WHO Guidelines for Technology Transfer in Pharmaceuticals - Industrial Pharmacy II B. Pharma 7th semester PDF Notes




• These guiding principles on transfer of technology are intended to serve as a framework which can be applied in a flexible manner rather than as strict rigid guidance

• Focus has been placed on the quality aspects, in line with WHO’s mandate


The definitions given apply to the terms given in these guidelines. They may have different meanings in other contexts

Acceptance criteria

• Measurable terms under which a test result will be considered acceptable

• Numerical limits, ranges, or other suitable measures for acceptance of the results of analytical procedures

Active pharmaceutical ingredient (API)

• Any substance or mixture of substances intended to be used in the manufacture of a pharmaceutical dosage form and that, when so used, becomes an active ingredient of that pharmaceutical dosage form

• Such substances are intended to furnish pharmacological activity or other direct effect in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease or to affect the structure and function of the body


An experimental design to test only the extremes of, for example, dosage strength. The design assumes that the extremes will be representative of all the samples between the extreme

Change control (C/C)

• A formal system by which qualified representatives of appropriate disciplines review proposed or actual changes that might affect a validated status

• The intent is to determine the need for action that would ensure that the system is maintained in a validated state


• The installation, testing, operation and maintenance of equipment or a system to ensure that it meets all the requirements, as specified in the user requirement specification, and capacities as specified by the designer or developer

• Commissioning is carried out before qualification and validation

Control strategy

• A planned set of controls, derived from current product and process understanding, that assures process performance and product quality

• The controls can include parameters and attributes related to materials and components related to drug substances and drug product materials and components, facility and equipment operating conditions, in-process controls, finished product specifications, and the associated methods and frequency of monitoring and control

Corrective action (C/A)

• Any action to be taken when the results of monitoring at a critical control point indicate a loss of control


• Having the potential to impact on product quality or performance in a significant way

Critical control point (CCP)

• A step at which control can be applied and is essential to prevent or eliminate a pharmaceutical quality hazard or to reduce it to an acceptable level

Design space

The multidimensional combination and interaction of input variables (e.g. material attributes) and process parameters that have been demonstrated to provide assurance of quality

Drug master file (DMF)

• Detailed information concerning a specific facility, process or product submitted to the medicines regulatory authority, intended for incorporation into the application for marketing authorization

Finished pharmaceutical product (FPP)

• A product that has undergone all stages of production, including packaging in its final container and labelling. An FPP may contain one or more APIs

Good manufacturing practices (GMP)

That part of quality assurance which ensures that pharmaceutical products are consistently produced and controlled to the quality standards appropriate to their intended use and as required by the marketing authorization

In-process control (IPC)

• Checks performed during production in order to monitor and, if necessary, to adjust the process to ensure that the product conforms to its specifications

• The control of the environment or equipment may also be regarded as a part of in-process control

Intercompany transfer

A transfer of technology between sites of different companies

Intracompany transfer

A transfer of technology between sites of the same group of companies

Quality control (QC)

Quality control covers all measures taken, including the setting of specifications, sampling, testing and analytical clearance, to ensure that starting materials, intermediates, packaging materials and finished pharmaceutical products conform with established specifications for identity, strength, purity and other characteristics.

Quality planning

Part of quality management focused on setting quality objectives and specifying necessary operational processes and related resources to fulfil the quality objectives

Quality policy

Overall intentions and direction of an organization related to quality as formally expressed by senior management

Quality risk management (QRM)

Quality risk management is a systematic process for the assessment, control, communication and review of risks to the quality of the pharmaceutical product throughout the product life-cycle

Receiving unit (RU)

The involved disciplines at an organization where a designated product, process or method is expected to be transferred

Sending unit (SU)

The involved disciplines at an organization from where a designated product, process or method is expected to be transferred

Gap analysis

Identification of critical elements of a process which are available at the SU but are missing from the RU


The addition of a known amount of a compound to a standard, sample or placebo, typically for the purpose of confirming the performance of an analytical procedure

Standard operating procedure (SOP)

• An authorized written procedure giving instructions for performing operations not necessarily specific to a given product or material (e.g. equipment operation, maintenance and cleaning, validation, cleaning of premises and environmental control, sampling and inspection).

• Certain SOPs may be used to supplement product-specific master and batch production documentation

Technology transfer report

• A documented summary of a specific technology transfer project listing procedures, acceptance criteria, results achieved and conclusions

• Any deviation should be discussed and justified


Action of proving and documenting that any process, procedure or method actually and consistently leads to the expected results

Validation US-FDA definition

“Establishing documented evidence which provides a high degree of assurance that a specific process will consistently produce a product meeting its pre-determined specifications and quality attributes”

Process Validation

Documented evidence which provides a high degree of assurance that a specific process will consistently result in a product that meets its predetermined specifications and quality characteristics

It is a pre-production activity

Validation master plan (VMP)

• A high-level document that establishes an umbrella validation plan for the entire project and summarizes the manufacturer’s overall philosophy and approach, to be used for establishing performance adequacy.

• It provides information on the manufacturer’s validation work programme and defines details of and timescales for the validation work to be performed, including a statement of the responsibilities of those implementing the plan

Validation protocol (or plan) (VP)

A document describing the activities to be performed in a validation, including the acceptance criteria for the approval of a manufacturing process — or a part thereof — for routine use

Validation report (VR)

A document in which the records, results and evaluation of a completed validation programme are assembled and summarized. It may also contain proposals for the improvement of processes and or equipment


• Action of proving and documenting that any premises, systems and equipment are properly installed, and/or work correctly and lead to the expected results

• Qualification is often a part (the initial stage) of validation, but the individual qualification steps alone do not constitute process validation

Equipment Qualification

It is a basic requirement of good analytical chemistry that balances and other analytical instruments must be suitable for the purpose for which they are used and that they must be appropriately calibrated

Stages of equipment qualification

• Design qualification (DQ)

• Installation Qualification (IQ)

• Operational Qualification (OQ)

• Performance Qualification (PQ)

• Maintenance Qualification (MQ)

• Component qualification (CQ)

• Re- qualification (RQ)

Stages of Validation

Design Qualification (DQ)

Design qualification (DQ) is documented evidence that the premises, supporting systems, utilities, equipment and processes have been designed in accordance with the requirements of good manufacturing practices (GMP)

Design Qualification (DQ)

Is necessary when planning and choosing EQ or systems to ensure that components selected will have adequate capacity to function for the intended purpose, and will adequately serve the operations or functions of another piece of EQ or operation

DQ states what the laboratory wants the instrument to do and shows that the selected instrument is suitable

Design Qualification (DQ) considerations

• Capabilities

E.g. Centrifuge- speed, capacity and temperature

• Requirements

E.g. Voltage, operational specifications, requirements to work with existing equipments

• Features

E.g. ease of cleaning, self-calibrating, PC interface


• Ultra-Fast Scan

• USB memory stick

• Hardware Design Based on Ergonomics

• A Diversity of Measurement Modes

• Easy to Operate, Obtain Answers Easily and Rapidly


•Resolution of 1 nm

•Stray light is at 0.5 % max. (198 nm), twice as low as the performance level of the UV-1800. With this stray light reduction, accurate measurements are possible up to the vicinity of 2 Abs even in the ultraviolet region

•The correlation coefficient is 0.9997, and correct measured values are obtained even in the vicinity of 2 Abs

Installation Qualification (IQ)

Installation Qualification (IQ) ensures that a balance or instrument is received as designed and specified and installed in the selected user environment

• Installation qualification (IQ) is the process of checking the installation, to ensure that the components meet the approved specification and are installed correctly, and to see how that information is recorded 

• IQ establishes that the instrument is received as designed and specified, that it is properly installed in the selected environment, and that this environment is suitable for the operation and use of the instrument.

Before installation

- Obtain manufacturer's recommendations for installation site requirements.

- Check the site for the fulfillment of the manufacturer's recommendations (utilities such as electricity, water and gases plus environmental conditions such as humidity, temperature, vibration level and dust).

- Allow sufficient shelf space for the equipment itself, related SOPs, operating manuals, logbooks and software.

Operation Qualification (OQ)

Operational Qualification (OQ) demonstrates that a balance or instrument will function according to its operational specification in the selected environment

• Establishing confidence that process equipment and sub-systems are capable of consistently operating within stated limits and tolerances

• Tests whether the equipment functions in the same way as described by the manufacturer

Performance Qualification (PQ)

Performance Qualification (PQ) demonstrates that a balance or instrument consistently performs according to a specification appropriate to its routine use

• Performance Qualifications are a collection of test cases used to verify that a system performs as expected under simulated real-world conditions

• Appropriate testing that the finished product or process produced by a specified process meets all release requirements for functionality and safety and that procedures are effective and reproducible

• PQ should be performed on a daily (or at least a weekly) basis, or whenever the instrument is used. The test frequency depends not only on the stability of the equipment but also on everything in the system that may contribute to the analysis results.

1. Define the performance criteria and test procedures.

2. Select critical parameters.

3. Define the test intervals.

Maintenance Qualification (MQ)

Maintenance Qualification (MQ) describes and documents any maintenance required on the equipment

•The MQ describes and documents any maintenance required on the equipment

• This includes routine servicing and any repairs necessary.

•Details of any maintenance contracts are also documented in this section, together with a list of authorized service engineers

• In addition, the MQ includes the routine cleaning of the equipment and also its ultimate disposal.

Component Qualification (CQ)

• Component qualification (CQ) – is a relatively new term developed in 2005. This term refers to the manufacturing of auxiliary components to ensure that they are manufactured to the correct design criteria.

• This could include packaging components such as folding cartons, shipping cases, labels or even phase change material.

• All of these components must have some type of random inspection to ensure that the third party manufacturer's process is consistently producing components that are used in the world of GMP at drug or biologic manufacturer.

Instrument Re-Qualification

• Instrument Validation should not be viewed as a one-off event

– Confidence in analytical results is required for the whole of the instrument’s working life.

• To ensure that this confidence is retained, the instrument validation process should be repeated at regular intervals during the instruments operational life.

• The difference between Installation Validation and Re-Qualification is that IQ is omitted for the Re-Qualification

• Re-Qualification should be performed at least annually and should be performed more frequently for applications whose test results have critical implications

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