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News about GMP/cGMP

EMA: Draft Quality Guidelines for Synthetic Peptides and Oligonucleotides

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) plans to establish clear quality guidelines for drug companies manufacturing synthetic peptides and oligonucleotides. This week, EMA published new concept papers, explaining current requirements on impurities testing, specifications and the control of DNA-reactive chemicals either partly or fully exclude synthetic peptides and oligonucleotides.

PIC/S: Publication of Revised GMP Annex 1

The revised Annex 1 to the PIC/S GMP Guide on the manufacture of sterile products has been published and will enter into force on 25 August 2023, except for point 8.123 which is postponed until 25 August 2024. The date of entry into operation is aligned with that of the revised EU Annex 1, which is identical to PIC/S Annex 1 (with some very minor editorial differences).

EC: MDR, IVDR Manual on Borderline Devices

The European Borderline and Classification Working Group (BCWG), a sub-group of the Medical Device Coordination Group, has created a manual for determining whether a product is classed as a medical device under the new regulations MDR and IVDR. BCWG developed the document as part of an attempt to prevent member states from having different interpretations of the legislation.

PMDA: English Version on Procedure for Remote Inspections Revised

The PMDA (Japanese Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency) published the English translation of the revised document on remote inspections, Procedure for Remote Inspection as a Part of Compliance Inspection on Drugs and Regenerative Medical Products. The document describes the specific procedure for a remote inspection and how to organize, prepare and share the necessary paperwork for remote assessment by PMDA (we reported).

EMA: Comments on Draft ICH Q2(R2) and ICH Q14 Published

On 24 August 2022 the EMA (European Medicines Agency) published a 72-pages strong overview on the comments received as feedback on the draft of ICH Q2 Validation of analytical procedures along with a 54-pages PDF on comments made regarding the draft of ICH Q14 Analytical procedure development. The volume of the documents indicates the large number of comments that were submitted.

Order now: Comparative document to the final Annex 1: What's new?
Are you prepared for the possible changes? The comparison shows you where there is a need for action.
EC: Long-awaited EU Annex 1 on Sterile Manufacturing Published

The long-awaited final version of the new EU Annex 1 "Manufacture of Sterile Medicinal Products" was published on 25 August 2022. The deadline for entry into force is 25 August 2023. Regarding section 8.123 on freeze-drying and product transfer, the deadline for entry into force is two years from now and will thus become mandatory on 25 August 2024:

FDA: Remote Inspections Will Remain Regular

One thing is certain: The FDA’s utilizing remote regulatory assessment is here to stay and remain a regular tool to support onsite inspections. This was addressed by FDA Commissioner Robert Califf and his associate Commissioner for Regulatory Affairs, Judith McMeekin, in a statement released end of July.

CHMP: Extended Deadline for Nitrosamine Step 3 Revision and Q&A update

The Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) and the CMDh (Coordination Group on Mutual Recognition Procedures and Decentralised Procedures) of the EMA extended the deadline for submission of variation applications under Step 3: "Variation of marketing authorisation for chemical medicinal products" from 26 September 2022 to 1 October 2023.

PANGEA XV: Worldwide Campaign against Falsified and Illegally Imported Medicinal Products

From 23 to 30 June 2022, Interpol conducted its 15th globally coordinated operation PANGEA against the illegal online trade of medicines. From fake COVID-19 tests to doping substances or narcotics, the range of illegal shipments was broad.

EMA: Concept Paper on Active Substances and Nitrosamine Impurities

On 26 July 2022, the EMA published a concept paper to start the process for the revision of the Guideline on the chemistry of active substances. The document dates from 2016 and does not consider the nitrosamine issue that has developed in recent years.

EDQM: Implementation of the 11th Edition of Ph. Eur. – Notification for CEP Holders

The EDQM informs that the 11th Edition of the European Pharmacopoeia (Ph. Eur.) is now available. Holders of Certificates of suitability to the monographs of the Ph. Eur. (CEPs) are invited to update their applications according to the revised monographs that will be implemented on 1 January 2023, and to follow the instructions that the EDQM provides.

EC: Q&A on Nitrosamine Impurities updated

For the third time in a row, the European Commission has updated its Q&A on nitrosamine impurities (we reported). Version 10 was published on 23 June 2022. Questions 5, 10 and 14 have been revised. What is new?

EC: Version 20 of Q&A on Safety Features

In June 2022, the European Commission published the Question & Answers document on safety features for medicinal products for human use in version 20, coming along with one new Q&A on UI verification of authenticity.

The newly added question 5.14 “Is it allowed to verify the authenticity of the UI when the product is not in physical possession?” is answered with “Yes, but only as an additional check to Article 20 of Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2016/161.”

EC: Common Specifications for Certain High-Risk IVDs

On 4 July 2022 the European Commission published the Implementing Regulation (EU) 2022/1107 to establish common specifications for certain class D in vitro diagnostic medical devices considered to be high-risk. These relevant harmonised standards had already been partially introduced in the repealed Directive 98/97/EC. Now the specifications have been updated and adapted to the state of the art.

ICMRA: Regulatory Collaboration Pilots

The International Coalition of Medicines Regulatory Authorities (ICMRA) is announcing the initiation of two regulatory collaboration pilots addressing facility inspections and Chemistry and Manufacturing Controls (CMC) and Post-Approval Change (PAC) submission assessments and related regulatory actions.

FDA: Draft on Contamination Prevention for Non-Penicillin Beta-Lactam Drugs

The FDA issued a draft guidance outlining a framework of methods, designs and controls for preventing cross-contamination of non-penicillin beta-lactam antibacterial drugs and compounds, which serves as an update for a 2013 guidance with the same title. (Non-Penicillin Beta-Lactam Drugs: A CGMP Framework for Preventing Cross-Contamination; Draft Guidance for Industry; Availability).

PIC/S: What’s planned in terms of GMP?

The Pharmaceutical Inspection Cooperation Scheme (PIC/S) has published its 2022 work plan with the organization’s planned actions for this year. Not only does PIC/S plan to resume its assessments for membership application but also to revise or draft new GMP guidelines.

EMA: Updated Q&A on Nitrosamines and Step 2-Template


The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has published a revised version 9 of its Q&A on nitrosamines for marketing authorisation holders dated 20 May 2022.

Swissmedic: Standalone Regulations for In vitro Diagnostic Medical Devices

Concurrent with the application of the IVDR in the EU, the new Swiss regulation on in vitro diagnostic medical devices, IvDO, came into force on 26 May 2022. This is the first time since 2001 that the "third country rules" apply to IVDs in Switzerland, as they already do for all other medical devices for a year now (we reported). As of the same date, clinical trials with in vitro diagnostic medical devices are regulated in the Ordinance on Clinical Trials with Medical Devices (CTO-MedD) and no longer in the Ordinance on Clinical Trials (ClinO).

EMA: Final Guideline on Quality of Herbal Products

On 12 May 2022, the EMA published the final guideline on quality of herbal medicinal products/traditional herbal medicinal products. The Committee on Herbal Medicinal Products (HMPC) at the European Medicines Agency (EMA) originally started working on the revision of the guideline in 2015. Revision 3 which now represents the final guidance was adopted in January 2022.

EC: IVDR for In-vitro-Diagnostic Medical Devices Entered into Force

After a one-year postponement period, the European In Vitro Diagnostic Medical Devices Regulation (IVDR) finally came into force on 26 May 2022 and follows the Medical Device Regulation (MDR), which has been in force for one year.

FDA: Revised Guideline on OOS Results

The US FDA has revised its 16-year-old guidance on how to investigate out-of-specification (OOS) test results in laboratories. The document includes all necessary steps to be taken when investigating OOS test results. It also considers the responsibilities of the analyst and the laboratory supervisor in case of OOS results being identified, along with additional testing steps and a final evaluation of all results.

ICH: Final Q3D (R2) Guideline on Elemental Impurities

ICH Q3D (R2) has reached Step 4 of the ICH-Process and will now be distributed to the Member States for implementation. The revision (R2) focused on

  • the establishment of limits for elemental impurities by the dermal route of exposure, summarized in a new Appendix 5 Limits for Elemental Impurities by the Cutaneous and Transcutaneous Route
  • and error corrections of the PDEs for Silver (oral), Gold (oral, parenteral and inhalation) and Nickel (inhalation).
EMA: Public Consultation on Remote Batch Certification

The EMA has published a four-page consultation document in the form of Q&As concerning the physical attendance and the place of a personal residence of a Qualified Person on 11 May 2022. The guidance states that the work of a QP must be adapted to current standards to enable remote certifications without a QP being present at the site. A public consultation is possible until 13 June 2022.

MDCG: Guidance on transitional provision of IVDR

On 26 May 2022, the European IVD Regulation (EU) 2017/746 (In vitro Device Regulation) will enter into force. This will be accompanied by various transitional periods and requirements, which have been summarised and explained by the MDCG (Medical Device Coordination Group) in a new guidance document. The 17-page Guidance on significant changes regarding the transitional provision under Article 110(3) of the IVDR is aimed at manufacturers who have so far complied with the requirements of Directive 98/79/EC and may continue to market their in vitro diagnostic devices in accordance with this Directive during the transitional periods.

EMA: Updating of Good Clinical Practice Annexes

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has updated the annexes for the conduct of GCP inspections. First published in 2007, the annexes compile a number of seven documents.

PMDA: English version of the global principles for clinical trials revised

Japan's PMDA (Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency) published changes to its principles for global clinical trials late last year. This revised document was published in English at the end of April 2022.

EMA: Updated Q&A on Parallel Distribution

Centrally authorised medicinal products placed on the market in one European Member State may be marketed under the same name in any other Member State by a distributor independent of the marketing authorisation holder. This process of parallel distribution is supervised by the EMA.

EMA: Comments on the current ICH guideline Q9 (R1) quality risk management

The EMA has released the comments of the ICH guideline Q9 (R1) draft from december 2021 in late april. The document contributes principles and examples of tools for quality risk management. The document consists of 56 pages of comments from organizations such as the PDA, EFPIA and many others. In the following some excerpts:

GMP/GDP IWG Annual Report 2021

On 19 April 2022, the EMA published the annual report of the GMP/GDP Inspectors Working Group for the year 2021. Both, Brexit and the COVID pandemic had resulted in no reports being issued for the last three years. Instead the EMA had published a Business Continuity Plan (BCP), which was primarily based on a prioritisation of tasks.

FDA asks for feedback on streamlined "Quality-Metrics" program

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) presented a "scaled-down" plan for collecting quality metrics from drug manufacturers end of March. The docket is an attempt to reactivate previously paused efforts to collect manufacturing quality metrics data. The primary aim of the program is to mitigate potential drug shortages and promote improved quality management in the pharmaceutical industry.

Japanese Pharmacopeia with English Translation

The Japanese MHLW (Japanese Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare) has released the 18th Edition of the Japanese Pharmacopoeia (JP) as an English translation for download free of charge.

TGA: Medicinal cannabis quality rules updated

The Australian regulatory authority for therapeutic goods TGA has updated its 19-pages quality requirements for medical cannabis products. These are now in line with TGO 93 and refer to

  • any medicinal cannabis product imported into or supplied in Australia
  • cannabis plant used in the manufacture of medicinal cannabis products e.g., as an ingredient or as a starting material for an extract used as an ingredient
  • any other ingredients used in the manufacture of medicinal cannabis products, such as excipients
  • steps and procedures carried out in the manufacture of medicinal cannabis product.
MDCG: IVDR-implementation and preparedness plan

The Medical Device Coordination Group MDCG, a group of Member States experts, endorsed a joint implementation plan on the implementation of the IVDR, more precisely Regulation (EU) 2017/746 on invitro diagnostic medical devices. The plan should serve to set priority actions and monitor their implementation.  The IVDR will enter into force on 26 May 2022 with an extended transitional period of five years.

ICH: Draft Guidelines ICH Q14 und Q2(R2) published

The draft ICH Q14 guideline on analytical procedure development reached stage 2 of the ICH process on 24 March 2022. This also applies to the revised ICH Q2 (R2) guideline on the validation of analytical procedures. Both documents are now in the public consultation phase. They jointly describe the development and validation activities that should be applied during the life cycle of an analytical procedure to assess the quality of medicinal substances and products.

Update on Publication Date of EU Annex 1 at the ISPE Conference.

On 14/15 March 2022, the ISPE Aseptic Conference took place in North Bethesda, USA. The hybrid conference opened with a keynote presentations on regulatory news.

Paul A. Gustafson, who is chairing the PIC/S this year, gave an overview on the PIC/S activities and in this context referred to the future Annex 1 of the EU GMP Guide: The document is in its final adoption process. A publication is to be expected between the beginning of July and the end of September this year. The European Commission is currently awaiting the review of the PIC/S and the WHO. Both organisations had contributed to the two draft documents of Annex 1. The European Commission has not revealed a release date, yet.

Swissmedic: Validity of GMP certificates during COVID

Swissmedic announces the following regarding the validity of GMP certificates:

"The GMP certificates issued by Swissmedic list the date of the underlying inspection. They do not contain a validity date. However, following the practice for GMP certificates in the EU database EudraGMDP, it is often assumed by companies or other authorities that GMP certificates based on an inspection more than 3 years ago lose their informative value about the compliance status and therefore lose their validity."

EMA: Concept Paper on Agriculture of Herbal Drugs, GMP versus GACP

The HPMC (Committee on Herbal Medicinal Products, HPMC) of the EMA has published a concept paper on Good agricultural and collection practice for starting materials of herbal origin on 1 March 2022. Of interest to GMP professionales is, that the revision of the original guideline dating back to 2006, will address open questions about the applicability of GACP versus GMP, or a requirement of a combination of both. With a growing market for herbal medicinal product, e.g., Cannabis products, enhanced guidelines on the subject intent to clarify open issues.

IPEC: Position Paper on Nitrosamine Risks in Excipients

The IPEC (International Pharmaceutical Excipients Council Federation) has published a summarizing position paper on „The Role of Excipients in Determining N-Nitrosamine Risks for Drug Products. The 7-page paper describes the IPEC Federation’s position on the role of excipients when conducting N-nitrosamine risk assessments for medicinal products.

FDA: Proposal to align ISO 13485 with 21 CFR Parts 4 and 820

The US FDA is proposing to amend the cGMP requirements of the Quality System Regulation for medical devices, namely the 21 CFR Parts 4 and 820. Finally, the ISO 13485:2016 should be incorporated in the US Quality System, by reference. This proposal comes four years after the US FDA announced its willingness to align the two systems.

EC: Final Annex 21 on Importation of Medicinal Products

The EU GMP Annex 21: Importation of medicinal products has finally been published on February 21, 2022, and will enter into force on August 21, 2022. The 6-page new Annex summarises the GMP requirements for Manufacturing Import Authorization (MIA) holders of human, investigational, and veterinary medicinal products from outside the EU/EEA. Medicinal products entering the EU/EEA for export only and are neither processed in any way nor released for placing on the EU/EEA market, are not covered by this Annex.

FDA: CDER Guidance Agenda for 2022

CDER released its Guidance Agenda for the year 2022. The list includes all guidances planned to be developed or finalised this year. The agenda should be seen as an indicator for the topics CDER is advancing to tackle but is not binding for the Center.

FDA: Robert Califf confirmed as FDA’s Commissioner in narrow vote

Robert M. Califf, M.D., was sworn in as new Commissioner of the Food and Drugs Administration on February 17, 2022. He has previously served as Commissioner from February 2016 to January 2017, during President Obama’s final year in office. 

EMA: Q&A on nitrosamines revised on risk of multiple impurities

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) issued a revised Version 7 of its Q&A guidance on nitrosamines dated January 22, 2022. The revision includes a new nitrosamine for testing and an updated section on testing and control of multiple impurities in one product. For such a case, a step-by-step decision tree is presented in Annex 1.

EC: Regulation (EU) 2019/6 and GDP-regulations on veterinary medicinal products in force

The Veterinary Medicinal Products Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2019/6) entered into force on 28 January 2022.  It modernises the existing rules on the authorisation and use of veterinary medicines in the European Union (EU). 

PIC/S: Revision of GMP Guide Annex 13 and new Annex 16

The Pharmaceutical Inspection Co-operation Scheme (PIC/S) has revised its PIC/S GMP Guide to Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) for Medicinal Products to include

  • the revised Annex 13 on the Manufacture of Investigational Medicinal Products and
  • the new Annex 16 on the Certification by the Authorised Person and Batch Release.
EU: EU Clinical Trials Regulation and new Information System finally in place

As of 31 January 2022, the new Clinical Trials Regulation (EU) No. 536/2014 (CTR) entered into force, repealing the Clinical Trial Directive (EC) No. 2001/20/EC. This step is meant to facilitate the daily business of sponsors in the EU immensely, when it comes to filing clinical trial applications. The new Clinical Trials Information System (CTIS) serves as a single-entry point for submission and assessment of clinical trial data for all EU and EEA countries and has gone live.

EMA: Paper on GMP Responsibilities and MAHs in Version 2

The EMA released Version 2 of its Reflection paper on GMP and Marketing Authorisation Holders on 10 January 2022. A minor text addition to the document was performed: The section on „Serialisation Data - Uploading Responsibilities" was amended with the following paragraph regarding Contract Manufacturing Organisations:

FDA: Hold on Inspections

The US FDA announces that the spread of the Omicron variant will lead to further delays in resuming inspection activities. Originally, this step was planned for February 2022. The date is now being pushed further back. With the current developments of the Covid 19 pandemic, no new resumption date has been communicated.  

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