Product changeovers (PCO): Guidelines for risk based changeover of biopharmaceutical multi-product facilities

In multi-product biopharma facilities, the protection from product contamination due to the manufacture of multiple products simultaneously is paramount to assure product quality. To that end, the use of traditional changeover methods (elastomer change-out, full sampling, etc.) have been widely used within the industry and have been accepted by regulatory agencies. However, with the endorsement of Quality Risk Management, the use of risk-based approaches may be applied to assess and continuously improve established changeover processes. All processes, including changeover,can be improved with investment (money/resources), parallel activities, equipment design improvements, and standardization. However, processes can also be improved by eliminating waste. For product changeover,waste is any activity not needed for the new process or that does not provide added assurance of the quality of the subsequent product. The application of a risk-based approach to changeover aligns with the principles of Quality Risk Management. Through the use of risk assessments, the appropriate changeover controls can be identified and controlled to assure product quality ismaintained. Likewise, the use of risk assessments and risk-based approaches may be used to improve operational efficiency,reduce waste, and permit concurrent manufacturing of products.

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