Genotoxic Pharmaceutical Impurities Analysis

Pharmaceutical genotoxic impurities analysis services delivered from our GMP labs to support the identification, quantification and control of genotox impurity levels in APIs or drug products to meet regulatory expectations

Genotoxic impurity (GI) analysis is critical to address the purity, safety and quality of drug substances or finished drug products. The ICH M7(R1) defines genotoxicity as “A broad term that refers to any deleterious change in the genetic material regardless of the mechanism by which the change is induced”. There are a range of sources of genotoxic impurities (GIs), contributed to reactive materials used in drug substances which have the capacity to interact with human DNA to cause mutations and cancer, even at extremely lowest levels. These substances include a group of potentially high potency mutagenic carcinogens which have “alerting structures” such as N-nitroso-, aflatoxin-like-, and alkyl-azoxy compounds.

Identifying GIs early in the drug development process and/or limiting genotoxic impurities at acceptable levels in the API or drug product, can avoid risks associated with drug safety and quality later in development and/or marketing authorisation, that could potentially lead to expensive recalls. A key example of this are nitrosamine impurities such as N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) which have been highlighted by the US FDA (2018) and other regulatory authorities as an area for concern.

Guidelines from drug regulatory authorities in both Europe and the United States of America (USA) require the control of GIs and potentially genotoxic impurities (PGIs) at parts per million levels in drug substances. Determination of genotoxic impurities at trace levels (lower than 0.01-0.03%) requires highly sensitive and specific analytical approaches that are suitable for the sample matrices of interest and ideally allow detection in the range of 1-to 5ppm.

Our GCP/GLP/GMP compliant laboratories provide genotoxic impurity testing services to detect and evaluate the potential of GIs for your API and/or drug substances which can support your product development from an early stage to market release. With scientists who are adept at method development and validation of suitable analytical procedures, we can overcome the challenges of low detection levels and difficult matrices. Using a range of technologies we can apply an orthogonal approach to ensure robust, specific and sensitive analysis.  Our comprehensive characterisation techniques include: 

  • High Performance Liquid Chromatography with (HPLC with UV/Vis detectors)
  • Gas Chromatography (GC) and GC-MS
  • Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS)
  • Inductively-Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectroscopy
  • (ICP-OES) and Inductively- Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS)
  • Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (NMR)

As part of our comprehensive stability study capability, we examine degradation products under stressed conditions to help establish degradation pathways. Additionally, we offer highly sensitive and specific method development and validation expertise which is required to address the issues of genotoxic impurities including nitrosamines screening and quantification

Toxicological Risk Assessment
With many years of experience in toxicological risk assessments, our consultants conduct risk assessments to address the issues associated with exposure to genotoxic impurities and other substances of concern including residual solvents, process impurities, extractables & leachables, elemental impurities (ICH Q3D) and other substances that may find their way into a pharmaceutical product. 

Total Quality Assurance 
Genotoxic impurity testing is one aspect of our global GMP and CMC laboratory services solutions which include pharmaceutical impurity analysis, stability testing, quality control (QC) and batch release testing. Bringing quality and safety to life, we offer Total Quality Assurance expertise to help you to meet and exceed quality, safety and regulatory standards.


Need help or have a question? +1 800 967 5352

Need help or have a question?

+1 800 967 5352
+1 908 534 4445 x600
+44 116 296 1620
+41 61 686 4800