QTempo cardiotoxicity assay launched.
A major risk associated with new drugs is the occurrence of cardiotoxicity caused by off-target binding to heart cells. In addition to putting patients at risk, the financial consequences of drugs that cause such side effects can be significant. Over the last decade, assays focusing on the hERG protein have been developed. These hERG based assays manage to identify a majority of problem compounds before they reach the clinic. However, these tests still fail to detect many drugs that will cause adverse events in patients. QTempo is the world’s first commercially available assay that uses beating cardiomyocytes, hooked up to the lab equivalent of an ECG monitor, to accurately and sensitively to detect problem compounds. A mini ECG clearly flags suspect compounds as the cells are exposed to them. Yasuyuki Asai, ReproCELL’s chief technology officer, commented “Current assay techniques leave considerable room for improvement. Patients lives can be at risk from drugs that appear safe with the existing technologies. QTempo will provide the dual benefit of reduced costs for the drug development industry and improved safety for the patients”. QTempo is initially being offered as as service using Monkey ES derived cardiomyocytes. It is expected that future versions of QTempo will be offered with human cells.