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Implementation of a fully integrated continuous manufacturing line for direct compression and coating at a commercial pharmaceutical facility – Part 1: Operational considerations and control strategy

By Conway, Stephen L.; Rosas, Juan G.; Overton, Paul; Tugby, Neil; Cryan, Phillip; Witulski, Frank; Hurley, Samantha; Wareham, Laura; Tantuccio, Anthony; Ramasamy, Manoharan; Lalloo, Anita; Gibbs, Mason; Meyer, Robert F.

Published on CMKC

Abstract

We implement a fully integrated continuous manufacturing (CM) line for direct compression and coating of a pharmaceutical oral solid dosage form in a commercial production facility. In this first paper of a two-part series, we describe process design and operational choices made to introduce CM using infrastructure originally intended for batch operations. Consistent with lean manufacturing principles, we select equipment, facilities, and novel process analytical technologies that meet production agility goals alongside an existing batch process. Choices address process risks, are aligned with existing quality systems, yet allow exploration of CM agility benefits in commercial operations. We outline how operating procedures, control schemes, and release criteria from the historical batch process are adapted for CM with modified lot and yield definitions based on patient demand. We devise a hierarchy of complementary controls including real-time process interrogation, predictive residence time distribution models of tablet concentration, real-time product release testing using automated tablet NIR spectroscopy, active rejection and diversion, and throughput-based sampling. Results from lots produced under normal operational conditions confirm our CM process provides assurance of product quality. Qualification strategies to achieve lot size flexibility aims are also described. Finally, we consider CM extensions to formulations with differing risk profiles. Further analysis of results for lots produced under normal operational conditions is provided in part 2 (Rosas et al., 2023).

Journal

International Journal of Pharmaceutics. Volume 642, 2023, 122820

DOI

10.1016/j.ijpharm.2023.122820

Type of publication

Peer-reviewed journal

Affiliations

  • Merck & Co. Inc
  • Merck Sharp & Dohme (UK) 

Article Classification

Research Article

Classification Areas

  • Intermediate
  • Process Analytical Technologies

Tags