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Assessment Workshop Copenhagen – January 2011. Supporting Documents: SUPAC. Overview. What are SUPAC documents Key SUPAC documents for quality assessment (FPPs) Basic uses of SUPAC documents Introduction to SUPAC IR guidance ► Main document ► Equipment addendum Examples.

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Assessment WorkshopCopenhagen – January 2011




Overview l.jpg

  • What are SUPAC documents

  • Key SUPAC documents for quality assessment (FPPs)

  • Basic uses of SUPAC documents

  • Introduction to SUPAC IR guidance

    ► Main document

    ► Equipment addendum

  • Examples

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Quality Assessment

Manufacturing sciences

Pharmaceutical engineering/pharmaceutical technology (production methods and systems, facilities, equipment, etc.)

Pharmaceutical sciences

Chemistry (organic, inorganic, physical, biochemical, analytical

(e.g. methodology, validation, spectral analysis))

Pharmaceutical chemistry (study of drug design)

Pharmaceutics (study of drug formulation)

Pharmacognosy (study of drugs of natural origin)

Other fields: Math/statistics, microbiology, GMP

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What are SUPAC documents

A series of documents issued by US FDA (CDER) to help applicants with post-approval changes

  • Documents are categorized into IR, MR and SS (FPPs)

  • Various types of changes are described:

    ►Components and composition

    ► Manufacturing (equipment, process)

    ► Batch size

    ► Manufacturing site changes

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SUPAC documents for quality assessment

  • SUPAC IR (immediate release)

  • SUPAC MR (modified release)

  • SUPAC IR/MR equipment addendum


  • SS: Nonsterile semi-solids + equipment addendum

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SUPAC documents

Some premises before using SUPAC as supporting documents:

Treat as supportive documents only

► to understand the significance of changes

► to assist in decision-making

Not official documents for PQP.

Should not be considered definitive.

Nothing substitutes for critical thinking. (Guidelines address simplified situations.)

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Basic uses of SUPAC documents

Determining the importance of various changes:

SU: scale-up during original dossier assessment

Note that this is not SU during development.

Consider changes made after the biobatch

► Components and composition

► Manufacturing (equipment, process)

► Batch size

► Manufacturing site changes

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Basic uses of SUPAC documents

  • PAC: post-PQ/post-approval, i.e. Variations

    Comparing the PQ’d/approved product to a changed product.

    In addition:

    This guideline can be used to determine whether strengths of a product can be considered proportional, if they are not strictly proportional (i.e. small changes in excipients between strengths).

    This allows for a decision as to whether in-vivo studies on only a single strength may be sufficient (proportional strength biowaiver).

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Introduction to SUPAC IR guidance

Immediate Release Solid Oral Dosage Forms

Scale-Up and Postapproval Changes: Chemistry,

Manufacturing, and Controls, In Vitro Dissolution Testing, and In Vivo Bioequivalence Documentation (1995)

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Introduction to SUPAC IR guidance

► Prepared by SUPAC expert working group (CDER)

► Result of:

◘ scale-up workshop by American Assoc of Pharmaceutical Scientists/USP convention/FDA

◘ research from universities of Maryland, Michigan an Uppsala

◘ International Society of Pharmaceutical Engineering (equipment addenda)

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Introduction to SUPAC IR guidance

SUPAC guidelines define:

1. Levels of change

2. Recommended chemistry, manufacturing and controls (CMC) for each level of change

3. In-vitro and/or in-vivo requirements for each level of change

4. Required documentation to support the change

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Introduction to SUPAC IR

Two key areas:

► Changes to components and composition

► Changes to manufacturing (equipment, process)

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Components and composition

Levels of change: likelihood of impact on formulation quality and performance

Level 1: unlikely to have detectable impact

Level 2: could have significant impact

Level 3: likely to have significant impact

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Components and composition

  • Level 1 changes: quantitative only (except IR: colour, flavour, ink; MR: + preservative).

  • Level 2 changes: quantitative > Level 1, plus any change in excipient grade (MR: + change in excipient specifications).

  • Level 3 changes: quantitative > Level 2, plus addition or deletion of an excipient (except for a colour, flavour, ink).

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Composition – Level 1 Changes

Level 1 changes

  • Addition or deletion of a colour or flavour, or change in an ink excipient (or preservative (MR))

  • Changes less than the following table level 1 column (expressed as percentage of the total formulation):

    [Note that total additive effect should not exceed 5% of total target FPP weight.]

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Composition – Level 2 Changes

Level 2 changes

  • Changes greater than level 1 but less than the following table (level 2 column).

  • Changes in the technical grade of an excipient e.g. Avicel PH102 vsAvicel PH200

  • BEWARE TRADE NAME CHANGES – some are actually qualitative changes, not just grade changes

    [Note that total additive effect should not exceed 10%of total target FPP weight.]

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Excipients - Note

Know your excipients:

  • Description

  • Grades (when provided)

  • Use in the formulation (e.g. MCC change stated to be diluent change, when formulation uses it as binder)

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Composition – Level 1/2 Changes

Excipient% Excipient


Filler ±5 ±10


Starch ±3 ±6

Other ±1 ±2

Binder ±0.5 ±1

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Composition – Level 1/2 Changes

Excipient% Excipient

Lubricant L1L2

Calcium (Ca) or

Magnesium (Mg) Stearate ±0.25 ±0.5

Other ±1 ±2


Talc ±1 ±2

Other ±0.1 ±0.2

Film Coat ±1 ±2


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Composition – Level 3 Changes

  • Any change beyond level 2 OR:

  • Any level 2 change for a BCS class 4 (low solubility and low permeability) or narrow therapeutic drug

  • Drugs not meeting the level 2 dissolution testing

    For both level 2 and level 3 changes, the therapeutic range, solubility and permeability are factors to consider.

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Recommended documentation – level 1

  • Stability testing: one batch on long-term stability data reported in annual report.

  • Supportive dissolution data: none

  • Supportive in-vivo bioequivalence testing: none

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Recommended documentation – level 2

  • Requirements for level 2 include stability testing, dissolution testing and possibly an in-vivo study (depending on the results of dissolution testing).

    IR guideline: the dissolution testing required depends on the BCS class of the API.

    MR guideline: the dissolution testing depends on the type of release of the FPP.

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Recommended documentation – level 3

  • Requirements for level 3 include stability testing, dissolution testing and an in-vivo study.

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Formulation changes - Example

Antimalarial product with formulation changes between the biolot and the proposed production lots

  • Lactose 4.05% (anh or monohydrate?)

  • Magnesium stearate 0.49%

  • Talc 1.94%

  • Colloidal silicon dioxide (SiO2) 1.62%

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Formulation changes - Example

  • Applicant states: “quantitative changes were only at the lubrication stage”

    Assessors consider excipients as follows:

  • Lactose 4.05% - filler - within level 1

  • Magnesium stearate 0.49% - lubricant – within level 2

  • Talc 1.94% - glidant – within level 2

  • Colloidal SiO2 – lubricant - 1.62% - within level 2

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Composition – Level 1/2 Changes

Excipient% Excipient

Lubricant L1L2

Calcium (Ca) or

Magnesium (Mg) Stearate ±0.25 ±0.5

Other ±1 ±2


Talc ±1 ±2

Other ±0.1 ±0.2

Film Coat ±1 ±2

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Formulation changes - Example

  • The API in the product was low solubility, therefore in addition to the above, the number of changes should be troubling, and three changes are level 2.

  • The lubricant magnesium stearate is hydrophobic and known to have a potential significant effect on dissolution (even used as control release agent in some formulations) and it is at the border of level 2, in addition to the changes in both glidants.

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SUPAC and Composition - Summary

SUPAC does:

► discuss relative changes in formulation

► discuss supporting data to support a change

► give an idea of how to consider various changes by looking at the change coupled with the API characteristics

SUPAC does not:

► substitute for critical thinking (e.g. formulation changes for modified release products)

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Manufacturing – Process Changes

  • Level 1: changes to parameters (e.g. mixing times, operating speeds) within application/validation ranges

  • Level 2: changes to parameters (e.g. mixing times, operating speeds) outside application/validation ranges

  • Level 3: change in the type of process, such as from granulation technique to direct compression of dry powder

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Manufacturing – Process Changes

Recommended documentation:

Level 1: one batch on long-term stability data reported in annual report.

Level 2: stability, dissolution

Level 3: stability, dissolution, and BE study

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Manufacturing – Equipment Changes

Equipment is categorized according to

  • Class: operating principle

  • Subclass: design characterization

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Equipment categorization

SUPAC equipment addenda:

◘ aid for considering equipment changes

◘ provides information on equipment categorized according to class (operating principle) and subclass (design characteristics)

◘ gives concise descriptions in context of other classes/subclasses

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Manufacturing – Equipment Changes

Divided by unit operation:

  • Blending and mixing

  • Drying

  • Particle size reduction/separation

  • Granulation

  • Unit dosing (tabletting, encapsulating, powder filling)

  • Coating and printing

  • Soft gelatin capsule encapsulation

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Example class/subclass:Blending and Mixing

Class: Diffusion (tumble) mixers:


  • V-blenders

  • Double Cone Blenders

  • Slant Cone Blenders

  • Cube Blenders

  • Bin Blenders

  • Horizontal/Vertical/Drum Blenders

  • Static Continuous Blenders

  • Dynamic Continuous Blenders

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Equipment categorization example

Class (operating principles) diffusion/tumble mixers:

Particles are reoriented in relation to one another when

they are placed in random motion and interparticular

friction is reduced as the result of bed expansion

(usually within a rotating container);

Subclasses (design characteristics) for diffusion mixers

are distinguished by geometric shape/positioning of axis

of rotation.

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Example class/subclass:Blending and Mixing

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Equipment categorization

Example: Gemco slant cone blender

Unit operation: blending and mixing

Class: diffusion (tumble) mixer

Subclass: slant cone blender

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Manufacturing – Equipment Changes

  • Level 1: 1) change from non-automated or non-mechanical equipment to automated or mechanical equipment to move ingredients; and 2) change to alternate equipment of the same design and operating principles of the same or of a different capacity.

  • Level 2: change to equipment of different design and different operating principles

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Manufacturing – Equipment Changes

“Applicants should carefully consider and evaluate on a case-by-case basis changes in equipment that are in the same class, but different subclass. In many situations, this type of change in equipment would be considered similar. For example, within the Blending and Mixing section, under the Diffusion Mixers Class, a change from a V-blender (sub-class) to a Bin tumbler (subclass) represents a change within a class and between sub-classes.”

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Manufacturing – Equipment Changes

Recommended documentation:

Level 1: one batch on long term stability

Level 2: stability, dissolution

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Equipment change - Example


Stokes tablet press and ribbon blender

Proposed production:

Gerteis roller compactor and Gallay in‑bin blender


same class (dry granulation), different subclass


different class (convection vs diffusion)

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Equipment change - Example

The equipment used to manufacture the bioequivalence batch is not considered representative of the equipment proposed for commercial manufacture. In order to establish that the equipment/process differences do not have an effect on the quality of the proposed full-scale tablets, the manufacture of one lot of at least pilot size using a Gallay In‑Bin blender and Gerteis Roller Compactor is required in order to gain approval. Executed batch records, comparative dissolution studies in 0.5% sodium lauryl sulfate and two additional media, and a certificate of analysis are required in order to meet this requirement. Data should be compared to that generated from the lot used in biostudies.

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Equipment change - Example

As no batches have been manufactured using the proposed commercial equipment, in order to obtain approval, you may provide blank master manufacturing documentation which proposes the use of equipment as used to manufacture the lot used for bioequivalence studies (i.e. Stokes tablet press and ribbon blender). A process validation protocol specific for these manufacturing documents should be provided. You are also requested to provide a commitment to submit a Variation containing information on executed batches should you wish to use the Gallay In-Bin Blender and Gerteis Roller Compactor in the future.

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Equipment addendum – Semi-solids

Equipment categorization differs from that for IR products:

Unit operations:

Particle size reduction/separation

Mixing: low/high shear convection, roller (mill), static mixers

(vs IR/MR: diffusion, convection, pneumatic)

Emulsification (dispersion of one liquid phase into another)



Packaging: holding, transfer, filling and sealing

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SUPAC limitations – Formulation/Manufacturing


► has not been updated (1995/97 for main guides, 1998/99 for equipment addenda)

► does not discuss multiple changes

► does not directly cover same class, different subclass for equipment

► does not cover modified equipment

► must be used in conjunction with other references, e.g. excipient handbook

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For new (to you) and unique situations:

  • Consult!

    ● Those with related experience

    ● Senior assessors

    ● BE assessors

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Go to:

► Drugs

► Guidance, Compliance & Regulatory Information

OR directly: