The intention of this document has been to define a comprehensive approach to the
Validation of Cleaning procedures in Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient manufacturing
Cleaning Validation in the context of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient manufacture
may be defined as:
The process of providing documented evidence that the cleaning methods
employed within a facility consistently controls potential carryover of product
(including intermediates and impurities), cleaning agents and extraneous
material into subsequent product to a level which is below predetermined levels.
It is necessary to Validate Cleaning procedures for the following reasons:
a. It is a customer requirement - it ensures the safety and purity of the product.
b. It is a regulatory requirement in Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient product
c. It also assures from an internal control and compliance point of view the quality
of the process.
This Document will serve to:
1. Define the basic concepts and terms associated with Cleaning Validation in the
Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient industry.
2. Serve as a guide from which Masterplans, Protocols and Reports may be
Note: General validation principles and a glossary of terms also relevant to cleaning
validation are detailed in the CEFIC / EFPIA Guide entitled ‘Good Manufacturing
Practices for Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient Manufacturers’.
It applies to sterile API’s only up to the point where the API is rendered sterile.
4. Potential residues
The Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient Industry involves (in general) the manufacture of
Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients by both chemical and physical means through a
series of multiple step processes. Plants or individual pieces of equipment, including
ancillary equipment, may be used in multi-product manufacture or dedicated to
The result of inadequate cleaning procedures is that any of a number of contaminants
may be present in the next batch manufactured on the equipment such as:
1. Precursors to the Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient
2. By-products and/or degradation products of the Active Pharmaceutical
3. The previous product
4. Solvents and other materials employed during the manufacturing process.
This is particularly the case where microbial growth may be sustained by the
6. Cleaning agents themselves and lubricants
Current regulatory guidance
Refer to the reference section of this document for details of current Regulatory
Cleaning validation policy
The main focus of this document will be to describe equipment and ancillary equipment
/ process Cleaning Validation in an Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient manufacturing
plant. However, it is appropriate to start by giving a brief introduction as to how the
concept of Cleaning Validation should be approached in a facility.
It is advisable for Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient manufacturing facilities to hold an
official Cleaning Validation Policy. Specific department responsibilities should be
outlined in this and it should be approved by senior management. This policy should
serve to provide a general guideline and direction for company personnel, regulatory
authorities and customers as to how the company deals with areas associated with
The policy should incorporate the following types of statements:
· Definition of terms employed during validation i.e. rinse vs. flush vs. wash etc.
· A statement specifying what company policy is on validation of cleaning
procedures related to equipment (including ancillary) and processes.
· Company policy re dedication of equipment in certain cases (if products are
deemed too dangerous and / or highly active to manufacture on multi-product
· Analytical validation policy.
· The policy should also state the rational for the methods by which acceptance
criteria is determined.
· Revalidation policy.
Levels of cleaning
The degree or level of cleaning and validation required for processes in Active
Pharmaceutical Ingredient manufacturing depends largely on:
· The equipment usage (i.e. dedicated equipment or not)
· The stage of manufacture (early, intermediate or final step)
· The nature of the potential contaminants (toxicity, solubility etc.)
Each of the above three bullets must be evaluated based on the next product, not
only toxicology etc. The rational for this statement is given below:
In general, the higher the potential for finished Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient
contamination the greater the requirement to validate cleaning methods to ensure
Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient manufacturers may have different levels of cleaning
requirements in facilities based on the stage of the process being cleaned and the
subsequent product to be manufactured.
Table 1 on page 7 illustrates an example of how a company may decide on the level of
cleaning between lots.
It is the responsibility of the manufacturer to demonstrate that the level of cleaning and
validation performed is adequate based on each individual situation and on a justifiable
Cleaning should be carried out as soon as practical after the end of processing and
should leave the plant in a suitable condition for next use.
Table 1: levels of cleaning
LEVEL USED WHEN CLEANING
LEVEL 2 i.e.
· Product changeover of
equipment used in final
· Intermediates of one
batch to final step of
yes – essential
LEVEL 1 i.e.
· Intermediates or final
Step of one product to
intermediate of another
· Early Step to
intermediates in a
progression between level
0 and 2 depending on
process and nature of
contaminant based on
LEVEL 0 i.e. in-campaign, batch to
no validation required
NB: ALL PROCESSES MUST BE EVALUATED INDIVIDUALLY
Elements of cleaning validation
A brief outline of the various elements of a basic cleaning validation study is given
below (see also Figure 1 on page 11).
This is followed by a more detailed view of the individual elements in this section.
I. Establishment of acceptance criteria
II. Cleaning procedure
· Identification of the equipment
· characterization of the products (Previous: activity/toxicity,
solubility, subsequent: dosage, lot size)
· determination and characterization of the cleaning agents
III. Analytical method and its validation
IV. Sampling Procedure and necessary validation of same
V. Validation protocol
VI. Validation report