018 that we are going to be seeing a lot more of.

FDA draft guidance – Continuous Manufacturing

The FDA published today a new draft guidance “Quality Considerations for Continuous Manufacturing Guidance for Industry.” Which, together with ICH plans continues to demonstrate the emphasis on continuous manufacturing.

More a set of questions than anything else, this is a good document for those who are grappling with the challenges of continuous manufacturing.