[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The evaluation of cardiovascular side-effects is a critical element in the development of all new drugs and chemicals. Cardiac safety issues have been and continue to be a major cause of attrition andwithdrawal due to Adverse Drug Reactions (ADRs) in pharmaceutical drug development. The HESI Technical Committee on Cardiac Safety, an international consortium of academic, government, and industry scientists, provides a unique opportunity to share resources and expertise to improve cardiovascular safety evaluation for new drugs and chemicals.This article describes theevolution of the HESI Cardiac Safety Technical Committee from 2000-2013 and the positive impacts resulting from this collaboration.
Journal of pharmacological and toxicological methods 04/2013; · 2.32 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cardiovascular (CV) safety concerns are a significant source of drug development attrition in the pharmaceutical industry today. Though current nonclinical testing paradigms have largely prevented catastrophic CV events in Phase I studies, many challenges relating to the inability of current nonclinical safety testing strategies to model patient outcomes persist. Contemporary approaches include a spectrum of evaluations of CV structure and function in a variety of laboratory animal species. These approaches might be improved with a more holistic integration of these evaluations in repeat-dose studies, addition of novel endpoints with greater sensitivity and translational application, and use of more relevant animal models. Particular opportunities present with advances in imaging capabilities applicable to rodent and non-rodent species, technical capabilities for measuring CV function in repeat-dose animal studies, detection and quantitation of microRNAs and wider use of alternative animal models. Strategic application of these novel opportunities considering putative CV risk associated with the molecular drug target as well as inherent risks present in the target patient population could tailor or 'personalize' nonclinical safety assessment as a more translational evaluation. This paper is a call to action for the clinical and nonclinical drug safety communities to assess these opportunities to determine their utility in filling potential gaps in our current cardiovascular safety testing paradigms.
Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology 10/2012; · 2.13 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Health and Environmental Sciences Institute Cardiac Biomarkers Working Group surveyed the pharmaceutical development community to investigate practices in assessing hemostasis, including detection of hypocoagulable and hypercoagulable states. Scientists involved in discovery, preclinical, and clinical research were queried on laboratory evaluation of endothelium, platelets, coagulation, and fibrinolysis during safety assessment studies. Results indicated that laboratory assessment of hemostasis is inconsistent among institutions and not harmonized between preclinical and clinical studies. Hemostasis testing in preclinical drug safety studies primarily focuses on the risk of bleeding, whereas the clinical complication of thrombosis is seldom assessed. Our results reveal the need for broader utilization of biomarkers to detect altered hemostasis (e.g., endothelial and platelet activation) to improve preclinical safety assessments early in the drug development process. Survey respondents indicated a critical lack of validated markers of hypercoagulability and subclinical thrombosis in animal testing. Additional obstacles included limited blood volume, lack of cross-reacting antibodies for hemostasis testing in laboratory species, restricted availability of specialized hemostasis analyzers, and few centers of expertise in animal hemostasis testing. Establishment of translatable biomarkers of prothrombotic states in multiple species and strategic implementation of testing on an industry-wide basis are needed to better avert untoward drug complications in patient populations.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The global practice of drug development is expanding into many different continents and countries. India, in particular, is rapidly emerging as an economic force in this arena by offering ever-expanding opportunities for pharmaceutical market expansion as well as productive drug development partnerships. The key to the country's current socioeconomic success appears to be education, particularly the development of higher and professional education. Also, recent modifications to India's patent laws offer greater protections and incentives for international investment. Increasing numbers of competent contract research organizations create attractive opportunities for large Western pharmaceutical companies with a desire to gain access to burgeoning markets as well as mitigate the rising cost of drug development with less costly services. Well-trained veterinary pathologists are available, appropriate facilities are being constructed, and laboratory capabilities are expanding. Developing a productive partnership with a credible laboratory service in India, as with any new provider, requires due diligence and knowledgeable scrutiny of key elements of the work stream, such as facilities, education and training of laboratory personnel, Good Laboratory Practices, animal care, timelines, and data management. Ultimately and with appropriate management, mutually beneficial drug development partnerships are available in India.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The authors compared the mortality and cardiac biomarker responses in three outbred stocks of Sprague Dawley rats (CD/IGS, Sasco, Harlan) treated with isoproterenol hydrochloride. Cardiac injury was confirmed by histologic evaluation, and increases in cardiac troponin I concentration in serum were measured by two methods. CD/IGS rats had a higher incidence and earlier mortality compared with Sasco or Harlan rats. Harlan rats had lower severity scores for cardiomyocyte degeneration/necrosis compared with the other stocks. Post-isoproterenol treatment cardiac troponin I concentrations were greater in CD/IGS and Sasco rats compared with Harlan rats. Concentrations of cardiac troponin T followed a similar pattern to that of cardiac troponin I in rats treated with isoproterenol. Myosin, light chain 3 concentrations increased in all rats treated with isoproterenol, but there was no difference between the three stocks in the magnitude or pattern of the dose response. Increases in fatty acid binding protein 3 concentrations were detected in only the highest dose group at the earliest timepoint postdose for all three stocks of rats. Results of these studies illustrate the need for investigators to recognize the potential differences in response between stocks of Sprague Dawley rats treated with cardiotoxicants or novel chemical entities.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chronic treatment with suprapharmacologic doses of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) agonists has a known potential for causing left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH). The mechanism by which LVH develops is not well understood nor are biomarkers of it well characterized. Natriuretic peptides are important regulators of cardiac growth, blood volume, and arterial pressure and may be useful biomarkers of LVH and hemodynamic changes that precede it. We measured amino-terminal pro-atrial natriuretic peptide (NTproANP), amino-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NTproBNP), and cardiac troponin I (cTnI) concentrations in serum and plasma, as well as transcripts in left ventricular heart tissue for atrial natriuretic peptide precursor (Nppa), brain natriuretic peptide precursor (Nppb), and myosin heavy chain-beta (Myh7) as potential biomarkers of LVH induced by a PPARalpha/gamma dual agonist in Sprague-Dawley rats. We used magnetic resonance imaging, echocardiography, and hemodynamics to identify structural and functional cardiovascular changes related to the biomarkers. Heart-to-brain weight ratios (HW:BrW) were correlated with NTproANP, NTproBNP, and cTnI concentrations in serum as well as fold change in expression of Nppa and Nppb. LVH was characterized by increased left ventricular wall thickness and inner diameter, increased cardiac output, decreased arterial blood pressure, and increased heart rate. In these studies, each end point contributed to the early detection of LVH, the ability to monitor its progression, and demonstrated the ability of NTproANP concentration in serum to predict LVH and hemodynamic changes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Serum cardiac troponin-I has been validated as a biomarker for cardiotoxicity in numerous animal models; however, baseline reference ranges for cTnI concentration in a healthy population of laboratory rats, as well as an investigation of biological cTnI variability in rats with respect to time, handling, and placebo dosing methods, have not been reported. In this study, we used an ultrasensitive cTnI immunoassay to quantify hourly concentrations of cTnI in live rats handled under standard laboratory conditions using 15 microL of serum per determination. The baseline reference range (mean 4.94 pg/mL, range 1-15 pg/mL, 99% confidence interval [CI]) of cTnI concentration in rats was consistent with previously reported reference ranges for cTnI in humans (1-12 pg/mL) and with preliminary studies in dogs (1-4 pg/mL) and monkeys (4-5 pg/mL) using the same cTnI assay method. In addition, cTnI concentrations in individual rat serum samples show minimal biological variability over a twenty-four-hour interval when compared to a meaningful reference change value of 193% to 206%. Furthermore, measurements of cTnI concentration were consistent within the reference limits in individual rats over long periods and under three different standard laboratory handling conditions. Thus, using this new method, rats can be followed longitudinally at hourly intervals, and a doubling of cTnI concentration would be significant above biological variability. This is a new paradigm for preclinical testing, which allows transient changes in cTnI concentration to be accurately quantified. This understanding of baseline and biological variability in rats will be fundamental for designing and analyzing future studies that assess potential cardiotoxicity in drug development.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cardiac troponins (cTns) are established biomarkers of ischemic heart disease in humans. However, their value as biomarkers of cardiac injury from causes other than ischemic heart disease is now being explored, particularly in drug development. In a workshop sponsored by the Cardiac Troponin Biomarker Working Group of the Health and Environmental Sciences Institute, preclinical, clinical, and regulatory scientists discussed the application of cTns in their respective environments, issues in translating the preclinical application of cTn to clinical studies, and gaps in our understanding of cTn biology and pathobiology. Evidence indicates that cTns are sensitive and specific biomarkers of cardiac injury from varying causes in both animals and humans. Accordingly, monitoring cTns can help ensure patient safety during the clinical evaluation of new drugs. In addition, preclinical characterization of cardiac risk and cTns as biomarkers of that risk can guide relevant clinical application and interpretation. We summarize here the outcomes of the workshop which included consensus statements, recommendations for further research, and a proposal for a cross-disciplinary group of clinical, regulatory, and drug development scientists to collaborate in such research.
American heart journal 08/2009; 158(1):21-9. · 4.65 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cardiac troponin I is a useful biomarker of myocardial injury, but its use in mice and application to early drug discovery are not well described. The authors investigated the relationship between cTnI concentration in serum and histologic lesions in heart tissue from mice treated with isoproterenol (ISO). Cardiac TnI concentrations in serum increased in a dose-dependant manner and remained increased twenty-four to forty-eight hours after a single administration of isoproterenol. Increased cTnI concentration was of greater magnitude and longer duration than increased fatty acid binding protein 3 concentration, aspartate aminotransferase activity, and creatine kinase activity in serum. Isoproterenol-induced increases in cTnI concentrations were both greater and more sustained in BALB/c than in CD1 mice and correlated with incidence and severity of lesions observed in heart sections from both strains. In drug development studies in BALB/c mice with novel kinase inhibitors, cTnI concentration was a reliable stand-alone biomarker of cardiac injury and was used in combination with measurements of in vivo target inhibition to demonstrate an off-target contribution to cardiotoxicity. Additional attributes, including low cost and rapid turnaround time, made cTnI concentration in serum invaluable for detecting cardiotoxicity, exploring structure-activity relationships, and prioritizing development of compounds with improved safety profiles early in drug discovery.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The CBC is an essential test for assessing the health of rats used in drug development studies. Because of limited blood volume, estimates of cell counts from a blood smear would be valuable when other analytical methods of enumerating cells are not possible or available.
The purpose of this study was to develop a statistical model to accurately estimate WBC, platelet (PLT), and RBC counts in blood smears from rats.
Blood smears and quantitative cell counts were obtained from vehicle-treated male and female Fischer 344 rats (n=65) involved in a variety of studies. The numbers of WBCs, PLTs, and RBCs were estimated in 10 fields in the monolayer of smears using x 20 (WBC) or x 100 (PLT, RBC) objectives. Using a statistical model and the quantitative cell counts obtained on an ADVIA 120 hematology analyzer, formulas were developed to predict the quantitative counts from the estimates.
Data were log-transformed before analysis. A formula was derived using the slope and intercept of the regression line between cell estimates and ADVIA counts to predict WBC, PLT, and RBC counts based only on estimates. A second formula was developed for situations in which limited quantitative analyses may be available, and resulted in even more accurately predicted counts from smear estimates.
The formulas developed in this study can be a valuable tool in estimating cell counts from a blood smear when cell counting instruments are not available or when an instrument cell count needs to be verified. These formulas may be useful in the assessment of rat blood in discovery and lead optimization studies.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Fatty acid binding protein 3 (Fabp3) has been used as a serological biomarker of cardiac injury, but its utility as a preclinical biomarker of injury to skeletal muscle is not well described. Fabp3 concentrations were determined for tissues from Sprague-Dawley rats and found to occur at highest concentrations in cardiac muscle and in skeletal muscles containing an abundance of type I fibers, such as the soleus muscle. Soleus is also a primary site of skeletal muscle (SKM) injury caused by lipid-lowering peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPAR-alpha) agonists. In rats administered repeat doses of a PPAR-alpha agonist, the kinetics and amplitude of plasma concentrations of Fabp3 were consistent with plasma compound concentrations and histopathology findings of swollen, hyalinized, and fragmented muscle fibers with macrophage infiltration. Immunohistochemical detection of Fabp3 revealed focal depletion of Fabp3 protein from injured SKM fibers which is consistent with increased serum Fabp3 concentrations in treated rats. We then assessed the predictivity of serological Fabp3 for SKM necrosis in short duration toxicology studies. Rats were treated with various doses of 27 different compounds, and the predictivity of serological biomarkers was assessed relative to histology in individual rats and in treatment groups. Under these study conditions, Fabp3 was the most useful individual biomarker based on concordance, sensitivity, positive and negative predictive values, and false negative rate. In addition, the combination of Fabp3 and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) had greater diagnostic value than the conventional combination of creatine kinase-MM isoenzyme (CK) and AST.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There is an international shortage of veterinary clinical pathologists in the workplace. Current trainees in veterinary clinical pathology may choose to pursue careers in academe, diagnostic laboratories, government health services, biopharmaceutical companies, or private practice. Academic training programs attempt to provide trainees with an exposure to several career choices. However, due to the proprietary nature of much of the work in the biopharmaceutical industry, trainees may not be fully informed regarding the nature of work for veterinary clinical pathologists and the myriad opportunities that await employment in the biopharmaceutical industry. The goals of this report are to provide trainees in veterinary clinical pathology and other laboratory personnel with an overview of the work-life of veterinary clinical pathologists employed in the biopharmaceutical industry, and to raise the profile of this career choice for those seeking to enter the workforce. Biographical sketches, job descriptions, and motivation for 3 successful veterinary clinical pathologists employed in the biopharmaceutical industry are provided. Current and past statistics for veterinary clinical pathologists employed in the biopharmaceutical industry are reviewed. An overview of the drug development process and involvement of veterinary clinical pathologists in the areas of discovery, lead optimization, and candidate evaluation are discussed. Additional duties for veterinary clinical pathologists employed in the biopharmaceutical industry include development of biomarkers and new technologies, service as scientific resources, diagnostic support services, and laboratory management responsibilities. There are numerous opportunities available for trainees in veterinary clinical pathology to pursue employment in the biopharmaceutical industry and enjoy challenging and rewarding careers.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Serum cardiac troponin-I (cTnI) has been validated as a biomarker for cardiotoxicity in numerous animal models; however, owing to sensitivity issues cTnI concentrations in healthy, resting animals used in toxicology studies have not been established. Serum from healthy and isoproterenol hydrochloride (iso)-treated rats, dogs, and monkeys were assayed using the Erenna system. The Erenna cTnI assay provided sensitivity < 1 ng/L across human, rat, dog, and monkey cTnI. Linear responses (R(2)= 0.99) were observed for all species. Precision studies yielded interassay CVs of curve fit quantification from 2% to 4% between 1.6 and 5000 ng/L, and 23% at 0.78 ng/L. Strong correlation (R(2)= 0.99) was obtained between Erenna and Beckman Access cTnI. Concentrations of cTnI in healthy animals ranged from 1 to 9 ng/L. In longitudinal studies of iso-treated animals, the concentrations of cTnI in the control vehicle-treated groups were 10-20 ng/L for rats (N = 10) and predose values of 2-3 ng/L for dogs (N = 3). Measured with the Erenna assay system, cTnI was quantifiable at all time intervals tested in all animals treated with iso. The Erenna system provides sensitive measurement of cTnI in rats, dogs, and monkeys, makes it possible to determine small changes from normal concentrations, and provides cTnI values from small volumes of serum.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Assessment of bone formation activity is an important component of pharmacologic efficacy and toxicity evaluations for compounds in development for osteoporosis therapies. Antemortem biomarkers of bone formation and remodeling in rodents are uncommon. While the periosteal alkaline phosphatase (ALP) assay is a postmortem and laborious means of testing bone-building activity, the semiautomated ALP isoenzyme assay is an antemortem assay that is performed on an automated chemistry analyzer after 2 simple dilutions of the initial serum sample and a short incubation.
The goal of our investigation was to determine if the serum bone ALP (BALP) data obtained from the semiautomated ALP isoenzyme assay had a similar pattern of response when compared with the periosteal ALP (PALP) assay for use in pharmacologic screening in rats.
Serum and bone tissue samples were obtained from orchidectomized Wistar rats, a model of clinically induced osteoporosis. Subsequent bone formation was initiated via treatment with one of several compounds. In study 1, orchidectomized male rats were given either vehicle, dihydrotestosterone or a testosterone derivative subcutaneously every 4 days for 28 days. In study 2, orchidectomized male rats were given either vehicle or compounds A, B, or C by oral gavage daily for 15 days. Blood and tibias were collected at necropsy. Serum was analyzed for BALP activity using a semiautomated ALP assay. Tibias from the same rats were analyzed for PALP activity.
Serum BALP activity paralleled PALP activity within each group when compared with the controls.
Our data indicate that the semiautomated serum BALP isoenzyme assay may be used as a biomarker of bone-building potential in rat models of osteoporosis. This assay affords many advantages to investigators of musculoskeletal diseases, including the potential to measure multiple data points in a single study.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Veterinary clinical and anatomic pathologists play a critical role in assessing the safety of new molecules. The process for evaluation of candidate molecules in drug discovery may vary markedly, depending on the unique characteristics of the compound class.
The goal of this report is to describe the evaluation process for assessing the potential toxicity of 2 anticoagulant compounds that were representative of molecules tested in early screening studies in Fisher rats, and to use these studies as an example of the strategic approach used by veterinary pathologists in pharmaceutical safety assessment.
Groups of 3 rats were given vehicle alone or one of several doses of compound A or B by oral gavage daily for 4 consecutive days. Survival; clinical signs; body and organ weight measurements; hematologic, coagulation, and clinical biochemical testing; and gross and histologic findings at necropsy were assessed. Transmission electron microscopy was used to characterize unique findings in the liver of rats treated with compound B.
Both compounds caused dose-dependent prolongation of the prothrombin time (PT), activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT), and thrombin clotting time (TCT). Hepatobiliary and intestinal toxicity were identified by alterations in serum chemistry data, and by histopathologic findings. Electron microscopy and tissue inorganic phosphorus analysis revealed phospholipidosis in rats treated with compound B.
Pharmacologically mediated or "on target" effects for these molecules were characterized by dose-progressive prolongation of the PT, APTT, and TCT. Nonpharmacologically mediated or "off-target" toxicity consisted of hepatoxicity and enterotoxicity. These liabilities required that scientists alter the original molecular scaffold to reach the desired therapeutic target and minimize toxicity.