After multiple drugs were removed from the market secondary to drug-induced torsade de pointes (TdP) risk, the International Council for Harmonisation (ICH) released guidelines in 2005 that focused on the nonclinical (S7B) and clinical (E14) assessment of surrogate biomarkers for TdP. Recently, Vargas et al. published a pharmaceutical-industry perspective making the case that “double-negative” nonclinical data (negative in vitro hERG and in vivo heart-rate corrected QT (QTc) assays) are associated with such low probability of clinical QTc prolongation and TdP that potentially all double-negative drugs would not need detailed clinical QTc evaluation. Subsequently, the ICH released a new E14/S7B Draft Guideline containing Questions and Answers (Q&As) that defined ways that double-negative nonclinical data could be used to reduce the number of “Thorough QT” (TQT) studies and reach a low-risk determination when a TQT or equivalent could not be performed. We review the Vargas et al. proposal in the context of what was contained in the ICH E14/S7B Draft Guideline and what was proposed by the ICH E14/S7B working group for a “stage 2” of updates (potential expanded roles for nonclinical data and details for assessing TdP risk of QTc-prolonging drugs). Although we do not agree with the exact probability statistics in the Vargas et al. paper because of limitations in the underlying datasets, we show how more modest predictive value of individual assays could still result in low probability for TdP with double-negative findings. Furthermore, we expect that the predictive value of the nonclinical assays will improve with implementation of the new ICH E14/S7B Draft Guideline.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology (medical)