- Delivery Method:
- Via Email
Recipient NameDonato B. Polignone
Recipient TitleChief Executive Officer/Founder
- NuGeneration Technologies LLC
1155 Park Avenue
Emeryville, CA 94608
- Issuing Office:
- Division of Pharmaceutical Quality Operations IV
March 13, 2023
Dear Mr. Polignone:
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration inspected your drug manufacturing facility, NuGeneration Technologies LLC., FEI 3004943112, at 1155 Park Avenue in Emeryville, California from September 14 to September 22, 2022.
This warning letter summarizes significant violations of Current Good Manufacturing Practice (CGMP) regulations for finished pharmaceuticals. See Title 21 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), parts 210 and 211 (21 CFR parts 210 and 211).
Because your methods, facilities, or controls for manufacturing, processing, packing, or holding do not conform to CGMP, your drug products are adulterated within the meaning of section 501(a)(2)(B) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act), 21 U.S.C. 351(a)(2)(B).
We reviewed your October 12, 2022 response to our Form FDA 483 in detail. Your response is inadequate because it did not provide sufficient detail or evidence of corrective actions to bring your operations into compliance with CGMP.
During our inspection, our investigator observed specific violations including, but not limited to, the following.
1. Your firm failed to have, for each batch of drug product, appropriate laboratory determination of satisfactory conformance to final specifications for the drug product, including the identity and strength of each active ingredient, prior to release (21 CFR 211.165(a)).
Your firm failed to conduct adequate release testing of your NuRinse Hand Sanitizer drug product1. You only conducted (b)(4), and (b)(4) testing prior to release. Full release testing, which includes strength and identity testing of the active ingredient (e.g., ethanol), and appropriate impurity and microbiological testing, must be performed before drug product release and distribution. Without adequate testing, you do not have adequate scientific evidence to assure that your drug products conform to appropriate specifications before release.
In response to this letter, provide:
- A list of chemical and microbial test methods and specifications used to analyze each lot of your drug product before making a lot disposition decision, and the associated written procedures.
- A comprehensive, independent assessment of your laboratory practices, procedures, methods, equipment, documentation, and analyst competencies. Based on this review, provide a detailed plan to remediate and evaluate the effectiveness of your laboratory system.
2. Your firm failed to test samples of each component for identity and conformity with all appropriate written specifications for purity, strength, and quality. Your firm also failed to validate and establish the reliability of your component supplier’s test analyses at appropriate intervals (21 CFR 211.84(d)(1) and211.84(d)(2)).
Your firm failed to test incoming active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) (e.g., ethanol) and other components (e.g., deionized (DI) water) used to manufacture over-the-counter drug products to determine their identity, purity, strength, and other appropriate quality attributes. Additionally, you have not shown that your water system can consistently produce water suitable for drug manufacturing, and, at a minimum, meets the USP monograph for Purified Water and appropriate microbial limits.
Inadequate API Testing
Your firm relied on the COA from unqualified suppliers of ethanol. This component is used as an active ingredient in the manufacture of your NuRinse Hand Sanitizer drug product. CGMP requires identity testing for each component lot used in drug product manufacturing, and you can only rely on the COA for other component attributes by appropriately validating the supplier’s test results at appropriate intervals. You also failed to appropriately test your incoming ethanol, used as an active ingredient, for methanol.
The use of ethanol contaminated with methanol has resulted in various lethal poisoning incidents in humans worldwide. See FDA’s guidance document Policy for Testing of Alcohol (Ethanol) and Isopropyl Alcohol for Methanol, Including During the Public Health Emergency (COVID-19) to help you meet the CGMP requirements when manufacturing drugs containing ethanol at https://www.fda.gov/media/145262/download.
Inadequate Component Water
Your firm has not shown that your DI water is suitable for aqueous-based dosage form drug product manufacturing, and, at a minimum, meets the USP Purified Water monograph and appropriate microbials limits. Your firm lacked sufficient testing of your DI water system. For example, you failed to appropriately test for total organic carbon or microbial organisms, and you failed to ensure that your conductivity results are accurate and recorded.
Without routine water monitoring of an appropriately designed system, you cannot ensure that your water meets minimum microbiological and chemical standards suitable for the manufacture of your drug products.
In response to this letter, provide:
- A comprehensive, independent review of your material system to determine whether all suppliers of components, containers, and closures, are each qualified and the materials are assigned appropriate expiration or retest dates. The review should also determine whether incoming material controls are adequate to prevent use of unsuitable components, containers, and closures.
- The chemical and microbiological quality control specifications you use to test and release each incoming lot of component for use in manufacturing.
- A description of how you will test each component lot for conformity with all appropriate specifications for identity, strength, quality, and purity. If you intend to accept any results from your supplier’s COA instead of testing each component lot for strength, quality, and purity, specify how you will robustly establish the reliability of your supplier’s results through initial validation as well as periodic re-validation. In addition, include a commitment to always conduct at least one specific identity test for each incoming component lot.
- A thorough remediation plan to install and operate a suitable water system. Include a robust ongoing control, maintenance, and monitoring program to ensure the remediated system consistently produces water adhering to Purified Water, USP monograph specifications and appropriate microbial limits.
- Regarding the latter, ensure that your total microbial count limit for water is appropriate in view of the intended use of the products produced by your firm.
- A detailed risk assessment addressing the potential effects of the observed water system failures on the quality of all drug product lots currently in U.S. distribution or within expiry. Specify actions that you will take in response to the risk assessment, such as customer notifications and product recalls.
3. Your firm failed to establish and follow an adequate written testing program designed to assess the stability characteristics of drug products and to use results of stability testing to determine appropriate storage conditions and expiration dates (21 CFR 211.166(a)).
Your firm lacked stability data to support the expiration dates for your NuRinse Hand Sanitizer drug product currently in distribution. Without an adequate stability program, you cannot confirm that your drug product will meet established specifications and all pre-determined quality criteria throughout their shelf life.
In response to this letter, provide:
- A comprehensive, independent assessment and corrective action and preventive action (CAPA) plan to ensure the adequacy of your stability program. Your remediated program should include, but not be limited to:
o Stability-indicating methods
o Stability studies for each drug product in its marketed container-closure system before distribution is permitted
o An ongoing program in which representative batches of each product are added each year to the program to determine if the shelf-life claim remains valid
- A comprehensive, independent assessment of your water system design, control, and maintenance.
o Detailed definition of the specific attributes to be tested at each station(timepoint)
- All procedures that describe these and other elements of your remediated stability program.
4. Your firm failed to establish adequate written procedures for production and process control designed to assure that the drug products you manufacture have the identity, strength, quality, and purity they purport or are represented to possess (21 CFR 211.100(a)).
Your firm failed to validate the manufacturing process for NuRinse Hand Sanitizer drug product currently in distribution.
Process validation evaluates the soundness of design and state of control of a process throughout its lifecycle. Each significant stage of a manufacturing process must be designed appropriately and assure the quality of raw material inputs, in-process materials, and finished drugs. Process qualification studies determine whether an initial state of control has been established. Successful process qualification studies are necessary before commercial distribution. Thereafter, ongoing vigilant oversight of process performance and product quality is necessary to ensure you maintain a stable manufacturing operation throughout the product lifecycle.
See FDA’s guidance document Process Validation: General Principles and Practices for general principles and approaches that FDA considers appropriate elements of process validation at https://www.fda.gov/media/71021/download.
In response to this letter, provide:
- A detailed summary of your validation program for ensuring a state of control throughout the product lifecycle, along with associated procedures. Describe your program for process performance qualification, and ongoing monitoring of both intra-batch and inter-batch variation to ensure a continuing state of control.
- A timeline for performing appropriate process performance qualification for each of your marketed drug products.
- Include your process performance protocol(s), and written procedures for qualification of equipment and facilities.
- Provide a detailed program for designing, validating, maintaining, controlling, and monitoring each of your manufacturing processes that includes vigilant monitoring of intra-batch and inter-batch variation to ensure an ongoing state of control. Also, include your program for qualification of your equipment and facility.
- An assessment of each drug product process to ensure that there is a data-driven and scientifically sound program that identifies and controls all sources of variability, such that your production processes, and will consistently meet appropriate specifications and manufacturing standards. This includes, but is not limited to, evaluating suitability of equipment for its intended use, sufficiency of detectability in your monitoring and testing systems, quality of input materials, and reliability of each manufacturing process step and control.
- Timelines for completed process performance qualification for marketed drug products.
Your firm’s quality systems are inadequate. See FDA’s guidance document Quality Systems Approach to Pharmaceutical CGMP Regulations for help implementing quality systems and risk management approaches to meet the requirements of CGMP regulations 21 CFR, parts 210 and 211 at https://www.fda.gov/regulatory-information/search-fda-guidance-documents/quality-systems-approach-pharmaceutical-current-good-manufacturing-practice-regulations.
CGMP Consultant Recommended
Based upon the nature of the violations we identified at your firm, we strongly recommend engaging a consultant qualified as set forth in 21 CFR 211.34 to assist your firm in meeting CGMP requirements. Your use of a consultant does not relieve your firm’s obligation to comply with CGMP. Your firm’s executive management remains responsible for resolving all deficiencies and systemic flaws to ensure ongoing CGMP compliance.
Use of Contract Manufacturers
Drugs must be manufactured in conformance with CGMP. FDA is aware that many drug manufacturers use independent contractors such as production facilities, testing laboratories, packagers, and labelers. FDA regards contractors as extensions of the manufacturer.
You are responsible for the quality of your drugs regardless of agreements in place with your contract facility. You are required to ensure that drugs are made in accordance with section 501(a)(2)(B) of the FD&C Act to ensure safety, identity, strength, quality, and purity. See FDA’s guidance document Contract Manufacturing Arrangements for Drugs: Quality Agreements at https://www.fda.gov/regulatory-information/search-fda-guidance-documents/contract-manufacturing-arrangements-drugs-quality-agreements-guidance-industry.
The violations cited in this letter are not intended to be an all-inclusive list of violations that exist at your facility. You are responsible for investigating and determining the causes of any violations and for preventing their recurrence or the occurrence of other violations.
Correct any violations promptly. Failure to promptly and adequately address this matter may result in regulatory or legal action without further notice including, without limitation, seizure, and injunction. Unresolved violations may also prevent other Federal agencies from awarding contracts.
Failure to address violations may also cause FDA to withhold issuance of Export Certificates. FDA may withhold approval of new applications or supplements listing your firm as a drug manufacturer until any violations are completely addressed and we confirm your compliance with CGMP. We may re-inspect to verify that you have completed corrective actions to address any violations.
This letter notifies you of our findings and provides you an opportunity to address the above deficiencies. After you receive this letter, respond to this office in writing within 15 working days. Specify what you have done to address any violations and to prevent their recurrence. In response to this letter, you may provide additional information for our consideration as we continue to assess your activities and practices. If you cannot complete corrective actions within 15 working days, state your reasons for delay and your schedule for completion.
Send your electronic reply to ORAPHARM4_Responses@FDA.HHS.GOV or mail your reply to:
CDR Steven E. Porter, Jr.
Director, Division of Pharmaceutical Quality Operations IV
U.S. Food & Drug Administration
19701 Fairchild Road
Irvine, California 92612-2506
Please identify your response with unique identifier 645821.
If you have any further questions, please contact Compliance Officer Nayan J. Patel by email at Nayan.Patel1@fda.hhs.gov or by phone at (303) 236-3010.
Steven E. Porter, Jr.
Program Division Director
Division of Pharmaceutical Quality Operations IV
1 Due to an increased demand for alcohol-based hand sanitizers during the COVID-19 pandemic, the FDA published the Guidance for Industry: Temporary Policy for Preparation of Certain Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizer Products During the Public Health Emergency (COVID-19) on March 19, 2020, and subsequently updated the guidance several times. This guidance communicated the agency’s temporary policy that we did not intend to take action against firms for CGMP violations under section 501(a)(2)(B) of the FD&C Act if such firms prepared alcohol-based hand sanitizers for consumer use (or for use as a health care personnel hand rub) during the public health emergency, provided certain circumstances described in the guidance were present. These circumstances included preparation of hand sanitizer products using only the ingredients and formulas set forth in the guidance. The guidance was withdrawn effective December 31, 2021 (86 Fed Reg at 56960). Because NuGeneration Technologies LLC.’s hand sanitizer products were not prepared under the circumstances described in this guidance, they do not fall within any temporary agency policy not to take action against firms manufacturing hand sanitizer products for violations of section 501(a)(2)(B) of the FD&C Act.