FDA eSTAR v5.0 – What’s new?

This blog provides a deep dive into the newest version of the FDA eSTAR, version 5.0, released on December 6, 2023.

Why did the FDA release the new eSTAR version as v5.0 instead of v4.4?

A major version update consists of policy changes, regulatory changes, or major changes to the template and will be denoted by a major version number increment (e.g. 4.3 to 5.0). A minor version update will consist of other changes and will be denoted by a minor version number increment (e.g. 4.3 to 4.4). If there are policy or regulatory changes, a new major version of the eSTAR is made before the implementation date, and the previous version of the eSTAR is removed. In this case, enabling PMA content, updates to the international pilot of the eSTAR with Health Canada, and implementation of cybersecurity documentation requirements are considered major changes that trigger the need for a major version update (i.e., 5.0) instead of a minor version update (i.e., 4.4). These changes apply to the IVD eSTAR and the non-IVD eSTAR. If you are generally unfamiliar with the FDA eSTAR, please visit our 510k course page.

What is the deadline for using v5.0?

Version 4.3 of the FDA eSTAR, both the nIVD and IVD versions, will be removed from the FDA website on February 4, 2024. Any submissions that are submitted with an expired version of the eSTAR will be rejected. If you have already uploaded information to an older version of the template, you will need to scroll to the bottom of the eSTAR and export the data to an HTML file. Then you import the HTML file into the newer version of the eSTAR. Any attachments you made to the older version of the template will not be exported, and you will have to attach all of the attachments to the new template.

Import Export Function in FDA eSTAR 1024x423 FDA eSTAR v5.0   Whats new?

PMA content is enabled in the new FDA eSTAR

Previous versions of the FDA eSTAR included the functionality for premarket approval (PMA) submissions, but in version 5.0 the FDA finally enabled this functionality. 510k submissions have three types: 1) Traditional, 2) Abbreviated, and 3) Special. PMA submissions also have different types. There are two types of PMA submissions for a new device: traditional and modular. Unfortunately, the FDA eSTAR is not intended for PMAs using the modular approach. For Class 3 devices, the FDA has more stringent controls over changes than Class 1 and 2 devices. Therefore, a PMA supplement is required for the following types of changes to PMA-approved devices:

  • new indications for use;
  • labeling changes;
  • facility changes for manufacturing or packaging;
  • changes in manufacturing methods;
  • changes in quality control procedures;
  • changes in sterilization procedures;
  • changes in packaging;
  • changes in the performance or design specifications, and
  • extension of the expiration date.

There are several types of PMA supplements, but only three types of supplements can use the FDA eSTAR: 1) Panel-Track, 2) 180-Day, and 3) Real Time. To determine which type of PMA supplement you should use, the FDA published guidance for modifications to devices subject to the premarket approval process.

PMA Content

The following sections in the FDA eSTAR are specific to PMA submission content requirements:

  • Quality Management System Information
  • Facility Information
  • Post-Market Study (PMS) Plans
  • Attach an exclusion statement, or an Environmental Assessment Report in accordance with 21 CFR 814.20(b)(11)

Health Canada is conducting a pilot with the FDA eSTAR

Health Canada’s FDA eSTAR pilot is now full with a total of 10 participants (originally only 9 were planned). The pilot will test the use of eSTAR for applications submitted to Health Canada. The results of the pilot should be complete soon, and then we expect an extension of the pilot to a broader number of applicants. We heard rumors that the HC eSTAR was overly complicated. Hopefully, v5.0 is simplified.

Were there any changes to the EMC testing section?

EMC Labeling questions were consolidated into a single question instead of four because only one citation is usually provided in this section. A copy of the older version is provided below.

Additional ISO 18562 help text 1024x395 FDA eSTAR v5.0   Whats new? Old EMC Labeling Section 1024x506 FDA eSTAR v5.0   Whats new?

The updated version 5.0 is shown below and has only one question, but the help text was changed.

Pointing to help text box 1024x250 FDA eSTAR v5.0   Whats new?

Does the FDA eSTAR now require more cybersecurity documentation?

Bhoomika Joyappa updated our cybersecurity work instruction (WI-007) to address the updated FDA guidance for cybersecurity documentation. The revisions were completed earlier this month, and you can purchase the updated templates on our website. We have also been telling our subscribers to anticipate a significant revision to the FDA eSTAR cybersecurity requirements 300x71 FDA eSTAR v5.0   Whats new?template when this happens. The release of the updated eSTAR version took a little over two months, and the change resulted in a three-page section dedicated to cybersecurity documentation. The previous versions of the template included a requirement for documentation of cybersecurity risk management and a cybersecurity management plan/plan for continuing support. The following documents must be attached in this section if cybersecurity applies to your device:

  1. risk management – report (attach)
  2. risk management – threat model (attach)
  3. list of threat methodology (text box)
  4. verification that the threat model documentation includes (yes/no dropdown):
    1. global system view
    2. Multi-patient harm view
    3. Updateability/patchability view
    4. Security use case views
  5. cybersecurity risk assessment (attach)
  6. page numbers where methodology and acceptance criteria are documented (text box)
  7. verification that the risk assessment avoids using probability for the likelihood assessment and use exploitability instead (yes/no dropdown)
  8. software bill of materials or SBOM (attach)
  9. software level of support and end-of-support date for each software component (attach)
  10. operating system and version used (text box)
  11. safety and security assessment of vulnerabilities (attach)
  12. assessment of any unresolved anomalies (attach)
  13. data from monitoring cybersecurity metrics (attach)
  14. information about security controls (attach)
  15. page numbers where each security control is addressed (text box):
    1. Authentication controls
    2. Authorization controls
    3. Cryptography controls
    4. Code, data, and execution integrity controls
    5. Confidentiality controls
    6. Event detection and logging controls
    7. Resiliency and recovery controls
    8. Firmware and software update controls
  16. architecture views (attach)
  17. cybersecurity testing (attach)
  18. page numbers where cybersecurity labeling is provided (text box)

Sterility section changes include an updated question on EO residuals

In the sterility section of the FDA eSTAR there was a question about sterilant residues. Specifically, the question was “What are the maximum levels of sterilant residual that remain on the device?” The space provided for entering the information was small as well.

EO residue help text 1024x568 FDA eSTAR v5.0   Whats new?

Now the question is reworded to: “What are the maximum levels of sterilant residuals that remain on the device, and what is your explanation for why those levels are acceptable for the device type and the expected duration of patient contact?” No change was made to the help text for this question.

In addition to the changes in the sterility section regarding EO residuals, the FDA also modified the dropdown menu and the help text for pyrogenicity testing. There were options for “LAL” and “Rabbit Test” separately, but now these are combined into “LAL and Rabbit Pyrogen Test.” In addition, the following help text was added: “If you previously conducted rabbit testing on these materials, please either: 1) reference this testing according to the submission number in your attached Pyrogenicity documentation and specifically cite the attachment(s) and page number(s) where the testing is found in that submission, or 2) attach your previous test report.”

Pyrogenicity help text 1024x647 FDA eSTAR v5.0   Whats new?

What is the deadline for using v5.0?

Many clients say that they get an error message when they try to open the FDA eSTAR template. This is because they are opening the eSTAR from a PDF viewer instead of Adobe Acrobat Pro.

Please wait 1024x400 FDA eSTAR v5.0   Whats new?

Some people want to save money by using the free Adobe Acrobat Reader software instead, but this will not allow you to complete the eSTAR properly. Therefore, the FDA added a Popup message if Adobe Acrobat Reader is used.

How are devices with a breathing gas pathway evaluated for biocompatibility?

In the screen capture below, I have intentionally selected “Surface Device: Mucosal Membrane” as the type of tissue contact for a breathing gas pathway device because the device will have a mouthpiece placed in your mouth (i.e., mucosal membrane). This is a common mistake. In version 5.0 of the FDA eSTAR, the FDA clarifies that these devices should be evaluated as “externally communicating” and the tissue contact is “tissue/bone/dentin.” Specifically, the tissue contact is the lungs. For this reason, the FDA added the help text shown below in the JavaScript Window regarding the applicability of ISO 18562-1, -2, -3, and -4.

ISO 18562 references for biocompatibility 802x1024 FDA eSTAR v5.0   Whats new?

Additional questions and guidance will appear when you click on the individual blue boxes shown above. For the blue box labeled “Subacute/Subchronic,” you will find additional help text regarding the ISO 18562 standards. Similar help text is found when you click the blue box labeled “Acute Systemic & Pyrogenicity.”

Additional ISO 18562 help text 1024x395 FDA eSTAR v5.0   Whats new?

What is a cross-section change reminder?

One of the minor changes made in this FDA eSTAR version is the addition of “cross-section change reminders” to the help text in the device description section. This is not meant to help you avoid answering questions in your submission, because if you are missing a section of the submission because you answered “No” instead of “Yes” the FDA reviewer will identify this error during the Technical Review process. This will result in your submission being placed on hold and the review time clock will be reset to zero days when you resubmit with the corrections made. The screen capture below shows an example of one of these cross-section change reminders.

Cross section change reminder 1024x636 FDA eSTAR v5.0   Whats new?

What changes were made to the clinical testing section of the FDA eSTAR?

The clinical testing section will now display when using PDF-XChange Editor, but we recommend only using Adobe Acrobat Pro to edit the FDA eSTAR. This change is a bug fix, and it is specific to the nIVD eSTAR. The IVD eSTAR and the nIVD eSTAR both include a clinical testing section within the performance testing section, but the performance testing section is found in the FDA eSTAR before the electrical safety and EMC testing section, while the performance testing section is found after the electrical safety and EMC testing section. If your company is planning to submit clinical data in a future FDA submission, we have the following recommendations:

  • watch the CDRH Learn webinars on the topic of 21 CFR 812
  • conduct a pre-submission teleconference to ask questions about your clinical study protocol before IRB submission or ethics review board submission
  • before you submit the pre-sub meeting request, look at what general clinical information the FDA wants for a De Novo or PMA submission in the FDA eSTAR

FDA eSTAR clinical section 873x1024 FDA eSTAR v5.0   Whats new?

Note: The clinical section shown above is only found in the FDA eSTAR if you select a De Novo or PMA submission. If you submit a 510k submission with clinical data, the clinical section will be abbreviated as shown below.

FDA eSTAR clinical section for 510k 859x1024 FDA eSTAR v5.0   Whats new?

FDA eSTAR v5.0 – What’s new? Read More »

510k Electronic Submission Guidance for FDA 510k Submissions

This is an overview of the updated 510k electronic submission guidance document that the FDA released on October 2, 2023.

What’s included in the 510k electronic submission guidance?

As with any FDA guidance, there is an introduction and background regarding the reason for the updated guidance document (i.e., eSTAR guidance). At the very beginning of the document (i.e., page 3) the reference to the RTA Guidance was deleted, because there is no longer an RTA screening process with the implementation of the FDA eSTAR templates. The updated guidance explains on page 6 that “The CDRH Portal will automatically verify that the eSTAR is complete, and therefore we do not expect to receive incomplete 510(k) eSTARs.” In the scope section, the FDA specifies that this document is specific to 510k submissions using the eSTAR template. The document also explains that CBER conducted a pilot with the eSTAR template in June 2022 and now the FDA eSTAR template must be used in conjunction with the CDRH Portal for submission of a 510k to CBER. The FDA has plans to release a similar De Novo submission guidance for using the eSTAR template, but this has not happened in the year since the FDA announced the intention to do so. In the “Significant Terminology” section of the guidance (i.e., Section IV), the FDA provides definitions for each of the different types of submissions: eCopy, eSubmitter, etc. In the “Current Electronic Submission Template Structure, Format, and Use” section of the guidance (i.e., Section V), the FDA modified the term used for the company that is applying for 510k clearance from “Submitter” to “Applicant,” because sometimes a regulatory consultant or 3rd party reviewer is submitting the 510k on behalf of the applicant. On page 12 of the updated guidance, the FDA added “Withdrawal requests” to the list of 510k submissions/information that is exempt from the 510k electronic submission requirements. In the next to last section of the electronic submission guidance, the FDA provides a table outlining all of the sections of the new eSTAR template. The table is reproduced later in this article. If you are interested in a tutorial on completing each section outlined in the table, we recommend purchasing Medical Device Academy’s 510(k) Course. The last section of the eSTAR guidance indicates the timing for compliance with the updated guidance (i.e., October 1, 2023).

Revisions to the FDA eSubmissions Guidance 10 2 2023 1024x620 510k Electronic Submission Guidance for FDA 510k Submissions

What is the deadline for compliance with the guidance?

The deadline has now passed. The new eSTAR template must be used for all 510k and De Novo submissions as of October 1, 2023. You must upload the new FDA eSTAR submissions using the CDRH Portal. You will need to request an account using a registration hyperlink.

What’s missing from this 510k submission guidance?

The updated 510k electronic submission guidance does not provide information regarding the receipt date for electronic submissions made through the new customer collaboration portal (CCP) created by CDRH. The image below is a screen capture of the current CCP upload webpage. It includes the following statement, “Send your submission before 16:00 ET on a business day for us to process it the same day.” This statement was added sometime in August or September, but the FDA has not released a detailed explanation. This statement makes it clear that the FDA is not promising to process a submission the “same day” if the submission is received after 4:00 p.m. ET. However, “processed” does not have the same meaning as “receipt date.”

Another element missing from this updated guidance is a reference to human factors documentation. For any devices that have a user interface that is different from the predicate device, and for software devices, the FDA requires documentation of your human factors process to make sure that differences in the user interface do not result in new or different risks when compared to the predicate device. The 2016 FDA guidance for human factors has not been updated, but FDA reviewers continue to issue deficiencies related to the objective evidence provided in a 510k for human factors validation.

CCP screen capture 1024x619 510k Electronic Submission Guidance for FDA 510k Submissions

The FDA must be consistent in the wording for “Hours for Receipt of Submission” because this affects submissions at the end of the fiscal year, but it also affects any submissions with a deadline for response to an RTA Hold, AI Response, and IDE submissions. The CDER and CBER divisions of the FDA address the need for defining the date of receipt in a guidance document specific to this topic, “Providing Regulatory Submissions in Electronic Format–Receipt Date.” Below is a screen capture copied from page 4 of the guidance.

Electronic Submission 510k Electronic Submission Guidance for FDA 510k Submissions

Another element missing from this new guidance is a reference to human factors documentation. For any devices that have a user interface that is different from the predicate device, and for software devices, the FDA requires documentation of your human factors process to make sure that differences in the user interface do not result in new or different risks when compared to the predicate device. The 2016 FDA guidance for human factors has not been updated, but FDA reviewers continue to issue deficiencies related to the objective evidence provided in a 510k for human factors validation.

What are the new sections for a 510k submission?

In 2019, the FDA released a guidance document on the “Format of Traditional and Abbreviated 510(k)s.” That guidance outlines the 20 sections of a traditional 510k submission that have been used for decades. However, the new 510k electronic submission guidance has no numbering for the sections of the eSTAR template, and there are 22 sections instead of 20 sections. Several of the new sections are elements of the current FDA submission cover sheet (i.e., FDA Form 3514), and some sections exist in the 2019 guidance that were eliminated, such as: “Class III Summary and Certification.” Therefore, Medical Device Academy is recreating 100% of our 510k training webinars to explain how our 510k templates are used with the 510k eSTAR template and how to fill in the PDF form. To prevent confusion between the two formats, we are using letters for each section in the eSTAR template instead of numbers (i.e., A-V instead of 1-20). Table 1 from the new eSTAR guidance is reproduced below for your information.

Information Requested Description
A Submission Type Identification of key information that may be useful to FDA in the initial processing and review of the 510(k) submission, including content from current Form FDA 3514, Section A.
B Cover Letter / Letters of Reference Attach a cover letter and any documents that refer to other submissions.
C Submitter Information Information on submitter and correspondent, if applicable, consistent with content from current Form FDA 3514, Sections B and C.
D Pre-Submission Correspondence & Previous Regulator Interaction Information on prior submissions for the same device included in the current submission, such as submission numbers for a prior not substantially equivalent (NSE) determination, prior deleted or withdrawn 510(k), Q-Submission, Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) application, premarket approval (PMA) application, humanitarian device exemption (HDE) application, or De Novo classification request.
E Consensus Standards Identification of voluntary consensus standard(s) used, if applicable. This includes both FDA-recognized and nonrecognized consensus standards.
F Device Description Identification of listing number if listed with FDA.Descriptive information for the device, including a description of the technological characteristics of the device including materials, design, energy source, and other device features, as defined in section 513(i)(1)(B) of the FD&C Act and 21 CFR 807.100(b)(2)(ii)(A). Descriptive information also includes a description of the principle of operation for achieving the intended effect and the proposed conditions of use, such as surgical technique for implants; anatomical location of use; user interface; how the device interacts with other devices; and/or how the device interacts with the patient.

Information on whether the device is intended to be marketed with accessories.

Identification of any applicable device-specific guidance document(s) or special controls for the device type as provided in a special controls document (or alternative measures identified that provide at least an equivalent assurance of safety and effectiveness) or in a device-specific classification regulation, and/or performance standards. See “The 510(k) Program: Evaluating Substantial Equivalence in Premarket Notifications [510(k)].

G Proposed Indications for Use (Form FDA 3881) Identification of the proposed indications for use of the device. The term indications for use, as defined in 21 CFR 814.20(b)(3)(i), describes the disease or condition the device will diagnose, treat, prevent, cure, or mitigate, including a description of the patient population for which the device is intended.
H Classification Identification of the classification regulation number that seems most appropriate for the subject device, as applicable.
I Predicates and Substantial Equivalence Identification of a predicate device (e.g., 510(k) number, De Novo number, reclassified PMA number, classification regulation reference, if exempt and limitations to exemption are exceeded, or statement that the predicate is a preamendments device).The submission should include a comparison of the predicate and subject device and a discussion why any differences between the subject and predicate do not impact safety and effectiveness [see section 513(i)(1)(A) of the FD&C Act and 21 CFR 807.87(f)]. A reference device should also be included in the discussion, if applicable. See “The 510(k) Program: Evaluating Substantial Equivalence in Premarket Notifications [510(k)].
J Design/Special Controls, Risks to Health, and Mitigation Measures Applicable to Special 510(k) submissions only.Identification of the device changes and the risk analysis method(s) used to assess the impact of the change(s) on the device and the results of the analysis.

Risk control measures to mitigate identified risks (e.g., labeling, verification). See “The Special 510(k) Program.

K Labeling Submission of proposed labeling in sufficient detail to satisfy the requirements of 21 CFR 807.87(e). Generally, if the device is an in vitro diagnostic device, the labeling must also satisfy the requirements of 21 CFR 809.10. Additionally, the term “labeling” generally includes the device label, instructions for use, and any patient labeling. See “Guidance on Medical Device Patient Labeling.
L Reprocessing Information for assessing the reprocessing validation and labeling, if applicable. See “Reprocessing Medical Devices in Health Care Settings: Validation Methods and Labeling.
M Sterility Information on sterility and validation methods, if applicable. See “Submission and Review of Sterility Information in Premarket Notification (510(k)) Submissions for Devices Labeled as Sterile.
N Shelf Life Summary of methods used to establish that device performance is maintained for the entirety of the proposed shelf-life (e.g., mechanical properties, coating integrity, pH, osmolality), if applicable.
O Biocompatibility Information on the biocompatibility assessment of patient contacting materials, if applicable. See “Use of International Standard ISO 10993-1, ‘Biological evaluation of medical devices – Part 1: Evaluation and testing within a risk management process.’”
P Software/Firmware Submission of applicable software documentation, if applicable. See “Guidance for the Content of Premarket Submissions for Software Contained in Medical Devices.
Q Cybersecurity/Interoperability Submission of applicable information regarding the assessment of cybersecurity, if applicable. See “Content for Premarket Submissions for Management of Cybersecurity in Medical Devices” and “Design Considerations and Premarket Submission Recommendations for Interoperable Medical Devices.
R Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC), Electrical, Mechanical, Wireless and Thermal Safety Submission of the EMC, Electrical, Mechanical, Wireless and Thermal Safety testing for your device or summarize why testing is not needed. See “Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) of Medical Devices” and “Radio Frequency Wireless Technology in Medical Devices.
S Performance Testing For non-in vitro diagnostic devices: Provide information on the non-clinical and clinical test reports submitted, referenced, or relied on in the 510(k) for a determination of substantial equivalence. See “Recommended Content and Format of NonClinical Bench Performance Testing Information in Premarket Submissions.”For in vitro diagnostic devices: Provide analytical performance, comparison studies, reference range/expected values, and clinical study information.
T References Inclusion of any literature references, if applicable.
U Administrative Documentation Inclusion of additional administrative forms applicable to the submission, including but not limited to a general summary of submission/executive summary (recommended), a Truthful and Accuracy Statement, and a 510(k) Summary or statement.
V Amendment/Additional Information (AI) response Inclusion of responses to Additional Information requests.

Important information in the eSTAR guidance

In Table 1 above, there are 14 hyperlinks to various FDA guidance documents. These links are extremely helpful when you have questions about a specific question. Unfortunately, the 510k electronic submission guidance document will quickly become out-of-date as guidance documents are updated and made obsolete. In particular, one of the A-list final guidance documents that was planned for FY 2023 was the FDA cybersecurity guidance. The updated cybersecurity guidance was finally released last week.

510k Electronic Submission Guidance for FDA 510k Submissions Read More »

eSTAR draft guidance is here, and wicked eSubmitter is dead.

I hated the the FDA eSubmitter template which was discontinued May 30, 2021. Finally we have eSTAR draft guidance for the new eSTAR template.

eSTAR draft guidance button eSTAR draft guidance is here, and wicked eSubmitter is dead.

History of 510k electronic submissions

The FDA has experimented with a multitude of pilot 510k submission programs over the years to streamline and improve the 510k submission content, formatting, and to facilitate a faster review process. The Turbo 510k program was one of the first successful pilot programs. In 2012 I wrote one of my first blogs about how to improve the 510k process. In September 2018, the FDA launched the “Quality in 510k Review Program Pilot” for certain devices using the eSubmitter electronic submission template. The goal of the this pilot program was to enable electronic submissions instead of requiring manufacturers to deliver USB flash drives to the FDA Document Control Center (DCC). I hated the eSubmitter template, and the FDA finally discontinued availability of the eSubmitter template on May 30, 2021. During the past 15 years, the FDA gradually streamlined the eCopy process too. Originally we had to submit one complete hardcopy, averaging 1,200 pages per submission, and one CD containing an electronic “eCopy.” Today, the current process involves a single USB flash drive and a 2-page printed cover letter, but today’s eCopy must still be shipped by mail or courier to the DCC.

eSTAR Pilot Program is Launched

During the 15-year evolution of the FDA eCopy, CDRH was trying to develop a reliable process for electronic submissions of a 510k. CBER, the biologics division of the FDA, has already eliminated the submission of eCopy submissions and now 100% of biologics submissions must be submitted through an electronic submissions gateway (ESG). In February 2020, CDRH launched a new and improved 510k template through the electronic Submission Template And Resource (eSTAR) Pilot Program. The eSTAR templates include benefits of the deceased eSubmitter template, but CDRH has incorporated additional benefits:

  • the templates use Adobe Acrobat Pro instead of a proprietary application requiring training;
  • support for images and messages with hyperlinks;
  • support for creation of Supplements and Amendments;
  • availability for use on mobile devices as a dynamic PDF;
  • ability to add comments to the PDF; and
  • the content and logic mirrors checklists used by CDRH reviewers.

Medical Device Academy’s experience with the eSTAR Templates

Every time the FDA has released a new template for electronic submissions we have obtained a copy and tried populating the template with content from one of our 510k submissions. Unfortunately, all of the templates have been slower to populate that the Word document templates that our company uses every day. On May 16 we conducted an internal training for our team on the eSTAR submission templates, and we published that training as a YouTube Video (see embedded video below). Then nine days later the FDA released updates to the eSTAR templates (version 0.7). The new eSTAR templates are available for non-IVD and IVD products (ver 0.7 updated May 27, 2021).

Sharon Morrow submitted our first eSTAR template to the FDA in August and we experienced no delays with the 510k submission during the initial uploading to the CDHR database, there was no RTA screening process, and CDRH did not identify any issues during their technical screening process. Shoron’s first eSTAR submission is now in interactive review, which is a better outcome than 95%+ of our 510k submissions. I have several other eSTAR submissions that are almost ready to submit as well. The other 510k consultants on our team are also working on their first eSTAR submissions.

Finally the CDRH releases an FDA eSTAR draft guidance

On September 29, 2021 the FDA released the new eSTAR draft Guidance for 510k submissions. This is a huge milestone because there have not been any draft guidance documents created for pilot programs. The draft indicates that the comment period will last 60 days (i.e. until November 28, 2021). However, the draft also states that the guidance will not be finalized until a date for requiring electronic submissions (i.e. submission via an ESG) is identified. The draft indicates that this will be no later than September 30, 2022. Once the guidance is finalized, there will be a transition period of at least one year where companies may submit via an ESG or by physical delivery to the FDA DCC.

Are there any new format or content requirements in the FDA eSTAR draft guidance?

There are no new format or content requirements in the eSTAR draft guidance, but the eSTAR template itself has several text boxes that must be filled in with summary information that is not specified in the guidance for format and content of a 510k. The information requested for the text boxes is a brief summary of non-confidential information contained in the attachments of the submission. Therefore, these boxes can information that would normally be in the overview summary documentst that are typically included at the beginning of each section of a 510k. If your overview documents do not already have this information, then you may have some additional work to do in order to complete the eSTAR templates. An example of one of these text boxes is provided below:

Summary of electrical mechanical and thermal testing eSTAR draft guidance is here, and wicked eSubmitter is dead.

Another example of additional content required by the eSTAR templates is references to page numbers. Normally the FDA reviewer has to search the submission for information that is required in their regulatory review checklist. In the new templates the submitter is now asked to enter the page numbers of each attachment where specific information can be found. The following is an example of this type of request for a symbols glossary:

Reference to symbols glossary in labeling eSTAR draft guidance is here, and wicked eSubmitter is dead.

Are there any changes to the review timelines for a 510k in the eSTAR draft guidance?

The eSTAR draft guidance indicates that a technical screening will be completed in 15 calendar days instead of conducting a RTA screening. I believe that the technical screening is less challenging than the RTA screening, but the FDA has not released a draft of the technical screening criteria or a draft checklist. I would imagine that the intent was to streamline the process and reduce the workload of reviewers performing a technical screening, but we only have guesses regarding the substance of the technical review and so far our performance is 100% passing (i.e. 1 of 1). The next step in the 510k review process is a substantive review. Timelines for the substantive review are not even mentioned in the new draft guidance, but the FDA usually has the review clock details in Table 1 (MDUFA III performance goals) and Table 2 (MDUFA IV performance goals) of the FDA guidance specific to “Effect on FDA Review Clock and Goals.” In both tables, the goal is 60 calendar days, and our first eSTAR submission completed the substantive review in 60 days successfully. The 180-day deadline for responding to an additional information (AI) request has not changed in the eSTAR draft guidance, but our first submission is now interactive review. I believe this suggests that companies may have a higher likelihood of having an interactive review with their CDRH lead reviewer instead of being placed upon AI Hold, but we won’t have enough submissions reviewed by the FDA to be sure until the end of Q1 2022.

Register for our new webinar on the FDA eSTAR draft guidance

We hosted a live webinar on Thursday, October 21, 2021 @ Noon EDT. The webinar was approximatley 37 minutes in duration. In this webinar we shared the lessons learned from our initial work with the eSTAR template. Anyone that registers for our webinar will also receive a copy of our table of contents template that we updated for use with the eSTAR templates. Unlike a 510k eCopy, an eSTAR template does not require a table of contents but we still use a table of contents to communicate the status of the 510(k) project with our clients. Finally, we reviewed the eSTAR draft guidance in detail. If you would like to receive our new eSTAR table of content template and an invitation to our live webinar, please complete the registration form below.

About the Author

Rob Packard 150x150 eSTAR draft guidance is here, and wicked eSubmitter is dead.
Robert Packard is a regulatory consultant with 25+ years of experience in the medical device, pharmaceutical, and biotechnology industries. He is a graduate of UConn in Chemical Engineering. Robert was a senior manager at several medical device companies—including the President/CEO of a laparoscopic imaging company. His Quality Management System expertise covers all aspects of developing, training, implementing, and maintaining ISO 13485 and ISO 14971 certification. From 2009-2012, he was a lead auditor and instructor for one of the largest Notified Bodies. Robert’s specialty is regulatory submissions for high-risk medical devices, such as implants and drug/device combination products for CE marking applications, Canadian medical device applications, and 510(k) submissions. The most favorite part of his job is training others. He can be reached via phone 802.258.1881 or email. You can also follow him on Google+LinkedIn or Twitter.

eSTAR draft guidance is here, and wicked eSubmitter is dead. Read More »

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