Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New technology detects risks of drugs to heart sooner

29.05.2006


A new technology to enable pharmaceutical companies to determine more effectively, and earlier on in clinical trials, whether an experimental drug is toxic to the heart has taken an important step toward the marketplace.

The University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) and iCardiac Technologies, Inc. have signed an exclusive agreement to commercialize software developed by biomedical engineer Jean-Philippe Couderc, Ph.D., that provides a more accurate and reliable method to analyze data from electrocardiograms (ECG) and other types of heart monitors to determine whether a drug is toxic to the heart.

The technology consists of software known as COMPAS – which stands for Comprehensive Analysis of Repolarization Signal – that allows researchers to target and evaluate specific data produced by ECGs called the QT interval, in addition to other advanced measurements intended to identify specific risks associated with a new drug. The QT interval measures the process of ventricular Repolarization, the period between the heart’s contraction and recovery phase. While the period lasts only a fraction of a second, it represents an important determinant of a drug’s safety.



"Drug-induced prolongation of the QT interval is a critical indicator of toxicity," said Couderc. "We know that individuals with an abnormally prolonged QT interval are at far greater risk for developing fatal arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death. Consequently, effective and precise measurement of QT interval, which COMPAS provides, is an effective tool in the assessment of cardiovascular toxicity. Further, the COMPAS software will enable iCardiac Technologies to also focus on the development and deployment of additional ECG markers, which are even more specific and sensitive than traditional QT interval measurements for determining cardiac toxicity."

While there are several potential uses for this technology, the most immediate application is in clinical trials. Prolongation of the QT interval is the most common cause of drug withdrawal from the market and delays in regulatory approval. In the aftermath of the withdrawal of Vioxx and other Cox-2 inhibitor drugs over concerns that they may cause heart attacks or stroke, the FDA has proposed guidelines that call upon the pharmaceutical industry to develop better measurement methods for drug safety assessment.

In response, pharmaceutical companies are in the process of investing significant resources in research that will allow them to identify cardiac toxicity at early stages of drug testing. There is also a tremendous economic incentive: It is estimated that it costs, on average, $900 million to bring a new drug from the laboratory to the doctor’s office. This new scrutiny impacts large classes of drugs, such as antibiotics, weight loss, anti-psychotic medications, heartburn medications, and some cancer and heart disease therapies, some of which have been pulled from the market or limited in use due to their tendency to prolong the QT interval.

COMPAS was designed to accurately identify ECG abnormalities, while taking into consideration other factors that may influence a person’s heart activity, such as eating and stress. In fact, the FDA has purchased a license to the COMPAS software to evaluate its unique capabilities.

The new agreement pairs iCardiac Technologies – a newly established Rochester-based company which is positioning itself as the leader in cardiac safety analytics to support pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device and contract research companies – with technology developed by the University’s Heart Research Follow-up Program, an international leader in cardiovascular research.

"We are extremely pleased to be working with the University of Rochester, one of the premier institutions in the world for cardiac safety," said Alex Zapesochny, president and chief operating officer of iCardiac Technologies. "The Heart Research Follow-up Program at the University of Rochester has focused on researching key challenges in this area for over 25 years and iCardiac is now positioned as a leader in this field due to the licensing of this core technology."

About iCardiac Technologies, Inc.

iCardiac Technologies, Inc., headquartered in Rochester, N.Y., is a leading provider of advanced cardiac safety analysis technologies. The company evolved from research carried out at the Heart Research Follow-up Program at the University of Rochester. The company’s technology provides more rigorous characterization of the cardiac safety profiles of in-development and on-market drugs. This allows iCardiac’s customers to both accelerate drug development as well as bring compounds forward in clinical trials with more confidence about their cardiac safety. Additionally, the company’s core technology has applications in ECG-based cardiac diagnostics and medical devices.

About URMC’s Heart Research Follow-up Program

The Heart Research Follow-up Program, which is funded in part by the National Institutes of Health, is a national and international leader in the science of heart arrhythmias and a rare genetic condition associated with an abnormal QT interval, called the congenital Long QT Syndrome (LQTS). The University keeps an International Registry for LQTS and follows thousands of families who have this inherited condition. One of the genetic forms of the QT prolongation syndrome is similar to the drug-induced syndrome, and the University’s work focuses on developing the tools to identify individuals with either condition.

Mark Michaud | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.urmc.rochester.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht World first: Massive thrombosis removed during early pregnancy
20.07.2017 | Universitätsspital Bern

nachricht Therapy of preterm birth in sight?
19.07.2017 | Universitätsspital Bern

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

Im Focus: The 1 trillion tonne iceberg

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through

A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...

Im Focus: Laser-cooled ions contribute to better understanding of friction

Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision

Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA looks to solar eclipse to help understand Earth's energy system

21.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

Stanford researchers develop a new type of soft, growing robot

21.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Vortex photons from electrons in circular motion

21.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>