Nutrasource Blog

The Importance of Investigational New Drug (IND) Applications and Clinical Trial Applications (CTAs) for Drug Development Strategy

Posted by Nutrasource on Thu, Jun 20, 2024


Drug development is a complex, multi-phase process, involving rigorous testing to ensure safety and efficacy. Prior to drug or biologic testing in human subjects, approval must be obtained from regulatory authorities like the United States (US) Food and Drug Administration (FDA) if the drug or biologic is to be marketed in the US and Health Canada if Canada is the market of interest. In the US, approval is obtained through an Investigational New Drug (IND) application, while in Canada, the application required is a Clinical Trial Application (CTA).

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Tags: Regulatory

New Approach Methods in Toxicology: Innovations in In Vitro Testing for Chemical Safety

Posted by Benjamin Arceneaux, Junior Toxicologist on Tue, May 14, 2024

The current paradigm used to determine the safety of an ingredient involves several in vitro, animal, and human studies. However, recent advances in in vitro methodologies have spurred the development of new approach methods, or NAMs. A NAM is defined by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as, “a technology, methodology, approach, or combination that can provide information on chemical hazard and risk assessment to avoid the use of animal testing”. NAMs are also commonly defined to include in silico, in chemico, and in vitro assays, as well as information about the exposure of chemicals in the context of hazard assessment. In silico methods are computational in nature, in chemico refers to purely chemical methods, such as testing a chemical by seeing if it reacts with another chemical or isolated protein in the absence of cells or tissues, and in vitro refers to experiments conducted in cell or tissue cultures. The ultimate goal of NAMs is to replace, reduce, or refine the use of animal testing in chemical safety assessment.

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Tags: Toxicology

Marketing Claims for Natural Health Products in Canada

Posted by Tania John, M.Sc. on Fri, May 03, 2024

Natural Health Products (NHPs) are naturally occurring substances that maintain, promote, or restore good health.1 To receive Health Canada approval, an NHP must carry at least one health claim and that health claim must have a health context. For example, “Source of antioxidants for the maintenance of good health.” In addition to the recommended use or purpose statement(s), there are several parameters that form part of an NHP’s Product Licence or Terms of Market Authorization (TMA), including product classification, product representation, composition / ingredients, directions for use, duration of use, risk information, allergen source disclosure, storage conditions, etc.2 Marketing claims can be made around any of these aspects, and while they do not typically appear in the Product Licence Application (PLA) since they lack the required health context, they need to be consistent with the product’s TMA. Product performance, content, comparisons, representations of opinion and authorization, and side effect claims may also be considered marketing language.3 Some examples of acceptable advertising claims are provided in the Table below.

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Tags: Product Marketing, Regulatory, Dietary Supplements/Natural Health Products

Master Files: What Are They and When to Use Them

Posted by Nutrasource on Tue, Mar 05, 2024




Master Files (MFs) are reference documents that contain proprietary and/or publicly-available data on aspects of drug or Natural Health Product (NHP) safety, efficacy, and/or quality that are submitted to regulatory authorities in support of various application types, including Clinical Trial Applications (CTAs), Investigational New Drugs (INDs), Abbreviated New Drug Applications or Submissions (ANDAs / ANDS), New Drug Applications or Submissions (NDAs / NDS), and Product Licence Applications (PLAs).


MFs are submitted by individuals or companies that develop, manufacture, or supply drugs or NHPs, and are known as the MF Holders. In some jurisdictions the entire MF is strictly confidential between the MF Holder and the regulatory Agency, whereas in others restricted access is granted to Applicants authorized by the MF Holder. Once authorized, the Applicant is allowed to reference the MF in their own submission(s).

The purpose of a MF is to provide sufficient details to the regulatory Agency to satisfy safety, efficacy, and/or quality requirements. The information used in a MF can include specifics about the facilities, processes, and components used in manufacturing, processing, packaging, and storage, without disclosing proprietary information to the Applicant. The MF Holder is responsible for maintaining the MF and ensuring that it is kept up-to-date throughout its lifecycle.


In Canada, an NHP-MF serves the same purpose and follows a similar submission process as that of a Drug Master File (DMF). The United States (US) also has DMFs, whereas they are referred to as Active Substance Master Files (ASMFs) in Europe – both regions do not have a MF pathway for dietary or food supplements.

The type of MF needed depends on the regulated category and information intended to be communicated to the regulatory authority. For example, Health Canada and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recognize five (5) different types of DMFs, yet the European Medicines Agency (EMA) only uses one (i.e., ASMF). Health Canada’s Natural and Non-prescription Health Products Directorate (NNHPD) also has a standalone MF specific to NHPs. The table below provides a summary of the different MF types across each of the three jurisdictions.


Nutrasource’s NHP & Pharmaceutical Regulatory Sciences team is well-versed in MF dossier preparation and submission to various regulatory authorities.

Our experts can help navigate between MF types and the requirements for each section. Contact us today. 



1. Drug MF


3. Drug MF

4. Drug MF

5. Drug MF

6. US Dietary Supplement

7. Drug MF

8. Active Substance Master File

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Tags: Regulatory, Dietary Supplements/Natural Health Products

VHPs in Canada: A Growing Market with a Regulated Pathway

Posted by Nutrasource on Fri, Aug 11, 2023

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Tags: Claims, Regulatory, Concept to Claim, market access, Animal Supplements

Unlocking the Benefits: A Step-by-Step IFOS™ Certification Guide for Korean Manufactured Omega-3 Supplements

Posted by Nutrasource on Tue, Jun 06, 2023


Certifications newsletter  (5)-1


The dietary supplement industry is growing rapidly in South Korea. On a case by case basis, Korean-manufactured products can now showcase a third-party certification label on their product packaging – the International Fish Oil Standards (IFOS™) certification label. This is a way for brands to distinguish themselves in a highly competitive market while building consumer trust.

Continue reading to learn how Certifications by Nutrasource can assist with achieving this certification.


Benefits of IFOS™ certification for Korean supplement brands:

  • Elevate your brand’s reputation by demonstrating your commitment to providing high-quality products through an internationally recognized label.
  • Confirm that the product meets the most stringent industry purity standards, which shows product quality.
  • Gain recognition from the Korea Health Supplements Association (KHSA). highlighting that the necessary regulatory compliance for selling products in Korea has been obtained.
  • Increase consumer confidence in the product and brand, ultimately leading to increased sales and customer loyalty.


IFOS process in Korea (1)


Once the application has been approved, the IFOS™ logo can be added to product packaging and advertisements for Korean-manufactured Omega-3 supplements. This signifies that the product is reviewed and approved by the KHSA, providing consumers with added assurance of safety and quality.






Nutrasource Asia can assist Korean supplement brands in obtaining IFOS™ certification and reaping its benefits. Here's how:

Introduction to the IFOS™ program:

Nutrasource Asia provides expertise to Korean brands on obtaining IFOS™ certification. Despite the high awareness of IFOS™ in the Korean market, many supplement brands are not familiar with the program's origin or the certification process. The team can guide you through the entire process of obtaining IFOS™ certification.

English Language support:

Nutrasource Asia offers a professional solution for brands who require assistance in communicating with the Certifications by Nutrasource team in Canada but do not speak English. The team at Nutrasource Asia can seamlessly manage the entire process, from contracting to sending samples to Canada to receiving IFOS™ certification, ensuring a smooth and hassle-free experience for clients.

Assistance with market access strategy:

Nutrasource Asia offers a range of services to help clients navigate the complex regulatory landscape in Korea. Our team can provide guidance on Korean regulations, assist with the IFOS™ certification process, and explain the product launch process in Korea. Additionally, we offer support in coordinating production and testing plans to ensure a seamless market launch for your products.

Market monitoring for IFOS™ misuse or abuse:

Nutrasource Asia provides ongoing monitoring of the Korean marketplace for clients who have obtained IFOS™ certification, ensuring that the certification is not misused or abused. If any issues are identified, Nutrasource Asia works with clients to promptly correct them.


By following this step-by-step guide and working with Nutrasource Asia, eligible Korean brands can obtain an IFOS™ certification and take advantage of the program's benefits.

Ultimately, IFOS™ helps brands differentiate themselves in a competitive market and meet the demands of quality-conscious consumers.


Learn more the IFOS™ program.



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Tags: Product Testing & Certifications, Omega-3s, Dietary Supplements/Natural Health Products, market access

Consumers Fact Check Their Products, Do You Have What They Are Looking For?

Posted by Kevin Yan, M.Sc., VP Certifications & Analytics on Tue, Apr 25, 2023

Today’s consumers are doing more research about the products they purchase than ever before.

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Tags: Product Testing & Certifications, Omega-3s, Probiotics, Dietary Supplements/Natural Health Products, Non-GMO, market access

Food Regulation in Canada

Posted by Bernd Licht, Director of Quality on Fri, Mar 31, 2023

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Decentralized Clinical Trials: What you need to know about remote studies

Posted by Nutrasource on Thu, Mar 23, 2023


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Decentralized clinical trials (DCTs), also termed “virtual trials”, “site-less trials”, or “direct-to-participant trials”, are defined as the execution of clinical trials with the help of virtual visits or mobile healthcare providers, using technologies and methods that differ from a traditional clinical trial setup. DCTs can refer to both fully DCTs (virtual) and hybrid DCTs. In a fully decentralized clinical trial, participant recruitment, consenting, administration of study medication, collection of data, etc. will be done with no in-person study visits. In hybrid DCTs, most of the study procedures and visits are performed remotely, but the study participants may need to be on-site for some procedures such as physical examinations, sample collection, complex treatments, etc. The complexity of a clinical trial and the target population are key parameters that dictate whether to opt for a fully DCT, a hybrid DCT, or classic on-site trial approach to achieve the best results.


Virtual technologies

DCTs have also revolutionized the development and implementation of digital health technologies (DHTs) to support clinical research and collect real-time data remotely from the study participants. DCTs require various virtual tools and setups such as virtual visits, wearable medical devices, phone apps, etc., which are all examples of DHTs.

Virtual Tech


Are decentralized trials really the future of clinical trials?

There are some advantages of DCTs over traditional clinical trials. Conducting virtual visits can reduce the participant and caregiver burden (e.g., travel, parking, waiting time for an appointment). Wearable devices may also be utilized to monitor vital signs such as heart rate, respiration, blood pressure, and temperature remotely, which could help in early detection of treatment-related adverse effects. Such devices can also track activities of daily living, such as sleep duration and quality, step count, time in sedentary positions vs. walking/exercising, etc. DCTs can cover a broader geographical area and can target wider demographic groups. Using DHTs can help study participants and caregivers with study alerts and reminders, scheduling of study visits, and remote data collection. The US FDA has recently proposed that DCTs might reduce barriers and cater to a wider range of participants by reducing the costs and commitments required for study participants to take part in a clinical trial.


Potential limitations of DCTs

In on-site clinical trials, the study products are shipped to a clinical trial site and distributed to study participants by trained site staff. In DCTs, the study products are shipped directly to the study participants. It may be a challenge to monitor and maintain the proper temperature for study products during transit, which could jeopardize stability and thereby have a negative consequence on study data. Additionally, the protection of privacy and health information is another challenge in DCTs with the use of DHTs. The solicitation, collection, and secure storage of study participant health information requires a thorough understanding of various complex regulatory requirements that vary by region and systems. Identity verification, secure data access and training are critical to addressing this complexity. Study participants need thorough training on the use of technologies for data entry and data capture, including wearable devices and phone applications. The uninterrupted data collection from the DHT gadgets will require a proper cellular plan or wi-fi connection and availability of an IT support team to troubleshoot any technical issues and answer participants’ questions. At the center of technology is also the validity of the software and devices and compliance with federal regulations and international guidelines on clinical research data.




There are some misconceptions in the dietary supplement industry that DCTs are less costly than traditional on-site trials. While there are benefits to the participant burden and potential decrease in recruitment timelines, there is a shift in labour required for the oversight and quality of the project which is focused more heavily on proper design, deployment and support of software and devices, and the costs for the software platform licensing and devices themselves, which offsets any time savings and costs a site may incur. Further, the costs associated with site staff remain nearly the same as the terms “virtual” and “site-less” are misleading. In these trials, there is still a requirement for site staff to support a DCT by interacting with the participants, performing follow-ups, managing medical oversight, being available for questions, etc. While there may be cost savings for studies such as observational trials, trials requiring thousands of participants, as well as for trials focused on rare indications/diseases, these cost savings are negligible in the dietary supplement industry where recruitment is less challenging due to the nature of the simpler study designs, smaller sample sizes, and more inclusive target populations.





The regulatory bodies need to work together to develop harmonized policies to support DCTs, ensure data integrity and protect sensitive health information of participants involved in the research. Virtual medicine and technologies have gained popularity over the past few years and are now being practiced and used at a larger scale. DCTs are becoming another tool in the clinical research industry alongside traditional clinical trials requiring brick-and-mortar sites, each with their own place and purpose. The successful execution of a decentralized clinical trial is tremendously dependent on the design, operational planning, and continuous oversight of the study. Collaborating with an experienced Contract Research Organization from trial conception is the key to ensuring that the study meets the highest standards of research.



Exploring options for your clinical trial? Reach out to our team who would be glad to connect and help answer any questions you may have.



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Tags: Clinical Trials, Pharmaceuticals

What We Saw in 2022: Key Trends

Posted by Santa Al Antwan, Regulatory Affairs Associate on Wed, Feb 22, 2023

As a result of the pandemic, respiratory and seasonal illnesses, and other emerging threats, consumers are more interested, invested, and involved in their wellbeing than ever before. When it comes to health products, consumers are motivated by those that are clean or naturally-sourced, convenient, scientifically substantiated, and tailored to meet their personal needs. Thus, driving industry trends towards transparency, sustainability, personalization, and virtual approaches.


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Tags: Product Testing & Certifications, Product Marketing, Regulatory, Dietary Supplements/Natural Health Products, market access