First inter-laboratory study of a Supercritical Fluid Chromatography method for the determination of pharmaceutical impurities

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Supercritical Fluid Chromatography (SFC) has known a strong regain of interest for the last 10 years, especially in the field of pharmaceutical analysis. Besides the development and validation of the SFC method in one individual laboratory, it is also important to demonstrate its applicability and transferability to various laboratories around the world. Therefore, an inter-laboratory study was conducted and published for the first time in SFC, to assess method reproducibility, and evaluate whether this chromatographic technique could become a reference method for quality control (QC) laboratories. This study involved 19 participating laboratories from 4 continents and 9 different countries. It included 5 academic groups, 3 demonstration laboratories at analytical instrument companies, 10 pharmaceutical companies and 1 food company. In the initial analysis of the study results, consistencies within- and between-laboratories were deeply examined. In the subsequent analysis, the method reproducibility was estimated taking into account variances in replicates, between-days and between-laboratories. The results obtained were compared with the literature values for liquid chromatography (LC) in the context of impurities determination. Repeatability and reproducibility variances were found to be similar or better than those described for LC methods, and highlighted the adequacy of the SFC method for QC analyses. The results demonstrated the excellent and robust quantitative performance of SFC. Consequently, this complementary technique is recognized on equal merit to other chromatographic techniques.

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