BiocompCHATibility

BiocompCHATibility

BiocompCHATibility Podcast, Presented by NAMSA Unforeseen challenges and roadblocks are often present when managing and conducting medical device biological safety programs. Join NAMSA for a first-of-its-type podcast series, “BiocompCHATibility,” as each episode features leading industry experts and discussion on how to proactively address specific medical device evaluation scenarios, regulatory expectations and new testing methodologies. read less
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Episodes

Chemistry with the MFDS
Nov 14 2023
Chemistry with the MFDS
In this episode, our hosts are joined by Charles Ducker, PhD (NAMSA's Senior Director of Analytical Services) who recently returned from Korea, where he provided training to the MFDS (Ministry of Food and Drug Safety) about ISO 10993-18. Throughout this discussion, we review the use of the standard and how it is adopted by Korean authorities. We also explore the challenges that lie ahead for device developers and testing labs.“I think they [MFDS] were maybe surprised at the complexity. Laying out the information you have on your materials and the knowledge that you already have that may not lead to doing testing.” – Dr. Charles Ducker“They were interested in how to apply ISO 10993-1 and how you apply ISO 10993-18 to the standard. And they want to know how to assess whether a laboratory has conducted the test appropriately.” – Dr. Charles Ducker“One of the things I thought was very interesting… around Part 18, was what is different now versus the outdated version, and what changes came about. We had a lot of discussion about what is required and one of the big ones was AET [Analytical Evaluation Threshold] and how we calculate it.” – Dr. Charles Ducker“Also, about how we qualify methods, what components go into that and what data you have to have behind the scenes to support the fact that your methods are appropriate for the intended use.” – Dr. Charles DuckerTopics include:Korea’s current position with the use of ISO 10993-18Qualification of a laboratory for chemical characterization testingSolvents and temperatures, and the justifications for each
FDA Thoughts On Chemical Characterization
Mar 28 2022
FDA Thoughts On Chemical Characterization
In this episode, our hosts are joined by NAMSA Associate, Dr. Darin Kent, and second-time guest, Dr Ted Heise, to discuss the new paper released by the FDA and the American Chemical Society. The intention of this latest FDA publication is to examine specific topics that promote continuous discussion around the disparities between where the industry currently stands and how alignment and proper development may occur. Listen in as these industry experts explore the topics covered by the FDA within this document, as well as the challenges faced by medical device manufacturers and testing laboratories regarding chemical characterization testing. They also examine how the FDA fared in the attempt to answer many industry questions.Discussion points include:Thoughts on where to go from hereFDA’s perspective on alignment in the industry“State-of-the-art” and where that has us today with the chemical characterization of medical devices“The paper really is more about what is being done in devices and what is known about the work in devices.” – Ted Heise“It’s striking really, the lack of literature out there about how these technologies and ideas could be used in an NTA [non-targeted analysis] type situation.” – Darin Kent“There’s a fundamental need for basic research.” – Darin Kent“In terms of giving solutions of how to deal with the challenges, I think it’s less true and part of that is simply that the state-of-the-art is just not well enough developed.” – TedHeise“It provides arrows pointing to potential solutions.” – Darin Kent“Does current state-of-the-art product devices that are safe or are there areas we have not uncovered yet?” – Don Pohl“What we do better in characterizing medical devices has to bring additional value.” – Ted Heise“One of the concerns is the level of burden that is imposed by the expectations wrapped up in this work.” – Ted HeiseYou can access the full FDA publication for a fee through here: Chemical Characterization and Non-targeted Analysis of Medical Device Extracts: A Review of Current Approaches, Gaps, and Emerging Practices.
Biological Equivalency:  When is “same” the same?
Nov 22 2021
Biological Equivalency: When is “same” the same?
In this episode, our hosts are joined by NAMSA Toxicologist, Michelle Kelly, to discuss the ever-elusive biological equivalency claim. The discussion focuses on how to maintain the balance of the risk and benefit of a medical device without stalling innovation. We also explore equivalency and how it is not only a key concept to the risk analysis but also a challenging concept to prove.“This is often a controversial topic.” – Sheri Krajewski“You not only have to think about equivalency per 10993-1, but also think about it as one aspect of equivalency that is sitting in the MDR.” – Don Pohl“Equivalency is one of the key principles that sits in 10993-1.” – Don Pohl“To think of equivalence as a concept rather than an equation is the best thing to do.” – Michelle Kelly“We have that word “same” sneaking up on us. I can see that being interpreted differently by reviewers and regulators.” – Don Pohl“When we developed it [Annex C of 10993-18], we were trying to define toxicological equivalence to help out the working group writing 10993-17.” – Michelle Kelly Discussion points include:      Equivalence in the 10993 Series, including ISO 10993-18 Annex C      Equivalence under the MDR      Variances in the EU from one Notified Body to another      Challenges with demonstrating and establishing overall MDR equivalence      The concept of “same” and how it is interpreted by regulators
Biocomp and Beer
Aug 9 2021
Biocomp and Beer
In its third year, the North American Biocompatibility Summit (NABS) is a limited-seating event that provides industry insights and expertise sharing on the biocompatibility of medical devices. This year, sessions will include the latest regulatory updates, biological evaluation strategies, and best practices that lead to successful biocompatibility programs in 2021 and beyond. In this episode, our hosts discuss this upcoming event and what attendees can expect. This includes details on the NABS Scientific Advisory Board, abstract submissions, and how the Board determined what educational opportunities to offer. Listeners will learn more about featured topics, including the overall theme that emerged from the abstracts.“The topics are universal to all medical devices.” Don Pohl“We receive enough abstracts that we have more than enough to choose from and it’s interesting to see the trends in the industry of what people are struggling or dealing with.” Don Pohl“There are no cupcake topics at this event, that’s for sure.” Sheri Krajewski“It’s great to have this opportunity to get out and hear what everyone else is experiencing.” Don Pohl“This is not just a Minneapolis event; anyone from anywhere is welcome to join us.” Sheri KrajewskiDiscussion points include:What is the North American Biocompatibility Summit and how can one registerExpectations attendees can have from this event; from education to networking time.The topics of the event including chemical characterization, toxicological risk assessment and alternative test methodsRegistration details for the event
NAMSA Awarded ASCA Accreditation
Jul 28 2021
NAMSA Awarded ASCA Accreditation
NAMSA is pleased to announce that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted the organization Accreditation Scheme for Conformity Assessment (ASCA) status on July 23. The ASCA Pilot Program, a first-of-its-kind assessment created by the U.S. FDA, reduces the regulatory burden on medical device manufacturers through consensus of biocompatibility testing requirements for efficiency. In this episode, our hosts are joined once again by Lisa Olson, NAMSA’s Senior Vice President of Global Laboratory Operations to discuss the importance of this accreditation and what it means to NAMSA. But perhaps most importantly, what this status means for manufacturers who choose to do their testing with ASCA accredited laboratories.“It’s the first time the FDA has done this for a biocompatibility lab.” Sheri Krajewski“I believe the FDA was really looking at the value of the tests. There are certain tests like cytotoxicity that are incredibly standardized. In essence, many labs are doing them the same. The FDA did a great job of picking out the studies are well established and many labs know how to do them and have established protocolsfor them.” Lisa Olson“NAMSA is accredited for biocompatibility testing and people would say, aren’t you already? NAMSA has submitted biocompatibility testing for many years. Yes, we have. The difference here is the FDA has taken steps to pre-qualify certain tests.” Sheri Krajewski“There might be for ASCA studies limited deficiencies and limited review time. Hopefully none (deficiencies) for these (ASCA) studies.” Don Pohl“What you really care about is the data. And, by having these summary reports, you get rid of all the marketing part of it and some of the ‘fluff’ and get a clean report of results. I think it’s a great way to have both reviewers and labs focus on the most important part.” Lisa OlsonDiscussion points include:What biocompatibility tests are included in ASCA accreditation?How can manufactures capitalize on utilizing an ASCA laboratory for their biocompatibility testing?What types of devices are disqualified from ASCA testing?What are the potential challenges when implementing ASCA?How do manufacturers “order” ASCA Testing? Is everything ASCA?
Why biocompatibility cares about preclinical:  NAMSA and APS discuss
Mar 22 2021
Why biocompatibility cares about preclinical:  NAMSA and APS discuss
In this episode, our hosts are joined by APS’s Senior Director of Biocompatibility Services, Dr. Yan Chen, to discuss NAMSA’s acquisition of APS and the importance of preclinical studies in the biological evaluation of medical devices.This podcast discussion revolves around the many synergies of the combined companies, as well as a technical discussion regarding preclinical studies, preclinical study biocompatibility endpoints, and of course, an energetic game of ‘2 Truths and a Lie’ that will surely bring you a laugh.“We have expanded the possibilities of people who can join us now.”-Sheri Krajewski“We are very excited. We firmly believe that both companies share the same goals to provide high-quality, comprehensive services for medical device development.” – Dr. Chen“Companies are beginning to think about biocompatibility when they should early-on with studies like these. These [preclinical] studies can be so powerful in so many ways.” – Don Pohl“The local tissue response is the most commonly used (biocomp endpoint) in the preclinical study. Sometimes you want a clinically relevant implant site. That is something to keep in mind to combine (preclinical and biocomp) studies.” – Dr. ChenDiscussion points include:The importance of preclinical testing to the biologicalevaluationEarly-stage preclinical studies vs. GLP studies and the valuethey bring to medical device regulatory submissionsThe challenges of combining preclinical and biocomp studies
When to Go with In Vitro: Your Irritation  Questions Answered
Feb 22 2021
When to Go with In Vitro: Your Irritation Questions Answered
In this episode, our hosts answer listener questions regarding the new ISO 10993-23:2021 from NAMSA’s February 3, 2021 webinar.The standard recommends that In Vitro testing be completed prior to In Vivo testing, warranting many questions about how to deal with legacy data, regulatory acceptance and timelines. Our hosts will provide podcasters a full episode of responses, possible scenarios and potential recommendations.“This is an extraction-based evaluation and you will be creating and dosing extracts in most cases. There is not a direct contact equivalent for the In Vitro like there is In Vivo.” Don Pohl“In the past, you used the intracutaneous or primary skin appropriately, then this In Vitro test is for you.” Don Pohl“We have heard from one Notified Body that they are going to be giving a one-year grace period, [meaning the standard just issued in January 2021], they are giving folks until January 2022 to switch to the In Vitro method.” Sheri Krajewski-Bibins“Similar concept to Part 1, if you already have your data collected, it might be worth mentioning in your biological evaluation report. If you feel like you need to [mention] regarding the timing of events, that testing was already planned, executed and performed prior to -23 issuing, therefore, the In Vivo method was utilized.” Don Pohl“If you are having a pre-sub with the FDA, maybe have that conversation too that you would like to do the In Vitro method, and see what they tell you even though there is no official position.” Sheri Krajewski-Bibins“The standard has the one sentence that says In Vivo may be needed post In Vitro to clarify, but it doesn’t necessarily say because you failed or found an irritant….. I think you need to still be careful on your due diligence. Look at your failure in the In Vitro level, understand the materials, your manufacturing process, and confirm you didn’t miss anything.” Don PohlDiscussion points include:What is in the new 10993-23 and what is it not?How do you know if an In Vitro irritation test is right for an implant?Regulatory agency answers on when they will expect In Vitro irritationLimitations of the In Vitro assayWhat to do if you receive an irritant response in the In Vitro assay
Is Your BioCompatibility Program Knocking Your Submission Off Track?
Jan 25 2021
Is Your BioCompatibility Program Knocking Your Submission Off Track?
In this episode, our guests are joined by Syntactx’s Dr. Valerie Merkle, Associate Director – Regulatory Strategy, to discuss NAMSA’s recent acquisition of Syntactx.During this one-hour installment, Dr. Merkle discusses her deep-rooted experience at the FDA and the importance of proper biological safety planning to achieve biomechanical efficiency and successful clinical trial execution. Examples will be provided regarding how and when biocompatibility programs go wrong, which often result in derailment of development efforts. How can manufacturers create biocompatibility programs that are observed favorably by the FDA? Learn helpful tips and strategies to help ensure a successful FDA submission.“We really wanted to mirror what we were doing at the FDA.” – Valerie Merkle“You just never know what is going to come in next. It keeps you on your toes for sure.” – Don Pohl“People think biocomp is just a checklist, but there are a lot of rabbit holes you can go down—a lot of ways you can stray off the path unnecessarily. Definitely not a checklist item.” – Valerie Merkle“Make good decisions early-on to not derail yourself later.” – Sheri Krajewski-Bibins“A lot of companies don’t want to provide their thought process. They spend years and years developing and making decisions, FDA only sees what is in front of them and if the background is not there, we see lots of questions.” – Valerie MerkleDiscussion points include:Syntactx company overview and strengths they bring to NAMSAMaterial selection and its importance in avoiding derailment of biocompatibility projectsFDA experiences with manufacturers overlooking material testingFDA biocompatibility guidance and its role in regulatory submissions
Intact Skin Contact Devices: To Test or Not to Test
Nov 23 2020
Intact Skin Contact Devices: To Test or Not to Test
In this episode, our hosts are joined by Allison C. Komiyama, Ph.D., R.A.C., Owner and Consultant at AcKnowledge Regulatory Strategies and former U.S. FDA reviewer, to discuss the U.S. FDA’s latest draft guidance, “Select Updates for Biocompatibility of Certain Devices in Contact with Intact Skin.”  The FDA has determined the biocompatibility risk of various polymers and fabrics to be low based upon a safe history of use in medical devices for this categorization. Our hosts dive into the list of materials as well as the nuances of this guidance that will ideally help manufacturers with these types of devices receive market access with fewer questions.  “There might be some unnecessary testing going on in some cases.” –Don Pohl“The long history of safe use. U.S. FDA uses a lot of resources to not only review the tests themselves, but they mention they spend resources on review of rationale and justifications; and I think that may be harder than reviewing test reports.” – Allison Komiyama“It was very exciting when we saw this guidance document. We all felt like this was a long time coming.” – Allison Komiyama“Class VI testing might become useful again.” – Sheri Krajewski-Bibins“People are going to be googling Type 4 Sensitivity to figure out what that is because its sitting on a label.” – Don Pohl“I commend the biocomp group on this document.” – Allison Komiyama“I was thinking about a device I’m reviewing right now. I look back at that device and it has stainless steel and aluminum, and if I look at all those polymers, I have co-polymers as well. If I look at this guidance now, I would be left wondering if I can apply everything here or am I going to have to do cyto, sensitization and irritation because I have metals and some co-polymers that aren’t necessarily defined.” – Don Pohl“Guidance is U.S. FDA’s current thinking, and even if it is a draft, we’ve had many reviewers say “there’s a new draft guidance, look at that”.” –Allison KomiyamaDiscussion points include: Complete overview of the guidance and implementationInclusions and exclusions for materials and devicesSubmission guidelines when applying this guidanceInformation needed to submit for these types of devices immediatelyPrecautionary labeling instructions that may be necessary
What in the world is the FDA’s Lab Accreditation Program – ASCA?
Oct 26 2020
What in the world is the FDA’s Lab Accreditation Program – ASCA?
In this episode, our hosts are joined by Lisa Olson (NAMSA’s Vice President, North American Lab Services) to discuss the U.S. FDA’s new Accreditation Scheme for Conformity Assessment (ASCA). This pilot program, launched September 24, 2020 with a new guidance document, is designed to accredit laboratories for certain biocompatibility tests, allowing for decreased paperwork and time for certain regulatory submissions, among other things. Although this is not specific to the device manufacturer unless they have an in-house laboratory, it is important for manufacturers to understand what ASCA is, how it is implemented and how important it may be when selecting a laboratory testing facility in the future.“For the first time in medical device regulation history in the U.S., the U.S. FDA is going to accredit laboratories.” – Sheri Krajewski-Bibins“If things were inconsistently reported by different laboratories, they [the U.S. FDA] had the responsibility to ask things. So if you can imagine them having to ask the same type of question on a basic cytotox assay for example, how much extra work that created because they [the U.S. FDA] can’t just assume it was done correctly.” – Lisa Olson“They [the U.S. FDA] certainly won’t have to in all cases, review the complete testing report anymore.” – Don Pohl“There’s the founding basis that you have a robust quality system, and that is the basis of the whole 17025 certification, but now the ASCA program allows or requires, however you want to look at, to allow you to get yourself [a lab] accredited to a certain test.” – Lisa Olson“I could certainly see the benefit in trying to normalize that [training] across the industry.” – Don Pohl“It’s an easier button, not an easy button, and manufacturers need to think about then do they go with labs that have no exposure to this program, simply because I think the Agency is going to use that [ASCA] in the background in how they are looking at data, no matter what it is.” – Lisa OlsonDiscussion points include:When will the program be implemented?How does a laboratory qualify for the accreditation?How can manufactures capitalize on utilizing an ASCA laboratory for their biocompatibility testing?What are the challenges with implementing ASCA?
The Facts About In vitro Irritation
Sep 28 2020
The Facts About In vitro Irritation
In this episode, our hosts are joined by Dr. Joe Carraway, co-author of the new research paper, “The suitability of reconstructed human epidermis models for medical device irritation assessment: A comparison of In Vitro and In Vivo testing results,” which discusses in vitro irritation assays and their viability for medical device testing. The three Rs in this type of experimentation, which stand for Replacement, Reduction and Refinement, are a concept always considered for new test development. In vitro irritation is one of the latest to reach the normative text of the ISO standards and manufactures and laboratories will need to be prepared to evaluate and utilize this test method. This episode provides in-depth  details regarding the timing of the standard, the viability and accuracy of the test method and opportunities and challenges for laboratories and manufacturers related to the standard. “The standards were written in such a way that it was still an option, and with the release of this new part 23… it essentially mandates what you really need to be doing, if you need to test for irritation {…} if you’ve determined that the next step says you do an in vitro model before going into an in vivo model.” Dr. Carraway“The concern with predictive assays is you don’t want to have false negatives. You can live with false positives because you are typically going to do further testing to confirm those.” Dr. Carraway“If you have a positive response, one of the approaches is to look at in vivo testing. Here, it’s a point to point comparison of irritation.” Don PohlDiscussion points include:When will an in vitro method be expected for irritation?What was the methodology of this comparison study?How does the in vitro method compare against the primary skin and intracutaneous study?What are some challenges of the in vitro study?What should manufacturers be doing now to prepare for the new ISO 10993-23
ISO 10993-4: The Second Most Misunderstood Section of 10993
Aug 24 2020
ISO 10993-4: The Second Most Misunderstood Section of 10993
In this episode, two esteemed colleagues from Abbott, Tim Schatz and Ken Grove, join our hosts discuss ISO 10993-4:2017 Biological Evaluation Of Medical Devices - Part 4: Selection Of Tests For Interactions With Blood. Our experts highlight the general requirements of this very important and sometimes misunderstood segment of biological evaluations, including how to classify products requiring this test and how various products and scenarios may call testing evaluations.  “We are discussing specifically contact with circulating blood directly or contact with circulating blood indirectly at its most basic element.” –Don Pohl“When assessing blood damage, we really use a battery approach to assess the overall interaction of the medical device with blood.” -Tim Schatz“In the event with the thrombosis NAVI model, you do end seeing thrombosis, you are allowed to go into using anticoagulation model.” -Kent Grove“(for platelets and leukocytes) You are trying to make sure that your new device or iteration performs at least as well as your marketed device – it’s a pretty quick test and definitely more sensitive than it used to be.” -Tim Schatz“Now we have the ability to assess the variability in blood that can come in from one donor vs. the next and what’s interesting is that we have a true positive and true control – it helps us understand how the blood is behaving specifically from a thrombosis aspect.” -Kent GroveDiscussion points include:General overview of the standard and applicability to various medical devicesStrategies for new devices and design iterationsU.S. and EU approaches, and where they may differChallenges with Non-Anticoagulation Venous Implant (NAVI) studies, including possible improvements for future evaluationsThe blood loop model and the future state of this evaluation