Wednesday, February 16, 2011

What's up with USP Chapter 1050?

by Dr. Ray Nims

United States Pharmacopeia (USP) general chapter <1050> Viral Safety Evaluation of Biotechnology Products Derived from Cell Lines of Human or Animal Origin originally appeared in supplement 10 to USP23-NF18 in May 1999 and was at that time essentially a verbatim adoption of the International Conference of Harmonization (ICH) Guideline Q5A (R1) having the same title.

The chapter describes the methods of evaluating the viral safety of biotechnology pharmaceutical products that are manufactured using cell lines of human or animal origin.

In 2006, an ad hoc advisory panel was assembled by the USP and tasked with revision of this chapter. The goals were to update the chapter and, more specifically, to add greater detail in the viral clearance validation section. The hope was that a user following the recommendations set forth in the general chapter would have greater confidence that viral clearance validation data generated would prove acceptable to the regulatory agencies.

The organization of the revised chapter <1050> was not changed. It comprised the following main sections: 1) Introduction; 2)Potential sources of viral contamination; 3) Cell line qualification: testing for viruses; 4) Testing for viruses in unprocessed bulk; 5) Rationale and action plan for viral clearance studies and viruses tests on purified bulk; and 6) Evaluation and characterization of viral clearance procedures. The changes proposed for the initial 5 sections were minor and primarily reflected attempts to update the chapter and to align the chapter more closely with FDA guidance documents. The most extensive changes were to section 6, in keeping with the goals described above.

The revised chapter was published for public comment in Pharmacopeial Forum 36(3) in the fall of 2010. Comments received as a result of the public review apparently suggested that a more extensive update of the chapter was warranted. At any rate, the revised chapter was not made effective during the USP’s 2005-2010 revision cycle. A new ad hoc advisory panel now being assembled as part of USP's 2010-2015 revision cycle will take over the responsibility for moving the revision of this chapter forward.

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