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FDA药物稳定性试验指导原则
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Guidance for Industry
Q1A Stability Testing of New Drug Substances and Products

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Food and Drug Administration
Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER)
Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER)
ICH
August 2001
Revision 1

Additional copies of this guidance are available from:

Office of Training and Communications
Division of Communications Management
Division of Drug Information, HFD-240
Center for Drug Evaluation and Research
Food and Drug Administration
5600 Fishers Lane
Rockville, MD 20857
() 301-827-4573

 

Guidance for Industry Q1A Stability Testing of New Drug Substances and Products


This guidance represents the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA's) current thinking on this topic. It does not create or confer any rights for or on any person and does not operate to bind FDA or the public. An alternative approach may be used if such approach satisfies the requirements of the applicable statutes and regulations.
This guidance is a revision of Q1A Stability Testing of New Drug Substances and Products (September 1994). The purpose of the revision is to add information to certain sections and to provide clarification to other sections of the guidance


I. INTRODUCTION (1)
A. Objectives of the Guidance (1.1)
This guidance is intended to define what stability data package for a new drug substance or drug product is sufficient for a registration application within the three regions of the European Union (EU), Japan, and the United States. It does not seek to address the testing for registration in or export to other areas of the world. The guidance exemplifies the core stability data package for new drug substances and products, but leaves sufficient flexibility to encompass the variety of different practical situations that may be encountered due to specific scientific considerations and characteristics of the materials being evaluated. Alternative approaches can be used when there are scientifically justifiable reasons.
B. Scope of the Guidance (1.2)
The guidance addresses the information to be submitted in registration applications for new molecular entities and associated drug products. This guidance does not currently seek to cover the information to be submitted for abbreviated or abridged applications, variations, or clinical trial applications.
Specific details of the sampling and testing for particular dosage forms in their proposed container closures are not covered in this guidance.
Further guidance on new dosage forms and on biotechnological/biological products can be found in ICH guidances Q1C and Q5C, respectively.
C. General Principles (1.3)
The purpose of stability testing is to provide evidence on how the quality of a drug substance or drug product varies with time under the influence of a variety of environmental factors, such as temperature, humidity, and light, and to establish a retest period for the drug substance or a shelf life for the drug product and recommended storage conditions.
The choice of test conditions defined in this guidance is based on an analysis of the effects of climatic conditions in the three regions of the EU, Japan, and the United States. The mean kinetic temperature in any part of the world can be derived from climatic data, and the world can be divided into four climatic zones, I-IV. This guidance addresses climatic zones I and II. The principle has been established that stability information generated in any one of the three regions of the EU, Japan, and the United States would be mutually acceptable to the other two regions, provided the information is consistent with this guidance and the labeling is in accord with national/regional requirements.
II. GUIDANCE (2)
A. Drug Substance (2.1)
1. General (2.1.1)
Information on the stability of the drug substance is an integral part of the systematic approach to stability evaluation.
2. Stress Testing (2.1.2)
Stress testing of the drug substance can help identify the likely degradation products, which can in turn help establish the degradation pathways and the intrinsic stability of the molecule and validate the stability indicating power of the analytical procedures used. The nature of the stress testing will depend on the individual drug substance and the type of drug product involved.
Stress testing is likely to be carried out on a single batch of the drug substance. The testing should include the effect of temperatures (in 10°C increments (e.g., 50°C, 60°C) above that for accelerated testing), humidity (e.g., 75% relative humidity or greater) where appropriate, oxidation, and photolysis on the drug substance. The testing should also evaluate the susceptibility of the drug substance to hydrolysis across a wide range of pH values when in solution or suspension. Photostability testing should be an integral part of stress testing. The standard conditions for photostability testing are described in ICH Q1B.
Examining degradation products under stress conditions is useful in establishing degradation pathways and developing and validating suitable analytical procedures. However, such examination may not be necessary for certain degradation products if it has been demonstrated that they are not formed under accelerated or long-term storage conditions.
Results from these studies will form an integral part of the information provided to regulatory authorities.
3. Selection of Batches (2.1.3)
Data from formal stability studies should be provided on at least three primary batches of the drug substance. The batches should be manufactured to a minimum of pilot scale by the same synthetic route as production batches and using a method of manufacture and procedure that simulates the final process to be used for production batches. The overall quality of the batches of drug substance placed on formal stability studies should be representative of the quality of the material to be made on a production scale.
Other supporting data can be provided.
4. Container Closure System (2.1.4)
The stability studies should be conducted on the drug substance packaged in a container closure system that is the same as or simulates the packaging proposed for storage and distribution.
5. Specification (2.1.5)
Specification, which is a list of tests, references to analytical procedures, and proposed acceptance criteria, is addressed in ICH Q6A and Q6B. In addition, specification for degradation products in a drug substance is discussed in Q3A.
Stability studies should include testing of those attributes of the drug substance that are susceptible to change during storage and are likely to influence quality, safety, and/or efficacy. The testing should cover, as appropriate, the physical, chemical, biological, and microbiological attributes. Validated stability-indicating analytical procedures should be applied. Whether and to what extent replication should be performed should depend on the results from validation studies.

6. Testing Frequency (2.1.6)
For long-term studies, frequency of testing should be sufficient to establish the stability profile of the drug substance. For drug substances with a proposed retest period of at least 12 months, the frequency of testing at the long-term storage condition should normally be every 3 months over the first year, every 6 months over the second year, and annually thereafter through the proposed retest period.
At the accelerated storage condition, a minimum of three time points, including the initial and final time points (e.g., 0, 3, and 6 months), from a 6-month study is recommended. Where an expectation (based on development experience) exists that the results from accelerated studies are likely to approach significant change criteria, increased testing should be conducted either by adding samples at the final time point or including a fourth time point in the study design.
When testing at the intermediate storage condition is called for as a result of significant change at the accelerated storage condition, a minimum of four time points, including the initial and final time points (e.g., 0, 6, 9, 12 months), from a 12-month study is recommended.
7. Storage Conditions (2.1.7)
In general, a drug substance should be evaluated under storage conditions (with appropriate tolerances) that test its thermal stability and, if applicable, its sensitivity to moisture. The storage conditions and the lengths of studies chosen should be sufficient to cover storage, shipment, and subsequent use.
The long-term testing should cover a minimum of 12 months' duration on at least three primary batches at the time of submission and should be continued for a period of time sufficient to cover the proposed retest period. Additional data accumulated during the assessment period of the registration application should be submitted to the authorities if requested. Data from the accelerated storage condition and, if appropriate, from the intermediate storage condition can be used to evaluate the effect of short-term excursions outside the label storage conditions (such as might occur during shipping).
Long-term, accelerated, and, where appropriate, intermediate storage conditions for drug substances are detailed in the sections below. The general case should apply if the drug substance is not specifically covered by a subsequent section. Alternative storage conditions can be used if justified.
a. General case (2.1.7.1)


Study

Storage condition

Minimum time period covered by data at submission

Long-term

25°C ± 2°C/60% RH ± 5% RH

12 months

Intermediate

30°C ± 2°C/60% RH ± 5% RH

6 months

Accelerated

40°C ± 2°C/75% RH ± 5% RH

6 months

When significant change occurs at any time during 6 months' testing at the accelerated storage condition, additional testing at the intermediate storage condition should be conducted and evaluated against significant change criteria. Testing at the intermediate storage condition should include all tests, unless otherwise justified. The initial application should include a minimum of 6 months' data from a 12-month study at the intermediate storage condition.
Significant change for a drug substance is defined as failure to meet its specification.
b. Drug substances intended for storage in a refrigerator (2.1.7.2)


Study

Storage condition

Minimum time period covered by data at submission

Long-term

5°C ± 3°C

12 months

Accelerated

25°C ± 2°C/60% RH ± 5% RH

6 months

Data from refrigerated storage should be assessed according to the evaluation section of this guidance, except where explicitly noted below.
If significant change occurs between 3 and 6 months' testing at the accelerated storage condition, the proposed retest period should be based on the real time data available at the long-term storage condition.
If significant change occurs within the first 3 months' testing at the accelerated storage condition, a discussion should be provided to address the effect of short-term excursions outside the label storage condition (e.g., during shipping or handling). This discussion can be supported, if appropriate, by further testing on a single batch of the drug substance for a period shorter than 3 months but with more frequent testing than usual. It is considered unnecessary to continue to test a drug substance through 6 months when a significant change has occurred within the first 3 months.
c. Drug substances intended for storage in a freezer (2.1.7.3)


Study

Storage condition

Minimum time period covered by data at submission

Long-term

-20°C ± 5°C

12 months

For drug substances intended for storage in a freezer, the retest period should be based on the real time data obtained at the long-term storage condition. In the absence of an accelerated storage condition for drug substances intended to be stored in a freezer, testing on a single batch at an elevated temperature (e.g., 5°C ± 3°C or 25°C ± 2°C) for an appropriate time period should be conducted to address the effect of short-term excursions outside the proposed label storage condition (e.g., during shipping or handling).
d. Drug substances intended for storage below -20°C (2.1.7.4)
Drug substances intended for storage below -20°C should be treated on a case-by-case basis.
8. Stability Commitment (2.1.8)
When available long-term stability data on primary batches do not cover the proposed retest period granted at the time of approval, a commitment should be made to continue the stability studies postapproval to firmly establish the retest period.
Where the submission includes long-term stability data on three production batches covering the proposed retest period, a postapproval commitment is considered unnecessary. Otherwise, one of the following commitments should be made:
· If the submission includes data from stability studies on at least three production batches, a commitment should be made to continue these studies through the proposed retest period.
· If the submission includes data from stability studies on fewer than three production batches, a commitment should be made to continue these studies through the proposed retest period and to place additional production batches, to a total of at least three, on long-term stability studies through the proposed retest period.
· If the submission does not include stability data on production batches, a commitment should be made to place the first three production batches on long-term stability studies through the proposed retest period.
The stability protocol used for long-term studies for the stability commitment should be the same as that for the primary batches, unless otherwise scientifically justified.
9. Evaluation (2.1.9)
The purpose of the stability study is to establish, based on testing a minimum of three batches of the drug substance and evaluating the stability information (including, as appropriate, results of the physical, chemical, biological, and microbiological tests), a retest period applicable to all future batches of the drug substance manufactured under similar circumstances. The degree of variability of individual batches affects the confidence that a future production batch will remain within specification throughout the assigned retest period.
The data may show so little degradation and so little variability that it is apparent from looking at the data that the requested retest period will be granted. Under these circumstances, it is normally unnecessary to go through the formal statistical analysis; providing a justification for the omission should be sufficient.
An approach for analyzing the data on a quantitative attribute that is expected to change with time is to determine the time at which the 95 percent, one-sided confidence limit for the mean curve intersects the acceptance criterion. If analysis shows that the batch-to-batch variability is small, it is advantageous to combine the data into one overall estimate. This can be done by first applying appropriate statistical tests (e.g., p values for level of significance of rejection of more than 0.25) to the slopes of the regression lines and zero time intercepts for the individual batches. If it is inappropriate to combine data from several batches, the overall retest period should be based on the minimum time a batch can be expected to remain within acceptance criteria.
The nature of any degradation relationship will determine whether the data should be transformed for linear regression analysis. Usually the relationship can be represented by a linear, quadratic, or cubic function on an arithmetic or logarithmic scale. Statistical methods should be employed to test the goodness of fit of the data on all batches and combined batches (where appropriate) to the assumed degradation line or curve.
Limited extrapolation of the real time data from the long-term storage condition beyond the observed range to extend the retest period can be undertaken at approval time if justified. This justification should be based, for example, on what is known about the mechanism of degradation, the results of testing under accelerated conditions, the goodness of fit of any mathematical model, batch size, and/or existence of supporting stability data. However, this extrapolation assumes that the same degradation relationship will continue to apply beyond the observed data.
Any evaluation should cover not only the assay, but also the levels of degradation products and other appropriate attributes.
10. Statements/Labeling (2.1.10)
A storage statement should be established for the labeling in accordance with relevant national/regional requirements. The statement should be based on the stability evaluation of the drug substance. Where applicable, specific instructions should be provided, particularly for drug substances that cannot tolerate freezing. Terms such as ambient conditions or room temperature should be avoided.
A retest period should be derived from the stability information, and a retest date should be displayed on the container label if appropriate.
B. Drug Product (2.2)
1. General (2.2.1)
The design of the formal stability studies for the drug product should be based on knowledge of the behavior and properties of the drug substance, results from stability studies on the drug substance, and experience gained from clinical formulation studies. The likely changes on storage and the rationale for the selection of attributes to be tested in the formal stability studies should be stated.
2. Photostability Testing (2.2.2)
Photostability testing should be conducted on at least one primary batch of the drug product if appropriate. The standard conditions for photostability testing are described in ICH Q1B.
3. Selection of Batches (2.2.3)
Data from stability studies should be provided on at least three primary batches of the drug product. The primary batches should be of the same formulation and packaged in the same container closure system as proposed for marketing. The manufacturing process used for primary batches should simulate that to be applied to production batches and should provide product of the same quality and meeting the same specification as that intended for marketing. Two of the three batches should be at least pilot scale batches, and the third one can be smaller if justified. Where possible, batches of the drug product should be manufactured by using different batches of the drug substance.
Stability studies should be performed on each individual strength and container size of the drug product unless bracketing or matrixing is applied.
Other supporting data can be provided.
4. Container Closure System (2.2.4)
Stability testing should be conducted on the dosage form packaged in the container closure system proposed for marketing (including, as appropriate, any secondary packaging and container label). Any available studies carried out on the drug product outside its immediate container or in other packaging materials can form a useful part of the stress testing of the dosage form or can be considered as supporting information, respectively.
5. Specification (2.2.5)
Specification, which is a list of tests, references to analytical procedures, and proposed acceptance criteria, including the concept of different acceptance criteria for release and shelf life specifications, is addressed in ICH Q6A and Q6B. In addition, specification for degradation products in a drug product is addressed in Q3B.
Stability studies should include testing of those attributes of the drug product that are susceptible to change during storage and are likely to influence quality, safety, and/or efficacy. The testing should cover, as appropriate, the physical, chemical, biological, and microbiological attributes, preservative content (e.g., antioxidant, antimicrobial preservative), and functionality tests (e.g., for a dose delivery system). Analytical procedures should be fully validated and stability indicating. Whether and to what extent replication should be performed will depend on the results of validation studies.
Shelf life acceptance criteria should be derived from consideration of all available stability information. It may be appropriate to have justifiable differences between the shelf life and release acceptance criteria based on the stability evaluation and the changes observed on storage. Any differences between the release and shelf life acceptance criteria for antimicrobial preservative content should be supported by a validated correlation of chemical content and preservative effectiveness demonstrated during drug development on the product in its final formulation (except for preservative concentration) intended for marketing. A single primary stability batch of the drug product should be tested for antimicrobial preservative effectiveness (in addition to preservative content) at the proposed shelf life for verification purposes, regardless of whether there is a difference between the release and shelf life acceptance criteria for preservative content.
6. Testing Frequency (2.2.6)
For long-term studies, frequency of testing should be sufficient to establish the stability profile of the drug product. For products with a proposed shelf life of at least 12 months, the frequency of testing at the long-term storage condition should normally be every 3 months over the first year, every 6 months over the second year, and annually thereafter through the proposed shelf life.
At the accelerated storage condition, a minimum of three time points, including the initial and final time points (e.g., 0, 3, and 6 months), from a 6-month study is recommended. Where an expectation (based on development experience) exists that results from accelerated testing are likely to approach significant change criteria, increased testing should be conducted either by adding samples at the final time point or by including a fourth time point in the study design.
When testing at the intermediate storage condition is called for as a result of significant change at the accelerated storage condition, a minimum of four time points, including the initial and final time points (e.g., 0, 6, 9, 12 months), from a 12-month study is recommended.
Reduced designs (i.e., matrixing or bracketing), where the testing frequency is reduced or certain factor combinations are not tested at all, can be applied if justified.
7. Storage Conditions (2.2.7)
In general, a drug product should be evaluated under storage conditions (with appropriate tolerances) that test its thermal stability and, if applicable, its sensitivity to moisture or potential for solvent loss. The storage conditions and the lengths of studies chosen should be sufficient to cover storage, shipment, and subsequent use.
Stability testing of the drug product after constitution or dilution, if applicable, should be conducted to provide information for the labeling on the preparation, storage condition, and in-use period of the constituted or diluted product. This testing should be performed on the constituted or diluted product through the proposed in-use period on primary batches as part of the formal stability studies at initial and final time points, and if full shelf life, long-term data will not be available before submission, at 12 months or the last time point for which data will be available. In general, this testing need not be repeated on commitment batches.
The long-term testing should cover a minimum of 12 months' duration on at least three primary batches at the time of submission and should be continued for a period of time sufficient to cover the proposed shelf life. Additional data accumulated during the assessment period of the registration application should be submitted to the authorities if requested. Data from the accelerated storage condition and, if appropriate, from the intermediate storage condition can be used to evaluate the effect of short-term excursions outside the label storage conditions (such as might occur during shipping).
Long-term, accelerated, and, where appropriate, intermediate storage conditions for drug products are detailed in the sections below. The general case should apply if the drug product is not specifically covered by a subsequent section. Alternative storage conditions can be used if justified.
a. General case (2.2.7.1)


Study

Storage condition

Minimum time period covered by data at submission

Long-term

25°C ± 2°C/60% RH ± 5% RH

12 months

Intermediate

30°C ± 2°C/60% RH ± 5% RH

6 months

Accelerated

40°C ± 2°C/75% RH ± 5% RH

6 months

When significant change occurs at any time during 6 months' testing at the accelerated storage condition, additional testing at the intermediate storage condition should be conducted and evaluated against significant change criteria. The initial application should include a minimum of 6 months' data from a 12-month study at the intermediate storage condition.
In general, significant change for a drug product is defined as one or more of the following (as appropriate for the dosage form):
· A 5 percent change in assay from its initial value, or failure to meet the acceptance criteria for potency when using biological or immunological procedures
· Any degradation product's exceeding its acceptance criterion
· Failure to meet the acceptance criteria for appearance, physical attributes, and functionality test (e.g., color, phase separation, resuspendibility, caking, hardness, dose delivery per actuation). However, some changes in physical attributes (e.g., softening of suppositories, melting of creams) may be expected under accelerated conditions.
· Failure to meet the acceptance criterion for pH
· Failure to meet the acceptance criteria for dissolution for 12 dosage units
b. Drug products packaged in impermeable containers (2.2.7.2)
Sensitivity to moisture or potential for solvent loss is not a concern for drug products packaged in impermeable containers that provide a permanent barrier to passage of moisture or solvent. Thus, stability studies for products stored in impermeable containers can be conducted under any controlled or ambient humidity condition.
c. Drug products packaged in semipermeable containers (2.2.7.3)
Aqueous-based products packaged in semipermeable containers should be evaluated for potential water loss in addition to physical, chemical, biological, and microbiological stability. This evaluation can be carried out under conditions of low relative humidity, as discussed below. Ultimay, it should be demonstrated that aqueous-based drug products stored in semipermeable containers can withstand low relative humidity environments. Other comparable approaches can be developed and reported for nonaqueous, solvent-based products.


Study

Storage condition

Minimum time period covered by data at submission

Long-term

25°C ± 2°C/40% RH ± 5% RH

12 months

Intermediate

30°C ± 2°C/60% RH ± 5% RH

6 months

Accelerated

40°C ± 2°C/not more than (NMT) 25% RH

6 months

When significant change other than water loss occurs during the 6 months' testing at the accelerated storage condition, additional testing at the intermediate storage condition should be performed, as described under the general case, to evaluate the temperature effect at 30_C. A significant change in water loss alone at the accelerated storage condition does not necessitate testing at the intermediate storage condition. However, data should be provided to demonstrate that the drug product will not have significant water loss throughout the proposed shelf life if stored at 25°C and the reference relative humidity of 40 percent RH.
A 5 percent loss in water from its initial value is considered a significant change for a product packaged in a semipermeable container after an equivalent of 3 months' storage at 40°C/NMT 25 percent RH. However, for small containers (1 mL or less) or unit-dose products, a water loss of 5 percent or more after an equivalent of 3 months' storage at 40°C/NMT 25 percent RH may be appropriate if justified.
An alternative approach to studying at the reference relative humidity as recommended in the table above (for either long-term or accelerated testing) is performing the stability studies under higher relative humidity and deriving the water loss at the reference relative humidity through calculation. This can be achieved by experimentally determining the permeation coefficient for the container closure system or, as shown in the example below, using the calculated ratio of water loss rates between the two humidity conditions at the same temperature. The permeation coefficient for a container closure system can be experimentally determined by using the worst case scenario (e.g., the most diluted of a series of concentrations) for the proposed drug product.
Example of an approach for determining water loss:
For a product in a given container closure system, container size, and fill, an appropriate approach for deriving the water loss rate at the reference relative humidity is to multiply the water loss rate measured at an alternative relative humidity at the same temperature by a water loss rate ratio shown in the table below. A linear water loss rate at the alternative relative humidity over the storage period should be demonstrated.
For example, at a given temperature (e.g., 40°C), the calculated water loss rate during storage at NMT 25 percent RH is the water loss rate measured at 75 percent RH multiplied by 3.0, the corresponding water loss rate ratio.


Alternative relative humidity

Reference relative humidity

Ratio of water loss rates at a given temperature

60% RH

25% RH

1.9

60% RH

40% RH

1.5

75% RH

25% RH

3.0

Valid water loss rate ratios at relative humidity conditions other than those shown in the table above can also be used.
d. Drug products intended for storage in a refrigerator (2.2.7.4)


Study

Storage condition

Minimum time period covered by data at submission

Long-term

5°C ± 3°C

12 months

Accelerated

25°C ± 2°C/60% RH ± 5% RH

6 months

If the drug product is packaged in a semipermeable container, appropriate information should be provided to assess the extent of water loss.
Data from refrigerated storage should be assessed according to the evaluation section of this guidance, except where explicitly noted below.
If significant change occurs between 3 and 6 months' testing at the accelerated storage condition, the proposed shelf life should be based on the real time data available from the long-term storage condition.
If significant change occurs within the first 3 months' testing at the accelerated storage condition, a discussion should be provided to address the effect of short-term excursions outside the label storage condition (e.g., during shipment and handling). This discussion can be supported, if appropriate, by further testing on a single batch of the drug product for a period shorter than 3 months but with more frequent testing than usual. It is considered unnecessary to continue to test a product through 6 months when a significant change has occurred within the first 3 months.
e. Drug products intended for storage in a freezer (2.2.7.5)


Study

Storage condition

Minimum time period covered by data at submission

Long-term

-20°C ± 5°C

12 months

For drug products intended for storage in a freezer, the shelf life should be based on the real time data obtained at the long-term storage condition. In the absence of an accelerated storage condition for drug products intended to be stored in a freezer, testing on a single batch at an elevated temperature (e.g., 5°C ± 3°C or 25°C ± 2°C) for an appropriate time period should be conducted to address the effect of short-term excursions outside the proposed label storage condition.
 f. Drug products intended for storage below -20°C (2.2.7.6)
Drug products intended for storage below -20°C should be treated on a case-by-case basis.
8. Stability Commitment (2.2.8)
When available long-term stability data on primary batches do not cover the proposed shelf life granted at the time of approval, a commitment should be made to continue the stability studies postapproval to firmly establish the shelf life.
Where the submission includes long-term stability data from three production batches covering the proposed shelf life, a postapproval commitment is considered unnecessary. Otherwise, one of the following commitments should be made:
· If the submission includes data from stability studies on at least three production batches, a commitment should be made to continue the long-term studies through the proposed shelf life and the accelerated studies for 6 months.
· If the submission includes data from stability studies on fewer than three production batches, a commitment should be made to continue the long-term studies through the proposed shelf life and the accelerated studies for 6 months, and to place additional production batches, to a total of at least three, on long-term stability studies through the proposed shelf life and on accelerated studies for 6 months.
· If the submission does not include stability data on production batches, a commitment should be made to place the first three production batches on long-term stability studies through the proposed shelf life and on accelerated studies for 6 months.
The stability protocol used for studies on commitment batches should be the same as that for the primary batches, unless otherwise scientifically justified.

Where intermediate testing is called for by a significant change at the accelerated storage condition for the primary batches, testing on the commitment batches can be conducted at either the intermediate or the accelerated storage condition. However, if significant change occurs at the accelerated storage condition on the commitment batches, testing at the intermediate storage condition should also be conducted.



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