FDA Lays Down 2 Warning Letters for Bacterin International, Inc.
Published: Feb 15, 2013
In reply refer to Warning Letter SEA 13-10
Guy S. Cook
CEO and President
Bacterin International, Inc.
600 Cruiser Lane
Belgrade, Montana 59714
Dear Mr. Cook:
During an inspection of your firm located at 600 Cruiser Lane, Belgrade, Montana, July 16, 2012, through July 26, 2012, investigators from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) determined that your firm manufactures OsteoSelect Demineralized Matrix Bone (DBM) Putty. Under Section 201(h) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the Act), 21 U.S.C. § 321(h), this product is a device because it is intended for use in the diagnosis of disease or other conditions or in the cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease, or to affect the structure or any function of the body.
The inspection revealed that this device is adulterated within the meaning of Section 501(h) of the Act, 21 U.S.C. § 351(h), in that the methods used in, or the facilities or controls used for, its manufacture, packing, storage, or installation are not in conformity with the Current Good Manufacturing Practice (CGMP) requirements of the Quality System (QS) regulation found at Title 21, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 820.
We received a response from you dated August 13, 2012, concerning our investigators’ observations noted on the Form FDA 483 (FDA 483), List of Inspectional Observations, that was issued to your firm. We address the response below, in relation to each of the noted violations.
We received an additional response from you, dated December 31, 2012. We will evaluate this response along with any other written material provided in response to the violations cited in this letter.
Your firm’s violations include, but are not limited to, the following:
1. Failure to establish and maintain procedures for implementing corrective and preventive action, as required by 21 CFR 820.100(a). For example:
a) The Evaluation and Risk Assessment section of deviation report DEV11-104, covering the mislabeling of lot B100180-DMB as B100080-DBM, states, "This is a high risk deviation. If not caught mislabeled tissue could potentially be distributed." Deviation Management SOP 210-5304-2 states that "MAJOR DEVIATION (CAPA required)" include "HIGH risk" issues including "mislabeled grafts." No CAPA was initiated for this Deviation.
The adequacy of the response dated August 13, 2012, cannot be determined at this time. Your firm's response states that it will revise its deviation SOP, open a CAPA that reviews handling of the deviation and all deviations from 2011 and 2012, and perform training, with a completion date of October 1, 2012. However, the response did not include the revised SOP or evidence of the new CAPA, which includes the retrospective review of all deviations.
b) Corrective actions were not completed prior to the closing of CAPA 11-001. CAPA 11-001 covers three lots of DBM putty which had out-of-specification endotoxin test results. It was closed on August 5, 2011. Two corrective actions were identified in the “ACTION PLAN” section of the CAPA: Change Control ID# CC11-019, concerning changes to the retest procedure which were not approved until October 12, 2011, and changes to sanitation procedures which were not documented as completed.
The adequacy of the response dated August 13, 2012, cannot be determined at this time. Your firm’s response states that by November 1, 2012, CAPA 11-001 will be reviewed for justifications to potential changes to the sanitation procedure, CAPA action results will be verified, and the CAPA system will be revised and re-training will be performed. However, your firm did not provide documentation of a CAPA review or a revised CAPA procedure in the response.
c) Your firm does not have procedures describing how it is trending sources of quality data. Your firm does not have procedures describing the trending of quality data, including deviations, complaints, and CAPA to be used in “Quarterly Investigation Reports,” as listed in the Biologics Quality Manual PM 210-0003-2.
The adequacy of the response dated August 13, 2012, cannot be determined at this time. The response states that your firm will combine the Biologics and Medical Device division SOPs for quality trending, conduct and evaluate trending data, and train to the new SOP. These changes are to be completed by October 1, 2012. However, no draft of the new SOP or description of types of data to be trended is provided in the response.
2. Failure to maintain complaint files and establish and maintain procedures for receiving, reviewing, and evaluating complaints by a formally designated unit, as required by 21 CFR 820.198(a). For example:
a) Two out of two DBM Putty complaints reported since the end of 2010 do not have documentation of an MDR reportability evaluation. The complaints covered the receipt of expired product and a shipping container of graft packaging that was damaged when received.
b) "Complaint/Adverse Reaction Form" FM 210-0045-1, used to document the complaints received for the DBM Putty device, does not have a section to record that complaints are being evaluated for MDR reportability. "Complaint and Adverse Reaction Management" SOP 210-5301-3, covering the handling of complaints including those for the DBM Putty device, does not include procedures for documenting MDR reportability.
The adequacy of the response dated August 13, 2012, cannot be determined at this time. Your firm’s response states that it will merge the Biologics and Device Complaint Systems under its complaint SOPs and forms, make MDR reportability clear in the complaint form with adequate signatory authority, review the reportability SOP for clarity, and perform training to updates. The corrections are to be completed by October 1, 2012. However, there was no mention of a systemic corrective action to include reviewing previous complaints for MDR reportability.
3. Failure to establish and maintain procedures for changes to a specification, method, process, or procedure, as required by 21 CFR 820.70(b).
For example, Endotoxin testing for the DBM Putty was conducted under “Interpretation of Endotoxin Results” SOP 210-8753-0, Effective Date November 9, 2009, which specified the rejection of the lot based on a single out-of-specification sample result. “Interpretation of Endotoxin Results” was revised to SOP 210-8753-1, Effective Date October 17, 2011, which established a retesting procedure that allows for invalidation of an initial positive on subsequent retest. On August 8, 2011, Lot B110115-725 was retested twice, providing in-specification results. On October 28, 2011, the results were determined passing per SOP 210-8753-1, and the lot was released for distribution on December 1, 2011. There is no documentation that verification or validation of SOP 210-8753-1 was conducted prior to implementation.
The response dated August 13, 2012, is not adequate. Your firm’s response states that it is looking at additional data to support the re-test procedure in addition to (b)(4) (testing laboratory) information that re-testing is a standard option being used by other medical device companies. Your firm states that it will prepare a report on the findings, merge the Biologics change system with the Device Engineering Change Control System, and perform training on the revised change control system. However, the response has not provided evidence or intent that your firm will validate, with appropriate statistical rationale, how allowing a failure and subsequent retest of a lot, as compared with rejection of a lot with a single failure, will result in acceptable levels of endotoxin in the device. Additionally, your firm has not described how it will address shipped product that was released under a changed acceptance criteria that was not validated.
4. Failure to establish and maintain procedures to ensure that all purchased or otherwise received product and services conform to specified requirements, as required by 21 CFR 820.50. For example:
a) The Bacterin Supplier Log, FM 050-343, which lists approved suppliers per Supplier Qualification & Audit Procedure, SOP 050-025-3, Effective Date March 3, 2010, is not used to record approved suppliers. FM 050-619-0, identified as the current list of suppliers used by the firm, includes suppliers that have not been approved. A review of these entries noted that 50 of (b)(4) suppliers are not approved.
b) Documentation of the approval of suppliers contained on the supplier list FM 050-619-0 was not present for three of four supplier files reviewed: (b)(4).
c) The supplier file for (b)(4), identified as a supplier of a "Very Critical" product, does not provide documentation that all elements of the Supplier Qualification and Approval Forms, FM 050-171-3, Supplier Self Survey were reviewed prior to the approval of the supplier on June 1, 2012, including a determination of whether testing methods were "validated or national/international standard methods."
The adequacy of the response dated August 13, 2012, cannot be determined at this time. Your firm’s response states that it completed supplier qualifications, but that they had not been updated. Your firm issued a CAPA to correct the issue prior to the investigation and it is ongoing. The response describes merging the biologics and device supplier control system and updating the SOPs as necessary, re-qualifying or qualifying all current suppliers, ensuring that approvals are documented, and performing training on the revised SOPs. The estimated completion date is October 1, 2012. However, no evidence was provided to support the statement that additional supplier qualifications were conducted, nor has an analysis been provided as to the potential risk of using unqualified suppliers.
5. Failure to establish and maintain procedures to control all documents that are required by 21 CFR 820, as required by 21 CFR 820.40. For example:
a) The Supplier Qualification and Approval Forms, FM 050-171-3, Effective Date unlisted, was used to approve a supplier, (b)(4), on June 1, 2012. As of July 19, 2012, FM 050-171-3 had not been approved for use.
The adequacy of the response dated August 13, 2012, cannot be determined at this time. The response states that your firm will complete a revision of the form, add controlled use of draft documents where necessary to the Document Control SOP, and perform training to the new procedure. However, no description of the supplier being approved to a finalized SOP was provided, nor was a revised Document Control SOP.
b) MS Processing - Final Packaging of Osseous Grafts Procedure, SOP 210-8009-4, Effective Date February 15, 2010, was identified as controlling the packaging of the DBM Putty device. Revision 4 was superseded by Revision 5 on February 07, 2012, and does not included instructions on the packaging of the DBM Putty device. The QA/QC Supervisor identified both versions as available for use by production employees.
The adequacy of the response dated August 13, 2012, cannot be determined at this time. Your firm’s response states that it will complete the new revision of DBM Putty packaging instructions and make obsolete version 4 of the SOP, and that it will perform training to the new SOPs. Your firm also states that it will make the correction by September 1, 2012. However, your firm did not provide further documentation of the correction with the response, or evidence of an investigation to determine if any product was mis-packaged due to potential confusion with the two packaging SOPs, as well as review of your firm’s documents to ensure that they are approved and that the correct versions are in use.
6. Failure to establish procedures for identifying training needs and ensure that all personnel are trained to adequately perform their assigned responsibilities, as required by 21 CFR 820.25(b).
For example, the Biologics Staff Training Procedure, SOP 210-5401-0, identified as covering the training of individuals responsible for the production of the DBM Putty product does not provide procedures for the completion of training forms used by the firm. Expired product returned to the facility was transported to the warehouse for distribution by an employee on April 16, 2012, and the Qualification Training Forms, FM 050-002-4, used to document employee training on this portion of the process shows that the employee entered a "Training Completed" date of May 16, 2012, which was then corrected to March 20, 2012. SOP 210-5401-0 does not provide instructions for the completion of this form.
The response dated August 13, 2012, is not adequate. The response states that Bacterin Biologics will merge Biologics training with Device training SOPs, revise the document, and perform training to the new training system by September 1, 2012. Then, significant changes will be made to company-wide training practices and the training SOPs will be updated again by December 1, 2012. However, your firm has not described a corrective action involving a review of previous employee training to determine if employees are currently adequately trained and, if not, a plan to ensure that they are trained.
Our inspection also revealed that your devices are misbranded under Section 502(t)(2) of the Act, 21 USC § 352(t)(2), in that your firm failed or refused to furnish material or information respecting the devices that is required by or under Section 519 of the Act, 21 USC § 360i, and 21 CFR Part 803 – Medical Device Reporting. Significant deviations include, but are not limited to:
Failure to adequately develop, maintain, and implement written Medical Device Reporting (MDR) procedures, as required by 21 CFR 803.17.
We reviewed your procedure, SOP 080-001-1, Medical Device Reporting and Vigilance Reporting, dated March 16, 2010, and conclude that it is not adequate. SOP 080-001-1, Medical Device Reporting and Vigilance Reporting, dated March 16, 2010,combines procedures for Vigilance, MDR reporting and device recalls. The procedure fails to meet the requirements of 21 CFR 803.17. The following issues were noted:
1. SOP 080-001-1 does not establish internal systems that provide for timely and effective identification, communication, and evaluation of events that may be subject to MDR requirements. For example:
a) The procedure, as written, combines language from the requirements of other regulatory or competent authorities with the requirements in 21 CFR Part 803 in a manner that will result in incomplete, inadequate, or even non-reporting of adverse events that meet reportability requirements under 21 CFR Part 803. For example, the procedure defines terms such as “Adverse Incident,” “Adverse Near-Incident,” and “Information that Reasonably Suggests an Adverse Incident,” but does not define the terms “MDR reportable event,” or provide the complete definition of “Malfunction,” as defined in 21 CFR 803.3.
b) The procedure lacks definitions of what your firm will consider to be a reportable event under 21 CFR Part 803. To facilitate the correct interpretation of reportable events and to assure the quality of MDR submissions, the procedure should include definitions based on 21 CFR 803.3 of the terms “become aware,” “caused or contributed,” and “remedial action,” and the definition of the term “reasonably known” found in 21 CFR 803.50(b).
2. SOP 080-001-1 does not establish internal systems that provide for timely transmission of complete medical device reports. Specifically, the following are not addressed:
a) The procedure does not reference where to submit MDRs to FDA. The address is: FDA, CDRH, Medical Device Reporting, and P. O. Box 3002, Rockville, MD 20847-3002.
b) Section 11.8 of the procedure should be revised to include the timeframe for submission of a supplemental or follow-up report, as described in 21 CFR 803.56.
3. SOP 080-001-1 does not describe how your firm will address documentation and record-keeping requirements, including systems that ensure access to information that facilitates timely follow-up and inspection by FDA.
In addition, SOP 080-001-1, Medical Device Reporting and Vigilance Reporting,includes references to baseline reporting and annual certification, which are no longer required. We recommend that all references to Baseline Reports and Annual Certification be removed from the firm’s MDR procedure (see: 73 Federal Register Notice 53686, dated September 17, 2008; and Fourth Notice, Federal Register, dated March 20, 1997: Medical Device Reporting, Annual Certification, Final Rule, respectively).
If your firm wishes to submit MDR reports via electronic submission it can follow the directions stated at the following URL:
If your firm wishes to discuss MDR reportability criteria or to schedule further communications, it may contact the MDR Policy Branch at 301-796-6670 or by email at MDRPolicy@fda.hhs.gov.
Our inspection also revealed that your firm’s OsteoSelect DBM Putty devices are misbranded under Section 502(t)(2) of the Act, 21 U.S.C. § 352(t)(2), in that your firm failed or refused to furnish material or information respecting the device that is required by or under section 519 of the Act, 21 U.S.C. § 360i, and 21 CFR Part 806 – Medical Devices; Reports of Corrections and Removals. Significant violations include, but are not limited to, the following:
Failure to submit a written report to FDA of any correction or removal of a device initiated to remedy a violation of the act caused by the device, which may present a risk to health, as required by 21 CFR 806.10 (a)(2).
For example, your firm’s Complaint/Adverse Reaction Form CAR #12-008 states that a tissue graft was received by a customer in (b)(4) on April 17, 2012, with an expiration date of December 25, 2011. The evaluation section of the CAR states, "The incident is significant . . . . Had the tissue been implanted the patient's health and/or safety could have potentially been compromised." The issue was elevated and a CAPA was initiated, CAPA 12-006, which includes the same statement in the evaluation section. The device was shipped to the customer past its labeled expiration date. Your firm noted in CAR 12-008 and CAPA 12-006 that there was a risk to health and your firm conducted a removal of the device by contacting the hospital and requesting a return of the device. This correction was not reported as required by 21 CFR 806.10(a)(2).
A follow-up inspection will be required to assure that corrections and/or corrective actions are adequate.
Your firm should take prompt action to correct the violations addressed in this letter. Failure to promptly correct these violations may result in regulatory action being initiated by the FDA without further notice. These actions include, but are not limited to, seizure, injunction, and/or civil money penalties. Also, federal agencies may be advised of the issuance of Warning Letters about devices so that they may take this information into account when considering the awarding of contracts.
Please notify this office in writing within fifteen business days from the date you receive this letter of the specific steps your firm has taken to correct the noted violations, as well as an explanation of how your firm plans to prevent these violations, or similar violations, from occurring again. Include documentation of the corrections and/or corrective actions (including any systemic corrective actions) that your firm has taken. If your firm’s planned corrections and/or corrective actions will occur over time, please include a timetable for implementation of those activities. If corrections and/or corrective actions cannot be completed within fifteen business days, state the reason for the delay and the time within which these activities will be completed. Your firm’s response should be comprehensive and address all violations included in this Warning Letter.
Your firm’s response should be sent to: U.S. Food and Drug Administration Seattle District Office, 22215 26th Avenue SE, Suite 210, Bothell, Washington 98021. If you have any questions about the contents of this letter, please contact: Compliance Officer Brenda L. Reihing at 425-302-0429.
Finally, you should know that this letter is not intended to be an all-inclusive list of the violations at your firm’s facility. It is your firm’s responsibility to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations administered by FDA. The specific violations noted in this letter and in the Inspectional Observations, FDA 483, issued at the close of the inspection may be symptomatic of serious problems in your firm’s manufacturing and quality management systems. Your firm should investigate and determine the causes of the violations, and take prompt actions to correct the violations and bring the products into compliance.
Charles M. Breen