The International Conference on Harmonization recently published a new Specification for Submission Formats for eCTD document. The document achieved ICH step 4 classification, meaning it’s approved for use by all regions. Collapsing bookmarks when documents are opened, a requirement for unique headers or footers on all pages and a limited set of fonts that are recommended for embedding are among the most notable new rules.
Submission publishers face a number of challenges as they perform the day-to-day tasks associated with compiling and inspecting the quality of an eCTD. Innovations in technology are easing the burden in terms of actions publishers must perform manually. Streamlining publishing tasks saves time, effort, resources and in the end, produces a higher-quality submission. Susceptibility to error is a corollary to the number of labor-intensive, manual actions performed by your publishing team. Manual processes also extend the publishing time frame, induce extra effort and require greater resources for quality assurance.
Most documents in an eCTD submission that have more than four pages of content include a Table of Contents (TOC). When TOCs are present, files are bookmarked to match the TOC. Furthermore, when documents have Lists of Tables and/or Lists of Figures, the documents are bookmarked to match those entries as well. What if documents don’t contain a TOC? Is it necessary to add one? Not necessarily. Bookmarks can be used to aid reviewers in...
FDA implemented eCTD validation criteria 2.2 on April 30, 2013. This version of the validation criteria includes PDF checks to ensure compliance with FDA PDF Specifications V2.0, Guidance for Industry: Providing Regulatory Submissions in Electronic Format – Human Pharmaceutical Applications and Related Submissions Using the eCTD Specifications, ICH eCTD Specification V3.2.2, ICH Q&A, as well as promote general good practice to ensure reviewability.
The role of eCTD-ready source documents and their impact on submission timelines and publishing efficiency is a topic that has been debated for many years. There a lot of naysayers claiming that it’s not possible to compel scientists to produce submission-ready documents, CROs cannot be made to comply with requirements, etc.