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International Conference on Harmonisation; Guidance on Q4B Evaluation and Recommendation of Pharmacopoeial Texts for Use in the International Conference on Harmonisation Regions; Annex 7(R2) on Dissolution Test General Chapter; Availability

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AGENCY:

Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is announcing the Start Printed Page 37130availability of a guidance entitled “Q4B Evaluation and Recommendation of Pharmacopoeial Texts for Use in the ICH Regions; Annex 7(R2): Dissolution Test General Chapter” (Q4B Annex 7(R2)). The guidance was prepared under the auspices of the International Conference on Harmonisation of Technical Requirements for Registration of Pharmaceuticals for Human Use (ICH). The Q4B Annex 7(R2) is a revision of the previously published ICH guidance, “Q4B Evaluation and Recommendation of Pharmacopoeial Texts for Use in the ICH Regions; Annex 7: Dissolution Test General Chapter” (Q4B Annex 7). The revised guidance specifies additional dissolution apparatuses to which interchangeability applies in the three ICH regions, updates the considerations for implementation, and updates the references used for the Q4B evaluation. The guidance is intended to recognize the interchangeability between the local regional pharmacopoeias, thus avoiding redundant testing in favor of a common testing strategy in each regulatory region. The guidance is in the form of an annex to the core guidance on the Q4B process entitled “Q4B Evaluation and Recommendation of Pharmacopoeial Texts for Use in the ICH Regions” (core ICH Q4B guidance).

DATES:

Submit either electronic or written comments on Agency guidances at any time.

ADDRESSES:

Submit written requests for single copies of the guidance to the Division of Drug Information (HFD-240), Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 51, rm. 2201, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, or the Office of Communication, Outreach and Development (HFM-40), Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER), Food and Drug Administration, 1401 Rockville Pike, suite 200N, Rockville, MD 20852-1448. Send one self-addressed adhesive label to assist the office in processing your requests. The guidance may also be obtained by mail by calling CBER at 1-800-835-4709 or 301-827-1800. See the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for electronic access to the guidance document.

Submit electronic comments on the guidance to http://www.regulations.gov. Submit written comments to the Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Regarding the Guidance

Robert H. King, Sr., Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 51, rm. 4150, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 301-796-1242, or Christopher Joneckis, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (HFM-25), Food and Drug Administration, 1401 Rockville Pike, suite 200N, Rockville, MD 20852-1448, 301-827-0373.

Regarding the ICH

Michelle Limoli, Office of International Programs (HFG-1), Food and Drug Administration, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20857, 301-827-4480.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

In recent years, many important initiatives have been undertaken by regulatory authorities and industry associations to promote international harmonization of regulatory requirements. FDA has participated in many meetings designed to enhance harmonization and is committed to seeking scientifically based harmonized technical procedures for pharmaceutical development. One of the goals of harmonization is to identify and then reduce differences in technical requirements for drug development among regulatory agencies.

ICH was organized to provide an opportunity for tripartite harmonization initiatives to be developed with input from both regulatory and industry representatives. FDA also seeks input from consumer representatives and others. ICH is concerned with harmonization of technical requirements for the registration of pharmaceutical products among three regions: The European Union (EU), Japan, and the United States. The six ICH sponsors are the European Commission; the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries Associations; the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW); the Japanese Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association; the Centers for Drug Evaluation and Research and Biologics Evaluation and Research, FDA; and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. The ICH Secretariat, which coordinates the preparation of documentation, is provided by the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Associations (IFPMA).

The ICH Steering Committee includes representatives from each of the ICH sponsors and the IFPMA, as well as observers from the World Health Organization, Health Canada, and the European Free Trade Area.

In the Federal Register of April 5, 2010 (75 FR 17148), FDA published a notice announcing the availability of Q4B Annex 7. In September 2010, the April 2010 guidance was revised to add guidance on Health Canada consideration. This second revision, Q4B Annex 7(R2), specifies additional dissolution apparatuses to which interchangeability applies in the three ICH regions: The Basket Apparatus (Apparatus 1), the Paddle Apparatus (Apparatus 2), and the Flow-Through Cell. Q4B Annex 7(R2) also updates the considerations for implementation for FDA, EU, and MHLW. In addition, it updates the references used for the Q4B evaluation.

Following changes made by the three pharmacopeias and after review of the changes by the ICH Q4B Expert Working Group, the ICH Steering Committee, with the endorsement of the three participating regulatory agencies, approved Q4B Annex 7(R2) in November 2010.

The guidance provides specific evaluation outcomes from the ICH Q4B process for the Dissolution Test Chapter harmonization proposal originating from the three-party PDG. The guidance is in the form of an annex to the core ICH Q4B guidance made available in the Federal Register of February 21, 2008 (73 FR 9575). When implemented, the annex will provide guidance for industry and regulators on the use of the specific pharmacopoeial texts evaluated by the ICH Q4B process.

FDA is issuing Q4B Annex 7(R2) as Level 2 guidance under FDA's good guidance practices regulation (21 CFR 10.115). Consistent with FDA's good guidance practices regulation, the Agency will accept comments on the guidance at any time. The guidance represents the Agency'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.

II. Comments

Interested persons may submit to the Division of Dockets Management (see ADDRESSES) either electronic or written comments regarding this document. It is only necessary to send one set of comments. It is no longer necessary to send two copies of mailed comments. Identify comments with the docket number found in brackets in the heading of this document. Received Start Printed Page 37131comments may be seen in the Division of Dockets Management between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

III. Electronic Access

Persons with access to the Internet may obtain the document at http://www.regulations.gov, http://www.fda.gov/​Drugs/​GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/​Guidances/​default.htm, or http://www.fda.gov/​BiologicsBloodVaccines/​GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/​Guidances/​default.htm.

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Dated: June 20, 2011.

Leslie Kux,

Acting Assistant Commissioner for Policy.

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[FR Doc. 2011-15814 Filed 6-23-11; 8:45 am]

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