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TGA presentation: Nanoparticle Therapeutics 2016, 20 October 2016

Presentation: Regulation of Nanomedicines by the Therapeutic Goods Administration

2 November 2016


These presentation papers are provided on the TGA's website solely for the purpose of indicating or suggesting what TGA representatives spoke about to the various conferences and seminars to which it relates. The papers are not legislative in nature and should not be taken to be statements of any law or policy in any way.

The Australian Government Department of Health (of which the TGA is a part) advises that (a) the presentation papers should not be relied upon in any way as representing a comprehensive description of regulatory requirements, and (b) cannot guarantee, and assumes no legal liability or responsibility for, the accuracy, currency or completeness of the information contained in the presentation paper.


  • Presented by: Anne Field, Toxicology Section, Scientific Evaluation Branch, Therapeutic Goods Administration
  • Presented at: Nanoparticle Therapeutics 2016
  • Presentation date: 20 October 2016
  • Presentation summary: This presentation describes how nanomedicines are regulated in Australia, and summarises activities under the National Nanotechnology Strategy designed to gauge and build our ongoing regulatory capacity for nanotherapeutics (including sunscreens)


Regulation of Nanomedicines by the Therapeutic Goods Administration

Dr Anne Field
Senior Toxicologist,Toxicology Section
Scientific Evaluation Branch, TGA

Nanoparticle Therapeutics 2016: Nanoparticle Safety and Characterisation, 20 October 2016

Slide 1 - Overview

  • TGA's approach to regulation of therapeutic products
  • TGA activities under the National Nanotechnology Strategy
  • Nanomedicines approved by the TGA (including Sunscreens)
  • Future challenges

Slide 2 - Regulation of Therapeutic Products by the TGA

Slide 3 - TGA Regulation of Therapeutic Products

  • Legislation: Therapeutic Goods Act 1989
  • The TGA plays a role in the management of risks associated with therapeutic goods by:
    • pre-market product assessment or evaluation
    • evaluating the risks posed by a manufacturing process before a manufacturer is issued with a license to manufacture therapeutic goods; and
    • evaluating risks that may arise following approval of the product and licensing of the manufacturer (post-market surveillance)

Slide 4 - Standards and Guidelines for Prescription Medicines

  • The TGA closely aligns its regulatory approaches to therapeutic products with those of comparable international regulatory counterparts wherever possible
  • Technical data requirements are closely aligned with requirements set out in relevant European Union (EU) and ICH Guidelines
  • EU and ICH technical Guidelines adopted in Australia are generally not mandated in Australian legislation they provide guidance to sponsors to assist them to meet the legislative requirements

Slide 5 - Definitions of Nanotechnology

TC299 WG1:

  • Nanotechnology: The application of scientific knowledge to control and utilize matter at the nanoscale, where size-related properties and phenomena can emerge
  • The term nanoscale is the size range between approximately 1 nanometre and 100 nanometre

TGA Website:

  • The term nanotechnology is used to describe a wide range of methods involved in the production and engineering of structures and systems by controlling size and shape at the nanometre scale

Slide 6 - EMA working definition of Nanomedicines

  • Purposely designed systems for clinical applications
  • At least one component at nano-scale size
  • Resulting in definable specific properties and characteristics related to the specific nanotechnology application and characteristics for the intended use (route of admin,dose)
  • associated with the expected clinical advantages of the nano-engineering (e.g. preferential organ/tissue distribution)
  • And needs to meet definition as a medicinal product according to European legislation.

Slide 7 - The National Nanotechnology Strategy

Slide 8 - National Nanotechnology Strategy Initiatives

  • The National Nanotechnology Strategy (NNS; superceded by the National Enabling Technologies Strategy or NETS) aimed to allow Australia to capture the benefits of nanotechnology while addressing any safety concerns
  • The Monash Review (2007) considered:
    • Whether Australia's regulatory frameworks are triggered by nanotechnology-based materials, products, applications, and their manufacture, use and handling
    • Which, if any, groups of nanotechnology-based materials, products and applications are not covered by our existing regulatory frameworks?

Slide 9 - Monash Review 2007

Key findings

  • Australia's regulatory frameworks are generally well suited to the task of regulating nanotechnologies
  • All regulatory frameworks apply to nanotechnology based products
  • There was no immediate need for major changes to the regulatory regimes, but minor amendments would be required

Slide 10 - TGA responses to the NNS report

Establishment of TGA Nanotechnology Focus Group to:

  • Review the capacity of existing regulatory arrangements for therapeutic products to adequately manage issues
  • Review of the science
  • Build scientific capacity within the organisation
  • National and International engagement

Slide 11 - Conclusions of the TGA nanotechnology focus group

The TGA is well placed to regulate products incorporating nanomaterials in that it:

  • generally operates in a data rich environment
  • has a high level of expertise to bring to bear on the assessment of new technologies
  • has the legislated authority to require additional data in support of the safety assessment of new materials
  • and, in the most part, deals with applicants that have the technical expertise to adequately address key safety issues
  • We need to maintain capacity building and engage internationally to ensure development of appropriate guidelines and advice to industry

Slide 12 - Nanotechnology Training Programme

  • Physical/chemical properties:
  • Chemical and physical properties of nanoparticles vs conventional materials; Characterisation, analytical difficulties & considerations; Potential applications; Colloidal drug delivery systems; Using carbon particulates in the clinical setting: benefit and hazards; How do nanomaterials behave in vitro?
  • Pharmacokinetics of nanoparticles:
  • Introduction to pharmacokinetics: absorption, clearance, volume of distribution, half-life, protein binding, bioavailability; Biological interactions; Routes of exposure to nanoparticles

Slide 13 - Nanotechnology Training Programme (cont)

  • Toxicology of nanomaterials:
  • Toxicity of nanoparticulate TiO2 and ZnO; Interactions of synthetic clays and titania with biological systems; Summary of data from in vitro toxicity assays; In vivo toxicology of nanomaterials
  • Regulation of nanomaterials:
  • Risk assessment and Guidelines
  • Risk assessment of nanomaterials:
  • Nanosafety and nanotoxicology issues; Regulatory preparedness strategies; International update on nanomaterials

TGA approved products commonly referred to as 'nanomedicines'

Commercial name Active Ingredient Indication





Amphotericin B



Fungal infections

Pain relief

Macular degeneration

Pegylated Liposome CAELYX® Doxorubicin Cancer
Pegylated proteins




Rh-a/b Fab fragment against TNF-α

Growth hormone receptor antagonist

Interferon alfa-2a/2b

Rheumatoid arthritis


Hepatitis C

Slide 14 - TGA-approved 'nano' medicines (2)

Commercial name Active Ingredient Indication
Protein-drug conjugate




Albumin-bound paclitaxel

HER2-positive breast cancer









Chemo-associated nausea


Organ transplant

Nanosuspension RISPERDAL CONSTA® Risperidone Schizophrenia







Slide 15 - TGA-approved 'nano' medicines (3)

Commercial name Active Ingredient Indication
Polymeric Nanoparticles



Glatiramer acetate




Metal/metal oxides VENOFER®

Iron sucrose

Zinc oxide

Titanium dioxide


↓Fe in haemodialysis

Sunscreen, skin cancer prevention

Wound dressings




Split virion, inactivated

HPV vaccine

Monoclonal Antibodies






Advanced melanoma

Slide 16 - Ongoing scientific review of the safety of TiO2 and ZnO nanoparticles in sunscreens

  • Sunscreens are regulated as medicines by the TGA
  • A review on the safety of TiO2 and ZnO nanoparticles in sunscreens was first published in 2006 (about to be updated)

Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world.

Slide 17 - Key points from the sunscreen review

  • Dermally applied ZnO and TiO2 NPs do not reach viable cells or the systemic circulation, even via diseased or damaged skin
  • In the presence of UV light, specific forms of ZnO and TiO2 NPs can induce free radical formation in vitro, which may damage cells
  • The systemic exposure to Zn following use of an uncoated ZnO NP-containing sunscreen is multiple orders of magnitude below the levels of Zn naturally present in diet and deposited within the body
  • Skin damage (e.g. skin cancer) is caused by free-radical generation following repeated exposure to UV radiation or other similar assaults, and sunscreens containing ZnO and TiO2 NPs (and other molecular UV-absorbers) offer protection against such assaults

Slide 18 - National and International Engagement


Participation in the Health, Safety & Environment (HSE) Working Group (a whole of government group established to deal with new technologies)


Attendance at International Regulators Meetings on Nanotechnology

Membership of the nanomedicines international working group


  • OECD Working Party on Manufactured Nanomaterials
  • OECD Working Party on Nanotechnology

Slide 19 - Examples of Guidelines and Reflection papers relating to Nanomedicines

  • Reflection paper on surface coatings: general issues for consideration regarding parenteral administration of coated nanomedicine products (EMA)
  • Joint MHLW/EMA reflection paper on the development of block copolymer micelle medicinal products
  • Liposome Drug Products Chemistry, Manufacturing, and Controls; Human Pharmacokinetics and Bioavailability; and Labeling Documentation Guidance for Industry (draft FDA document)
  • Guideline for the Development of Liposome Drug Products (MHLW, Japan)
  • Reflection paper on nucleic acids (siRNA)-loaded nanotechnology-based drug products (MHLW, Japan)

Slide 20 - Nanomedicine characterisation at the NCL

  • Common pitfalls of NP formulation:
    • Sterility and endotoxin content
    • Adequate physicochemical characterisation
    • Residual manufacturing components
    • Biocompatability of components
    • Batch to Batch consistency
    • Nanoparticle in vivo stability
    • Drug Release Rates

Future Regulatory Challenges

  • Next generation' nanomedicines: advances in nanoscience leading to creation of more complex, hybrid structures
  • Wave of new pharmaceuticals, imaging agents and combination products
  • 'Nanosimilars' - evaluation of follow-on nanomedicine products

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