Pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic modelling of drug-induced QTc interval prolongation in man: prediction from in vitro human ether-à-go-go-related gene binding and functional inhibition assays and conscious dog studies.
The potential for drugs to be associated with the life-threatening arrhythmia, Torsades de Pointes (TdeP), continues to be a topic of regulatory, academic and industrial concern. Despite being an imperfect biomarker, prolongation of the QT interval of the surface ECG is used to assess the risk of a drug being associated with TdeP such that a thorough examination of drug effects on the QT interval is required for all new chemical entities. Numerous studies have investigated the relationship between non-clinical findings and the risk of TdeP and QT prolongation in the general population. There are many literature references supporting the strong correlation between the clinical safety margin over human ether-a-go-go (hERG) inhibitory potency and the risk of drug-induced arrhythmia and sudden death. A quantitative analysis of the relationship between non-clinical studies and the outcome of a human Thorough QT study has also been reported. In the current manuscript, based on the outcome of the non-clinical assays the sensitivity and specificity of each assay and an integrated risk assessment for predicting the outcome of the human Thorough QT study has been conducted. The data suggest that for QT prolongation mediated through inhibition of the hERG current the non-clinical assays are highly predictive of drug effects on the QT interval. Based on the literature review and specific quantitative analysis reported above it is concluded that non-clinical assays predict the risk of compounds to prolong the QT interval and cause TdeP in humans if the mechanism is through inhibition of the hERG current.