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New horizons in analytical method development and validation: An in-depth look at ICH guidelines Q2(R2) and Q14

Scientists working in the laboratory
Feb 21, 2024
8 minutes

The Verification of Medicinal Product Quality depends largely on the underlying analytical Methods. With the new ICH guidelines Q2(R2) and Q14, which come into force on 14 June 2024, the International Council for Harmonisation (ICH) is introducing more advanced standards for the development and validation of analytical methods. These changes mark a significant step towards improved quality control and efficiency in the pharmaceutical industry, placing a particular focus on a risk-based approach and the management of the entire life cycle of analytical procedures to ensure the safety and efficacy of medicines. This article takes a detailed look at the key objectives and scope of ICH Q2(R2) and Q14, highlighting their impact on analytical process development and validation.

Analytical procedures form the backbone of quality control in the pharmaceutical industry. They extend beyond simple quantification and include complex analyses to characterise drugs, identify impurities and monitor stability. This is critical to meet stringent regulatory requirements and support the continuous optimisation of manufacturing processes. By using advanced analytical techniques, insights into the molecular structure and interactions of drugs can be gained, which is essential for the development of safe and effective medicinal products.

However, the ability to adapt to new scientific findings and comply with constantly evolving regulatory requirements is a significant challenge. Ensuring precision under variable conditions while continuously improving analytical procedures requires a structured and science-based approach.

The revised ICH Q2(R2) and Q14 guidelines address these issues and provide a comprehensive framework for the development, validation, and lifecycle management of analytical methods.

ICH Q2(R2) – Groundbreaking innovations in analytical method validation!

The revision of the ICH Q2(R2) guideline represents an important extension to the original Q2(R1). This revision not only updates the approach to analytical method validation, but also sets new standards for precision, accuracy, and consistency in pharmaceutical analysis.

The main changes include:

1. expanded Validation Scope

  • Emphasis on cross-life cycle evaluation and monitoring of analytical procedures.
  • Inclusion of new and revised analytical methods for the release and stability testing of medicinal products.

2. detailed Validation Tests

  • Requirements for performing specific validation tests, including precision, accuracy, and specificity.
  • Guidance on the evaluation of detection and quantification limits, linearity, and range.

3. risk-based Approach

  • Promotion of a risk-based approach to validation for improvement of analytical procedure’s efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Adaptability to technological developments and regulatory requirements.

4. promotion of the robustness of analytical processes

  • Development Support for reliable analytical methods that ensure consistent product quality.
  • Facilitation of analytical methods conversion and amendment after approval through clear guidelines.

The introduction of ICH Q2(R2) supports the pharmaceutical industry in developing and applying analytical procedures that meet high quality and safety standards. By providing a clear framework for validation, the guideline contributes to a more efficient and scientifically sound approval practice.

Standards that have long been set by regulatory authorities, e.g. with regard to linearity, are now officially included in the ICH standards.

Through direct reference to the ICH Q14 guideline, the development of analytical methods is already decisively integrated as a qualitative course-setter.

ICH Q14: More innovative development of analytical methods!

In parallel, the International Council for Harmonisation (ICH) is introducing the ICH Q14 guideline, which prescribes innovative principles for the development of analytical methods. The focus is on the Analytical Target Profile (ATP), which serves as a guideline for method development to meet the qualitative requirements.

The Q14 guideline emphasises a scientific and risk-based approach, evaluating the robustness and parameter ranges of methods to ensure their reliability and performance. This approach not only promotes efficiency and reliability in pharmaceutical analysis, but also the continuous improvement of procedures.

By accentuating life cycle management, ICH Q14 helps to adapt analytical procedures to new technological advances and scientific knowledge, which improves the quality and safety of medicinal products.

Targeted expertise for analytical excellence!

The ICH Q2(R2) and Q14 guidelines represent a significant advance in the development and validation of analytical methods. They reinforce and specify the concept of life cycle management and risk-based approaches for analytical methods. They provide detailed instructions for the development and validation of analytical methods, helping companies to ensure the quality assurance of their products and accelerate time to market.

As your specialists in Quality Control, Quality Assurance and Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP), TentaConsult Pharma&Med GmbH is at your side with comprehensive expertise.

Our team of experienced specialists has the necessary know-how to ensure that your analytical procedures not only meet current scientific standards, but also comply with regulatory requirements efficiently and effectively.

We offer advice and support in the implementation of ICH Q2(R2) and Q14 guidelines to optimize the quality control of your products.

Please do not hesitate to contact us.

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Ronja Loy
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