QSAR Modeling and Data Mining Link Torsades de Pointes Risk to the Interplay of Extent of Metabolism, Active Transport, and hERG Liability.
ABSTRACT We collected 1173 hERG patch clamp (PC) data (IC(50)) from the literature to derive twelve classification models for hERG inhibition, covering a large variety of chemical descriptors and classification algorithms. Models were generated using 545 molecules and validated through 258 external molecules tested in PC experiments. We also evaluated the suitability of the best models to predict the activity of 26 proprietary compounds tested in radioligand binding displacement (RBD). Results proved the necessity to use multiple validation sets for a true estimation of model accuracy and demonstrated that using various descriptors and algorithms improves the performance of ligand-based models. Intriguingly, one of the most accurate models uncovered an unexpected link between extent of metabolism and hERG liability. This hypothesis was fairly reinforced by using the Biopharmaceutics Drug Disposition Classification System (BDDCS) that recognized 94% of the hERG inhibitors as extensively metabolized in vivo. Data mining suggested that high Torsades de Pointes (TdP) risk results from an interplay of hERG inhibition, extent of metabolism, active transport, and possibly solubility. Overall, these new findings might improve both the decision making skills of pharmaceutical scientists to mitigate hERG liability during the drug discovery process and the TdP risk assessment during drug development.