The multipart feature story in this issue focuses on the insights that the leaders of five of the major COVID vaccine efforts have been sharing at recent conferences on: ● how the daunting development, manufacturing, supply chain and regulatory challenges involved in delivering a vaccine at the global level in unprecedented speed during a pandemic were addressed, and ● the lessons that can be garnered from that highly collaborative experience in moving forward.
The feature story in this issue centers on the challenges and developments around raw material control for biological products. A main focus is the discussion that took place at a USP workshop on the raw material issues held in April 2021. The story’s three parts delve into: ● FDA views on where the regulatory concerns and expectations lie across the review and inspection continuum ● how the challenges expand in handling raw materials in the CGT context, and ● where biomanufacturers are in using and controlling polysorbates, in particular.
The feature story in this issue explores the dialogue regulators and industry are having on the key CMC issues that are presenting themselves in the development and review of peptides and oligonucleotides and the approaches and expectations for addressing them. A central focus is the discussion that took place at the USP 2021 peptides/oligonucleotides workshop. The story’s four parts explore: ● recent CMC/regulatory challenges of oligonucleotide drugs ● comparability challenges in crossing over to generics, including insights from recent FDA research ● comparing peptide and oligonucleotide CMC issues, and ● starting material specifications for oligonucleotides.
The four-part IPQ story in this issue explores the current dialogue on the drivers and pathways for a more collaborative, streamlined and globally-minded regulatory approach to medicine/device combination products in Europe and the activity in progress to reach that goal. In focus in the four parts are: ● the EU Pharma Strategy roadmap, comments from industry, and related agency strategies ● culture/structure/process change and global alignment ● HPRA CEO Lorraine Nolan on HPRA and EMA strategy, and ● EMA’s Zaïde Frias and NB/industry perspectives on EU regulatory transformation.
The pressing need during the COVID-19 pandemic to accelerate product development and rapidly accommodate the shifting manufacturing and distribution demands has shed strong light on the constraints in the existing quality regulatory framework and the pathways to reducing them. The two-part feature story in this issue explores how the ICH Q8-12 efforts to evolve the lifecycle regulatory paradigm to be more transparent, internally coherent, knowledge and risk based, continuous improvement and supply friendly, and globally consistent have not yet been realized, and where the deeper solutions to the problems may lie.
The feature story in the April issue explores how regulators and industry are working together to make quality risk management (QRM) a more effective force in improving quality systems and the regulatory communication process at the review and inspections levels. The three parts of the story provide insights from: ● HPRA’S Kevin O’Donnell on the evolution of QRM and the revision now underway of ICH’s 15-year-old QRM guideline Q9, which he is leading ● FDA’s Rick Friedman, also on the Q9 revision Expert Working Group, on advancing aseptic processes through QRM, and ● industry/academia thought leaders on evolving QRM’s relationship with knowledge management across the product lifecycle.
The March issue provides a wealth of insights shared by FDA, EMA and PMDA biotherapeutic and vaccine regulators on the challenges, opportunities, and learnings as they have sought to support the accelerated product development and review called for by the pandemic, while assuring that CMC/quality standards are met and keeping up with their non-COVID-related workload. Included are updates on the guidances and other quality-related initiatives impacting vaccines and biotherapeutics that have been forthcoming during the first quarter of 2021.
The issue focuses on how academia and industry are collaborating to address the pressing needs in biopharma workforce development, in recognition of the challenges of keeping pace with the rapidly evolving process and product technologies and the cross-functional understanding and skills needed to support them. The six-part coverage explores the dimensions of these challenges and the collaborations that are being formed and strengthened to address them.