Invitrogen Advances Drug Discovery Safety Testing
Product News Jun 25, 2008
Invitrogen Corporation has announced the availability of a proprietary test kit that can enable better screening for cardiotoxicity traits of potential drug compounds earlier in the discovery process.
The Predictor™ hERG Fluorescence Polarization Assay Kit is the first commercially available non-radioactive, homogenous assay kit for high-throughput screening of compounds interacting with the hERG ion channel, the company says.
Drug-induced heart dysrhythmias and adverse effects have been linked with blockage of the human ether-a-go-go related gene (hERG) channel.
Lethal cardiotoxic side effects of several blockbuster drugs have led to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s requirement that all new small-molecule drug compounds be tested for hERG channel blockage, typically using a technique called electrophysiology patch-clamp analysis.
Invitrogen says that the Patch-clamp analysis is costly and slow to perform; therefore most companies narrow the number of compounds they test with patch-clamp analysis with screening assays that are less expensive and less time-consuming. Currently, drug developers use radioligand displacement assays as the primary screen for reducing the number of patch-clamp analyses.
Invitrogen’s Predictor™ hERG assay is designed to eliminate radioactivity and allow researchers to triage compounds for more detailed patch-clamp analysis.
In addition, the Predictor™ hERG assay results are highly predictive of patch-clamp data, much faster and considerably less expensive than current radioligand displacement tests, the company claims.