The impact of ICH Q8, Q9, Q10, and Q11 is changing both the regulatory expectations and the strategies of Pharmaceutical Development, and this impact will continue to grow, especially in view of the new ICH Q12 Guideline.
The QbD concept described in ICH Q8 and ICH Q11 have to be seen as an overarching paradigm and an interdisciplinary approach across the product lifecycle. It also systematically emphasises enhanced product and process understanding throughout the product lifecycle.
Ideally, application of ICH Q8 and ICH Q11 elements already starts in the early design phase of a drug product where both patients needs and process design are considered. The QbD concept requires a comprehensive understanding of the chemical and physical nature of the individual active substance(s) and excipients, and of the way their attributes interact in the formulation and how they bare impacted by the manufacturing process. During the design phase, it is important to establish the Quality Target Product Profile (QTPP), determine the Critical Quality Attributes (CQAs), identify Critical Process Parameters (CPPs) and Material Attributes (material CQAs) and to understand how the process parameters and material attributes affect the CQAs. The relationship between process inputs (material attributes and process parameters) and the CQAs is described in the Design Space and ensured during manufacturing with an enhanced control strategy, leading to improved process understanding, greater operational flexibility and opportunities for more efficient life cycle management activities.
ICH Q8 combined with the new Q12 will open the door to a powerful era of refined, modern and efficient pharmaceutical development and optimization for those companies who are ready to invest in this new paradigm.