Applied Statistics for FDA Process Validation

Course “Applied Statistics for FDA Process Validation” has been pre-approved by RAPS as eligible for up to 12 credits towards a participant’s RAC recertification upon full completion.

In Guidance for Industry Process Validation: General Principle and Practices, process validation is defined as, “”…the collection and evaluation of data, from the process design stage through commercial production..” The guidance further delineates the ‘process design stage through commercial production’ into three distinct stages of the product lifecycle:

Stage 1: Process Design: The commercial manufacturing process is defined during this stage based on knowledge gained through development and scale-up activities.

Stage 2: Process Qualification: During this stage, the process design is evaluated to determine if the process is capable of reproducible commercial manufacturing.

Stage 3: Continued Process Verification: Ongoing assurance is gained during routine production that the process remains in a state of control.

The first stage of process validation is process design. The Process Validation guidance document states, “A successful validation program depends on information and knowledge from product and process development. This knowledge and understanding is the basis for establishing an approach to control of a manufacturing process that results in products with desired quality attributes:

Manufactures should:

  • Understand the sources of variation
  • Detect the presence and degree of variation
  • Understand the impact of variation on the process and ultimately on product attributes
  • Control the variation in a manner commensurate with the risk it represents to the process and product.”

The second stage of process validation is process qualification. Although stage 2 has two elements, this course will focus on recommendations for the second element, PPQ. PPQ “combines the actual facility, utilities, equipment (each now qualified), and the trained personnel with the commercial manufacturing process, control procedures, and components to produce commercial batches.” Additionally, the process validation guidance document that “Each manufacturer should judge whether it has gained sufficient understanding to provide a high degree of assurance in its manufacturing process to justify commercial distribution of the product. Focusing exclusively on qualification efforts without understanding the manufacturing process and associated variations may not lead to adequate assurance of quality.”

The third stage of process validation is continued process verification. The process validation guidance document defines the need for this stage: “After establishing and confirming the process, manufacturers must maintain the process in a state of control over the life of the process, even as materials, equipment, production environment, personnel, and manufacturing procedures change.” Manufacturers should use ongoing programs to collect and analyze product and process data to evaluate the state of control of the process. These programs may identify process or product problems or opportunities for process improvements that can be evaluated and implemented through some of the activities described in Stages 1 and 2.”

This course focuses on how to establish a systematic approach to implementing statistical methodologies into a process validation program consistent with the FDA guidance. It begins with a primer on statistics, focusing on methods that will be applied in each remaining chapter. Next, it teaches the application of statistics for setting specifications and assessing measurement systems (assays), two foundational requirements for process validation. Lastly, the course applies statistic through the three stages of process validation defined by requirements in the process validation regulatory guidance documents. Methods taught through all three stages are recommended by regulatory guidance documents; references to the specific citations in the guidance documents are provided.

Why you should attend:

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) provided a guidance for industry in 2011 that has established a framework for process validation in the pharmaceutical industry. This guidance, titled “Process Validation: General Principles and Practices” consists of a three-stage process. The three stages are 1) Process Design, 2) Process Qualification, and 3) Continued Process Verification.

This course focuses on how to establish a systematic approach to implementing statistical methodologies into a process development and validation program consistent with the FDA guidance. This course teaches the application of statistics for setting specifications, assessing measurement systems (assays), using design of experiments (DOE), developing a control plan as part of a risk management strategy, and ensuring process control/capability. All concepts are taught within the three-stage product cycle framework defined by requirements in the process validation regulatory guidance documents.

Although established for the pharmaceutical industry, it also provides a useful framework for other industries.

Analyses in this course use the point-and-click interface of JMP software by SAS.

Areas Covered in the Session

  • apply statistics to set specifications and validate measurement systems (assays)
  • develop appropriate sample plans based on confidence and power
  • implement suitable statistical methods into a process validation program for each of the three stages
  • Stage 1, Process Design: utilize risk management tools to identify and prioritize potential critical process parameters; and define critical process parameters and operating spaces for the commercial manufacturing process using design of experiments (DOE)
  • Stage 2, Process Qualification: assess scale effects while incorporating large (pilot and/or commercial) scale data; develop process performance qualification (PPQ) acceptance criteria by characterizing intra and inter-batch variability using process design data and batch homogeneity studies; and develop an appropriate sampling plan for PPQ
  • Stage 3, Continued Process Verification: develop a control plan as part of a risk management strategy; collect and analyze product and process data; and ensure your process is in (statistical) control and capable.

Who Will Benefit:

This seminar is designed for pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical professionals who are involved with product and/or process design, validation, or manufacturing/control.

  • Process Scientist/Engineer
  • Design Engineer
  • Product Development Engineer
  • Regulatory/Compliance Professional
  • Design Controls Engineer
  • Six Sigma Green Belt
  • Six Sigma Black Belt
  • Continuous Improvement Manager

Day 1 Schedule

Lecture 1: Introduction to Statistics for Process Validation

  • principles of process validation
  • stages of process validation

Primer on Statistical Analysis

  • basic statistics

Lecture 2: Primer on Statistical Analysis (cont.)

  • statistical intervals and hypothesis testing

Lecture 3: Primer on Statistical Analysis (cont.)

  • statistical intervals and hypothesis testing

Lecture 4: Primer on Statistical Analysis (cont.)

  • regression
  • run charts

Day 2 Schedule

Lecture 1: Foundational Requirements for Process Validation

  • setting specifications
  • analytical methodology

Stage 1 – Process Design

  • steps to DOE
  • screening designs

Lecture 2: Stage 1 – Process Design

  • response surface designs
  • establishing a strategy for process qualification

Lecture 3: Stage 2 – Process Qualification

  • introduction
  • incorporation of large-scale data
  • development of PPQ acceptance criteria
  • development of sampling plans

Lecture 4: Stage 3 – Continued Process Verification

  • statistical process control
  • process capability

Heath Rushing

Co-founder and Principal, Adsurgo

Heath Rushing is the cofounder of Adsurgo and author of the book Design and Analysis of Experiments by Douglas Montgomery: A Supplement for using JMP. Previously, he was the JMP and Six Sigma training manager at SAS. He led a team of nine technical professionals designing and delivering applied statistics and quality continuing education courses. He created tailored courses, applications, and long-term training plans in quality and statistics across a variety of industries to include biotech, pharmaceutical, medical device, and chemical processing. Mr. Rushing has been an invited speaker on applicability of statistics for national and international conferences. As a Quality Engineer at Amgen, he championed statistical principles in every business unit. He designed and delivered a DOE course that immediately became the company standard required at multiple sites. Additionally, he developed and implemented numerous innovative statistical methods advancing corporate risk management, process capability, and validation acceptance criteria. He won the top teaching award out of 54 instructors in the Air Force Academy math department where he taught several semesters and sections of operations research and statistics. Additionally, he designs and delivers short courses in statistics, data mining, and simulation modeling for SAS.

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FDA Breaks New Ground With First Approved Gene Therapy for Cancer

FDA Breaks New Ground With First Approved Gene Therapy for Cancer.jpg

When oncologist Dr. Carl June heard the Food and Drug Administration’s decision to bring the first gene therapy to market in the US, he pinched himself, hard.

“It was so improbable that this would ever be a commercially approved therapy,” he said, voice breaking with emotion.

June was referring to a revolutionary cancer therapy that he helped bring from lab bench to market. Co-developed with the drug giant Novartis, the therapy, CAR-T, genetically alters a patient’s own immune cells to target and destroy cancer cells.

Recently, in a historic decision, the FDA threw their support behind Kymriah (tisagenlecleucel), a “living drug” that is designed to treat blood and bone marrow cancer in children that, even with aggressive chemotherapy, is often lethal.

An entire process rather than a packaged pill, the therapy harvests a patient’s own immune cells—T cells that patrol and destroy abnormal cells—retrains them with extra bits of genetic code, and turns them into torpedoes aimed at cancerous cells once reintroduced into patients’ bodies.

“We’re entering a new frontier in medical innovation with the ability to reprogram a patient’s own cells to attack a deadly cancer,” said FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb in a statement, adding that the therapy is “the first gene therapy available in the United States.”

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FDA advisors give a thumbs-up to GlaxoSmithKline’s shingles vaccine

FDA advisors give a thumbs-up to GlaxoSmithKline's.jpg

GlaxoSmithKline’s shingles Shingrix vaccine received an unanimous vote of support by a Food and Drug Administration advisory committee Wednesday on safety and effectiveness to be used in adults 50 and older.

A decision by the FDA to commercialize Shingrix is expected later this year. The agency usually follows the recommendations of its advisory panels.

GSK said in June that the vaccine produced a strong immune response in adults 65 and older who had previously been vaccinated against shingles with Merck’s vaccine, Zostavax. Scientific data published in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that the effectiveness of Merck’s vaccine wanes over time, while GSK’s vaccine appeared to have longer-lasting protection.

GSK said data show that people who received Merck’s vaccine, the only one approved now for the herpes zoster (shingles) vaccine, can later receive the Shingrix vaccine safely and effectively.

“The risk of developing shingles increases with age and it is estimated that up to one in three people in the United States will develop shingles,” said Emmanuel Hanon, GSK head of vaccines research and development. “Today’s vote brings us one step closer to approval of Shingrix, which is specifically designed to overcome age-related weakening of the immune system.”


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Article on “A Tour of the FDA”

A tour of the FDA is something like a snapshot of what the FDA does. The importance of the FDA can never be understated: It regulates products from the proverbial pin to airplane in the food, medical devices, pharma and healthcare industries, which touch almost every aspect of American lives. The products that the FDA regulates account for about a trillion dollars, which make up about a quarter of all goods traded in the US.

So, what is a tour of the FDA like?

A tour of the FDA helps to get a broad understanding of the this regulatory body and get some idea of the various departments it has, as well as the functions of these departments. To get an understanding of what the FDA does, a reference to its mission statement could give some direction:

“(The) FDA is responsible for protecting the public health by assuring the safety, efficacy and security of human and veterinary drugs, biological products, medical devices, our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, and products that emit radiation.” This is just the opening line of the FDA’s mission statement. Reference to its other statements, which have now included a reference to containing terrorism, will serve as a good guide to a tour of the FDA. In short, the FDA regulates nearly every item used and consumed by the American public.

The history of the FDA

The legal sanction for carrying out its mission is mandated by the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act). An amazing fact that a tour of the FDA reveals is that it is one of the oldest regulatory bodies in the world, with its earliest jurisdiction having covered regulation of drugs in the year 1848. The Department of Agriculture, to which President James Polk appointed noted chemist Charles Wetherill, can be considered the earliest endeavor to regulate medical products of daily use in the US.

How is the FDA organized?

A tour of the FDA is incomplete without a reference to the way it is organized. Its structure consists of this hierarchy:

  • Office of the Commissioner
  • Office of Foods and Veterinary Medicine
  • Office of Global Regulatory Operations and Policy
  • Office of Medical Products and Tobacco
  • Office of Operations

Under these broad heads, a tour of the FDA shows the way into which it is divided into several offices and organizations. Important among these include:

  • Office of Regulatory Affairs (ORA)
  • Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN)
  • Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER)
  • Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER)
  • Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH)
  • Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH)
  • National Center for Toxicological Research (NCTR)

Want to know more: Article on “A Tour of the FDA”