Q13 and Q14 path forward

Final concept papers have been published for the next two ICH quality guidelines. In both cases we can hope to see drafts in the first half of 2020. Both guidelines are intended to supplement the existing documents ICH Q8 – ICH Q12, reinforcing the principles of a risk based quality by design (QbD).

ICH Q13: Continuous Manufacturing of Drug Substances and Drug Products

Final concept paper and business plan. This new quality guideline will:

  • capture key technical and regulatory considerations including certain CGMP elements specific to continuous manufacturing
  • allow drug manufacturers to employ flexible approaches to develop, implement, or integrate continuous manufacturing for the manufacture of small molecules and therapeutic proteins for new and existing products
  • provide guidance to industry and regulatory agencies regarding regulatory expectations on the development, implementation, and assessment of continuous manufacturing technologies.

ICH Q2/Q14: Analytical Procedure Development

Concept paper and business plan. Q14 will bring the QbD principles to analytical development.

In the course of the preparation of this new guideline, ICH Q2 (Validation of Analytical Procedures) will also be revised. It will be adapted to the state of the art to include modern analytical methods in the future..

It’s stated that the Expert Working Group (EWG) will evaluate combining Q2 and Q14 into one document. Here’s hoping.

ICH charts a course

Last week the ICH published a reflection paper “Advancing Biopharmaceutical Quality Standards to Support Continual Improvement and Innovation in Manufacturing Technologies and Approaches.”

The ICH contines to move beyond the prescriptive guidances of Q1-7 and focus more on strengthening the conceptual framework of Q8-Q11 (see some of my thoughts here). There is a lot of talk about strengthening relationships and alignment between regulatory agencies, which is definitely needed. Q12 has had a bumpy road of it (EU saying they might not implement, US FDA issuing a guidance that’s not all that aligned). We see a firm commitment to continuing the QbD work with Q13 (continuous manufacturing) and Q14 (Analytical methods).

Interesting timing with the FDA recent announcement on generics.