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Cardiac Assays

Safety/Adverse Effects

Our selection of human cardiac models offer a unique insight into the effects your test compounds will elicit in the clinical setting.

Using high quality human cardiac tissue sourced through our extensive network of tissue providers we are able to assess your compounds for undesired or off target effects. We can design studies to answer specific questions or to provide a human cardiac risk profile.

Biopta’s cardiac safety assays include:

  • Human cardiac muscle. Prediction of direct effects on cardiac contractility. Inotropic (contractility) or lusitropic (rate of relaxation) effects can be assessed in both atrial appendage and ventricular muscle.
  • Human coronary arteries. Prediction of coronary artery vasoconstriction.
  • Human resistance arteries. Prediction of increase or decrease in peripheral vasculature contractility and hence ability of test compound to alter blood pressure.

Ventricular muscle and coronary arteries from the same donor can be investigated from healthy or diseased hearts sourced from Biopta’s tissue network.

Cardiac contractility is of major interest in safety pharmacology as a number of drugs have been shown to have direct effects on cardiac function. Biopta can provide comparative pharmacology assays to understand the translation of animal data to humans.

Read a publication by Merck, conducted at Biopta’s laboratories in the USA and UK, comparing the vasorelaxant and inotropic effects of the antiarrhythmic agents vernakalant and flecainide.

Download our CardioForesight PDF

Efficacy

Detailed information on the behaviour of your compounds in human cardiac tissue can be provided using a selection of ex vivo assays.

Biopta is able to source both healthy tissue and tissue from individuals with cardiovascular disease. Using these tissues we can determine the efficacy of your treatments for heart failure or angina, for example.

At Biopta we will create a customised protocol that answers your specific questions about the effects of test drugs on human cardiac function. We also have a range of standard protocols that can be viewed by accessing our on-line catalogue of human assays — industry’s first and only catalogue of human functional tissue pharmacology assays.

Cardiac Contractility

Prediction of potential for direct effects on cardiac contractility can be assessed in both atrial appendage and ventricular muscle.

Through REPROCELL’s extensive network of tissue providers we are able to access high quality human tissues. Using ventricular and atrial muscle we can utilise our organ baths to measure the inotropic (contractility) or lusitropic (rate of relaxation) effects of your test compounds.

Cardiac contractility images

The images above show examples of the cardiac tissues utilised at Biopta.

Ethically donated human heart tissues are rapidly transported to our labs in Glasgow, UK and Maryland, USA and our expert scientists are on-hand to dissect tissues and run the experiments.

Hearts are dissected to obtain contractile atrial pectinate muscle or ventricular trabeculae (the trabeculae form the mesh-like framework that can be seen on this interior view of the ventricles). Isolated atrial pectinate muscle or ventricular trabeculae are set up in organ baths (one such strip is shown in the image on the right) for measurements of force generation. The contractions of the cardiac muscle can be paced with electrical field stimulation, which regulates the contractions at a defined frequency, e.g. 60Hz (60 beats per minute); alternatively, it is possible to look at the effects of drugs at a range of frequencies to mimic the effects of increasing and decreasing heart rates.

Cardiac contractility data

At Biopta we will create a customised protocol that answers your specific questions about the effects of test drugs on human cardiac function. We also have a range of standard assays that can be viewed by accessing our on-line catalogue of human assays – industry’s first and only catalogue of human functional tissue pharmacology assays.

Contact us for further information on our range of tests in fresh functional human tissues.

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