How to Interpret the Latest FDA Guidance on Manufacturing Establishment Information and its Relationship to IDMP Standards
The draft guidance on manufacturing establishment information coordinates all of the information about an establishment and its associated business operations into one structured format. The draft guidance states, “Electronic submissions of manufacturing establishment information (MEI) must include complete information on the locations of all manufacturing sites, including packaging and control sites, for both drug substance and drug product.”
In December 2014, the US FDA published a binding guidance document, Guidance for Industry – Providing Regulatory Submissions in Electronic Format – Standardized Study Data, that establishes a requirement for submitting study data (clinical and non-clinical) in electronic format conforming to CDISC standards. After the publication of this guidance, all studies with a start date 24 months after the publication date (December 2014) must use the appropriate FDA-supported standards, formats, and terminologies specified in the Catalog for NDA, ANDA, and certain BLA submissions. Study data contained in certain IND submissions must use the specified formats for electronic submission in studies with a start date 36 months after the publication of this guidance.
On December 15, 2015, the International Conference on Harmonization (ICH) endorsed Step 4 of the eCTD v4.0 Implementation Package v1.0. Step 4 signals that major stakeholders agree on guidance. ICH released its implementation guide in early April 2016 and regulators in the US and EU followed suit. Industry is taking very real steps to implement eCTD v4. I’ve compiled a list of expectations on timing and impact for eCTD v4.
The evolution of the Electronic Common Technical Document (eCTD) has been a progression. More features and functionality become available to users as new versions are introduced. User adoption of eCTD also increases year over year. FDA Module 1 v2.3 (DTD 3.3) is a bridge to eCTD 4. A number of functionality enhancements set for inclusion in eCTD v4 first appeared in the new FDA M1 but were not present in FDA eCTD M1 (DTD 2.01). The shared features, presently implemented in FDA M1 v2.3 (DTD 3.3) and included in eCTD 4, are coded metadata, in the form of Controlled Vocabularies, and Grouped Submissions.
The focal points of eCTD v4.0 like document reuse, enhanced lifecycle control and more liberal use of metadata, and the ability to alter that metadata if errors are made, are countermeasures to the limitations of eCTD v3.2.2. Overall, these enhancements represent common sense solutions that give regulatory professionals a more efficient way of doing business.