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Regulatory authorities require an Extractables and Leachables (E&L) risk assessment for all materials in contact with the drug product throughout the drug product’s lifecycle. Components used for primary packaging, like glass vials and rubbers stoppers, are commonly viewed as high risk due to the extended contact time between the components and the drug product. Leachable compounds from packaging components pose a risk to a drug’s quality and to patient safety. As a result, primary packaging components require a thorough assessment to ensure patient safety and drug product efficacy. Additionally, poor or incomplete assessments could lead to requests for significant rework and additional testing from regulatory authorities. 

The challenges with E&L assessments are multiple. Although there are published guidance documents (e.g., USP <1663>, USP <1664>, ISO-10993) and working groups in progress of publishing new guidance documents (ICH is currently working on updating ICH Q3E, the ICH guideline on Extractables and Leachables) there is no set prescription on how to execute an E&L assessment. Drug Packaging developers are under internal pressure to execute E&L studies that are often viewed as “checkbox” activities quickly and inexpensively while somehow still satisfying the scrutiny of regulatory bodies. 

In this webinar we will suggest a low-risk strategy for a complete E&L assessment on common components found in primary packaging. This strategy will include information to assist drug packaging developers with the many decisions they will need to make throughout the E&L assessment. The information will touch on both executing and planning the E&L risk assessment from a big picture down to details around the set-up, extraction techniques, analytical techniques and data interpretation required for both elastomers and glass. Additionally, exemplary results from case studies will be shared. 

If you work for a start-up or emerging company and are in the process of developing a biologic drug, don’t miss this opportunity to learn how to mitigate risk by planning and starting the assessment early to avoid mistakes that cause extra time, resources or even delays in approval. 


Bettine Boltres

Dr. Bettine Boltres

Director Scientific Affairs & Technical Solutions, Glass Systems

As Director Scientific Affairs & Technical Solutions, Glass Systems, Dr. Bettine Boltres is supporting the scientific exchange between West and the pharmaceutical industry. This is complementing her work as Product Manager for Schott Pharmaceutical Tubing, where she provided scientific consulting for glass primary packaging. Bettine is an active member of the USP Packaging and Distribution Expert Committee, the European Pharmacopoeia Commission Group of Experts 16 (elastomers and plastics) and the GLS Working Party (glass). She is Convenor of the ISO Working Group 4 (Elastomers) and member of the Working Group 2 (glass). Additionally, Bettine is on the PDA Board of Directors and in 2015 she published the book “When Glass Meets Pharma”, which builds the bridge between glass for pharmaceutical primary packaging and drug substances. Dr. Boltres is a (bio)chemist by training, receiving a diploma in chemistry from the university of Frankfurt, Germany and a PhD in biochemistry from the university of Cologne, Germany
Matthew Woods

Matthew Woods

Manager West Services and Solutions, Extractables and Leachables, Particle

Matt Woods started with West in 2019 as the extractables supervisor after serving as both an analyst and a supervisor for a CRO for 13 years. Currently, Mr. Woods’ role is manager of the extractables and leachables group where he leads West’s team of 20 dedicated extractables and leachables scientists. Mr. Woods’ focus is partnering with internal and external customers to design and execute extractables and leachables studies to satisfy both the customer’s needs as well as regulatory expectations. Mr. Woods has extensive experience designing studies for a wide range of drug products and packaging systems including combination products and medical devices. Mr. Woods has a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and molecular biology from Lebanon Valley College.