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Maintaining the cold chain shipping environment for Phase I clinical trial distribution

Elliott, M A and Halbert, G W (2005) Maintaining the cold chain shipping environment for Phase I clinical trial distribution. International Journal of Pharmaceutics, 299 (1-2). pp. 49-54. ISSN 0378-5173

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The study aimed to demonstrate satisfactory inter-UK transit of cold storage clinical trial material. The product environment had to be maintained between 0 and 8 degrees C throughout transit until delivery. Straightforward, low cost and simplified shipping arrangements were sought that would be appropriate for small-scale Phase I clinical trial activities. A laboratory test defined an optimal three frozen gel pack configuration to maintain refrigerated environmental conditions for dummy product packs in a single type and size of insulated shipper. The internal environment was temperature monitored at 30-min intervals in all tests. Twelve Glasgow to London transits were then studied over 2 years to include all seasonal temperature variations. A configuration using three frozen gel packs and 4 h pre-chill of the transit container maintained the internal environment at 0-8 degrees C for up to 48 h during autumn, winter and spring. A modified four frozen gel pack configuration was suitable for summer transit. Thus cold shipment verification was successfully carried out for a small-scale distribution operation. It was proven that refrigerated shipping conditions could be maintained using a straightforward and cost effective 'passive' type system consisting of frozen gel packs and insulated transit containers. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.