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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

CFR - Code of Federal Regulations Title 21

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The information on this page is current as of April 1 2018.

For the most up-to-date version of CFR Title 21, go to the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (eCFR).

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Help | More About 21CFR
[Code of Federal Regulations]
[Title 21, Volume 5]
[Revised as of April 1, 2018]
[CITE: 21CFR320.27]



TITLE 21--FOOD AND DRUGS
CHAPTER I--FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
SUBCHAPTER D--DRUGS FOR HUMAN USE

PART 320 -- BIOAVAILABILITY AND BIOEQUIVALENCE REQUIREMENTS

Subpart B--Procedures for Determining the Bioavailability or Bioequivalence of Drug Products

Sec. 320.27 Guidelines on the design of a multiple-dose in vivo bioavailability study.

(a) Basic principles. (1) In selected circumstances it may be necessary for the test product and the reference material to be compared after repeated administration to determine steady-state levels of the active drug ingredient or therapeutic moiety in the body.

(2) The test product and the reference material should be administered to subjects in the fasting or nonfasting state, depending upon the conditions reflected in the proposed labeling of the test product.

(3) A multiple-dose study may be required to determine the bioavailability of a drug product in the following circumstances:

(i) There is a difference in the rate of absorption but not in the extent of absorption.

(ii) There is excessive variability in bioavailability from subject to subject.

(iii) The concentration of the active drug ingredient or therapeutic moiety, or its metabolite(s), in the blood resulting from a single dose is too low for accurate determination by the analytical method.

(iv) The drug product is an extended release dosage form.

(b) Study design. (1) A multiple-dose study should be crossover in design, unless a parallel design or other design is more appropriate for valid scientific reasons, and should provide for a drug elimination period if steady-state conditions are not achieved.

(2) A multiple-dose study is not required to be of crossover design if the study is to establish dose proportionality under a multiple-dose regimen or to establish the pharmacokinetic profile of a new drug product, a new drug delivery system, or an extended release dosage form.

(3) If a drug elimination period is required, unless some other approach is more appropriate for valid scientific reasons, the drug elimination period should be either:

(i) At least five times the half-life of the active drug ingredient or therapeutic moiety, or its active metabolite(s), measured in the blood or urine; or

(ii) At least five times the half-life of decay of the acute pharmacological effect.

(c) Achievement of steady-state conditions. Whenever a multiple-dose study is conducted, unless some other approach is more appropriate for valid scientific reasons, sufficient doses of the test product and reference material should be administered in accordance with the labeling to achieve steady-state conditions.

(d) Collection of blood or urine samples. (1) Whenever comparison of the test product and the reference material is to be based on blood concentration-time curves at steady state, appropriate dosage administration and sampling should be carried out to document attainment of steady state.

(2) Whenever comparison of the test product and the reference material is to be based on cumulative urinary excretion-time curves at steady state, appropriate dosage administration and sampling should be carried out to document attainment of steady state.

(3) A more complete characterization of the blood concentration or urinary excretion rate during the absorption and elimination phases of a single dose administered at steady-state is encouraged to permit estimation of the total area under concentration-time curves or cumulative urinary excretion-time curves and to obtain pharmacokinetic information, e.g., half-life or blood clearance, that is essential in preparing adequate labeling for the drug product.

(e) Steady-state parameters. (1) In certain instances, e.g., in a study involving a new drug entity, blood clearances at steady-state obtained in a multiple-dose study should be compared to blood clearances obtained in a single-dose study to support adequate dosage recommendations.

(2) In a linear system, the area under the blood concentration-time curve during a dosing interval in a multiple-dose steady-state study is directly proportional to the fraction of the dose absorbed and is equal to the corresponding "zero to infinity" area under the curve for a single-dose study. Therefore, when steady-state conditions are achieved, a comparison of blood concentrations during a dosing interval may be used to define the fraction of the active drug ingredient or therapeutic moiety absorbed.

(3) Other methods based on valid scientific reasons should be used to determine the bioavailability of a drug product having dose-dependent kinetics (non-linear system).

(f) Measurement of an acute pharmacological effect. When comparison of the test product and the reference material is to be based on acute pharmacological effect-time curves, measurements of this effect should be made with sufficient frequency to demonstrate a maximum effect and a lack of significant difference between the test product and the reference material.

[42 FR 1648, Jan. 7, 1977, as amended at 67 FR 77674, Dec. 19, 2002]

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