Regulatory Affairs

Expanding Emerging Market Access Through Regulatory Strategy

    The growth potential for biopharmaceutical companies in emerging markets is no secret. By 2015, up to 35% of the global biopharmaceutical market will be in China and other developing countries. Yet even though most companies have reset their research and development (R&D) and supply chain models to support global expansion, their regulatory submission strategies and capabilities often fall short. The number of regulatory requirements has grown exponentially as biopharmaceutical companies enter new and disparate markets, but efforts in…

Top 10 Changes in FDA’s Process Validation Guidance

Two years after drafting a comprehensive revision of the 1987 process validation guidance, the FDA finalized the document this year. The revision elaborates on modern quality by design (QbD) techniques for developing a process, analyzing risks, and monitoring for control. The initial draft update remains largely intact, with some important adjustments focused on clarifying the FDA’s intent for how the industry is expected to validate its processes. 1 — Minor Changes: The guidance includes more references to the Code of…

Quality By Design and the New Process Validation Guidance

    Where were you in 1987, and what were you doing? I’m not too embarrassed to say that I was beginning my last year of high school and paying far more attention to guitar lessons and writing my first novel than what I might eventually do for a career. Meanwhile, the US FDA was publishing a guidance document on process validation that the biopharmaceutical industry has relied on ever since. I’m willing to bet that quite a few readers…

The New US Biosimilar Legislation, One Year Later

    About a year ago, President Obama signed into law the highly publicized health care reform bill known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. This legislation included the new Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act of 2009 (now a “biosimilar statute”). Before enactment of that biosimilar statute on 23 March 2010, no “abbreviated” regulatory approval system existed in the United States for biologics — unlike Europe, which has had a system since 2005, and unlike US generic…

Won’t Get Fooled Again

    The world loves a winner, and no one wants to be linked to a failed endeavor that could stall or otherwise negatively affect his or her career. If you’re reading this magazine, you’ve probably been inspected or audited by regulators and/or customers at some point. When it was finished, did your company compare favorably with expectations, or did the reports reflect a negative image? Did they mirror management’s view of operations, or was there a disconnect with management…

Working Together for the Future

Most individuals who choose to pursue a career in healthcare would say they do so because they are driven by a fundamental desire to help people. If you ask people why they decided to work in the field of regenerative medicine, many will tell you it’s because they believe it is the most exciting area of medical research and that it holds the greatest potential to transform medicine as we know it. The transformational potential of stem cells and regenerative…

A 483 Primer

The words of George Santayana — “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it” — ring especially true for companies regulated under good manufacturing practices (GMPs). Learning from and reacting to lessons from past inspections (both your own and those of other companies) is one of the best ways to prepare for future inspections. Regular review and close study of 483 notices issued during inspections can be an efficient and accessible means of identifying and absorbing…

Combination Products for Biotherapeutics

    Combination products (see the “Definition” box) are experiencing steady growth in the pharmaceutical industry. According to one report, about 30% of products currently in development are combination products (1). Expanding interest in such products can be attributed to manufacturers’ need to generate new market value for current products that will soon lose patent, requirements for long-term patient care, pressure to reduce healthcare costs, and consumer interest in localized drug delivery with improved therapeutic effectiveness (2). During the 2008…

Working Together to Keep Drugs Safe

    The growing and dangerous counterfeit drug problem is a troubling, global epidemic that can — and does — harm patients who are merely trying to get well. Efforts to address the problem are hamstrung for a variety of reasons: Americans don’t see the immediate threat, this global public health problem needs a coordinated global response, and too many stakeholders are more focused on self-interest than on working together to find a solution. The Partnership for Safe Medicines (PSM)…

Review, Approval, and Marketing of Biosimilars in the United States

    Development, testing, review, approval, and marketing of biosimilar drugs in the United States presents unique safety and regulatory challenges (1). By contrast with traditional small-molecule drugs, biologics derive from sources such as genetically engineered cell lines, plasma, and tissue specimens (2,3). Patents on first-generation biologics approved and marketed in the United States have begun to expire, thereby opening the market to less-expensive “generic” versions. The complexity of biologic drugs and the specificity of their source materials, however, make…