The pharmaceutical industry and regulatory agencies rely on dissolution similarity testing to make critical product performance decisions as part of drug product life cycle management. Accordingly, the application of mathematical approaches to evaluate dissolution profile similarity is described in regulatory guidance. However, the requirements (e.g., which time points, number of time points, %CV) to apply the widely known similarity factor f2 and other alternative statistical approaches diverge noticeably across regulatory agencies. In an effort to highlight current practices to assess dissolution profile similarity and to strive towards global harmonization, a workshop entitled “in vitro dissolution similarity assessment in support of drug product quality: what, how, when” was held May 21–22, 2019, at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. This article summarizes key points from the podium presentations and breakout (BO) sessions focusing on (1) contrasting the advantages and disadvantages of several statistical methods; (2) the importance of experimental design for successful similarity evaluation; (3) the value of similarity evaluation in light of clinically relevant specifications; and (4) the need for creating a robust and scientifically appropriate path (e.g., non-prescriptive decision tree) for dissolution profile similarity assessment as a stepping stone for global harmonization.
By Sandra Suarez-Sharp