Particles in Parenterals PLUS Pre-Conference Course "Fundamentals of Visual Inspection & AQL Testing"

Particles in Parenterals PLUS Pre-Conference Course "Fundamentals of Visual Inspection & AQL Testing"

Vienna, Austria

Course No 16049


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Gabriel Anderson, Novartis

Martin Dearden, PaxVax Berna

Dr Helmut Gaus, Boehringer Ingelheim

Markus Keller, Fraunhofer IPA

Felix Krumbein, Roche Diagnostics

Dr Stephen Langille, FDA

Dr Roman Mathaes, Lonza

Dr Tobias Posset, Roche

Dr Heino Prinz, Rommelag AG

Dr Bernd Renger, Immediate Past Chair of the European QP Association

Marcel Uijlen, MSD

Dr Klaus Wuchner, Cilag


The Participants of the Particles in Parenterals Conference receive the current version of ECA’s Best Practice Paper on “Visual Inspection” for free!


Pre-Conference Course "Fundamentals of Visual Inspection & AQL Testing"
on 10 October

The training course on visual inspection which takes place the day before the Particles Conference gives you an understanding of the fundamentals of visual inspection of injectable products, applicable to manual and automated inspection. You will also learn how to implement an automated system on the basis of the manual inspection. The course also includes an AQL training, that is you will learn how to use AQL tables to set defect limits and how to evaluate batch inspection data.

Skills you will develop through the course:

  • Ensuring GMP compliance in manual inspection
  • Setting up a qualification strategy for automated systems
  • Usage of statistical tools for assessing inspection data
  • GMP-compliant routine operation of automated systems
Content of the course in detail:

General requirements
  • Requirements of the Pharmacopeia
  • Defect categorisation
  • Test kits for training, qualification and routine
Manual Inspection
  • Qualification and training of personnel
  • Standardisation of working conditions
  • AQL in the manual inspection
From Manual to automated inspection
  • Usage of the Knapp and the modified Knapp test
  • Cross validation during the PQ phase
Automated inspection
  • Importance of particle detection rates
  • System-Suitability, Requalification and revalidation


Regulatory Requirements for the visual inspection of parenterals
  • Compendial Requirements: 100 % visual inspection & AQL testing, PharmEur, USP, JP - similarities and differences
  • GMP Expectations : Manual inspection, Automated Inspection
  • Risk Management Considerations
Presentation and discussion of the ECA Best Practice Paper on Visual Inspection
The best practice paper has been originally developed by the advisory board of the ECA Visual Inspection Group. Much rather than a strict requirement document, this paper is intended to be a reference for controversial issues. The first version of this paper has been published in September 2014 in Copenhagen. It has gained a broad acceptance in the industry afterwards. The current version as well as planned updates will be explained and discussed in Vienna.
FDA’s current thinking on particles and testing of parenterals
  • A summary of recent recall data due to visible particulates
  • The FDA’s take on AQL testing
  • Training and qualification of visual inspection staff
  • Automated inspection validation
  • A lifecycle approach to visible particle inspection and control
Particles in Parenterals: Methods for the root cause analysis
  • Isolation of single particles
  • Analysis of particles using FTIR, REM-EDX, and ICP-MS
  • Usage of witness-wafers
  • Intrinsic particles and their origin
  • What can we learn from aerospace research.
  • Examples
Qualification in manual visual inspection in a multi-product environment
  • Defects and defect categorisation in the manual visual inspection of vials and ampoules
  • Composition and qualification of test sets
  • Initial qualification of human inspectors
  • Bracketing of products in the context of the qualification of human inspectors
  • Requalification and continuous evaluation of the inspectors performance
  • Maintaining the qualified state of the test sets
Validation of an Automated Inspection System - Alternative Ways for the 5000 Test
  • General requirements: Requirements of the Pharmacopeia, Defect categorisation. Test kits for training, qualification and routine
  • Manual Inspection: Training and qualification of manual operators, Standardisation of working conditions, AQL in the manual inspection
  • Automated inspection: Setup of the vision system, Qualification of the machine in 3 steps, Detection verification using probabilistic models (i.e. Knapp-Test / Particle-Qualification-Kit), Detection verification using fixed detection rates (i.e. Standard-Defect-Kit), Man-machine-comparison during production run (test of 5000), Alternatives for the test of 5000
  • Others: System-Suitability-Test, requalification and revalidation
Visual Inspection and Health Authority Expectations & Observations
  • Observation at the AIM qualification
  • Comments to the 5000 test
  • Dealing with particles & complaints
Particle testing and the correlation with trending and Batch release
  • Why do we Monitor (What is it all about)
  • Data and Measurement
  • The AQL trap
  • Improvement Process Map
  • Investigation and Routine Analysis,
  • Release Process. “To AQL or not to AQL that is the Question”
  • Product Release: “Falling off a log”
Particles in Biotech Parenteral Products
  • Particles are a major challenge in the development, manufacture and analysis of Parenteral Products
  • The Pharmacopeias and guidances aim towards minimizing visible particulates, yet, the requirements not easy to translate into everyday practice
  • Particles can come from different sources and USP has suggested a categorization with particles being extrinsic, intrinsic or inherent, yet, clinical relevance and safety of these would not be necessarily different and identification is often not unambiguous
  • This talk aims to discuss approaches and practicality and industry perspective on Visible Particles in Parenteral Products containing active ingredients derived by recombinant manufacture (biologics)
Threshold testing between inspection method development and setup of a qualification set
  • Concepts for planning threshold tests
  • How to design the test to be representative for routine manufacturing conditions
  • Transformation of a threshold test into a qualification set
  • Other good use of threshold test (results)
(Re-) inspection of parenteral products
Different scenarios will be covered such as:
  • Re-inspection or additional inspection of “grey-chanel” units from (semi-) automated inspection
  • Re-inspection in case of exceeding alert limits or AQL failures
  • Focused re-inspection
  • Inspection approaches in case of investigations due to unexpected particles (e.g., to determine frequency of occurrence of visible particles when particles are found during release/stability testing
Development of a tool for determining the criticality of particles
  • Defining the appropriate AQL level for specific particles

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