ERT, a global solution provider for high-quality patient safety and efficacy endpoint data collection, has entered into an agreement with GE Healthcare that enables ERT to introduce the QT Guard Plus Analysis System to the clinical trial industry as part of its centralized cardiac safety solutions.
The QT Guard Plus Analysis System enables biopharmaceutical companies to analyze detailed morphology of the ECG T-wave, which can help identify new drugs that have an effect on QT. ERT has incorporated this algorithm tool into its EXPERT platform.
During clinical development, biopharmaceutical companies are required to conduct cardiac safety studies to evaluate if new drugs can trigger a potentially fatal disordered heart beat known as Torsades de Pointes (TdP). Since prolongation of the QT interval on the surface ECG provides evidence of the common mechanism by which drugs produce TdP, thorough QT/QTc (TQT) studies have become the industry standard for meeting this requirement.
However, measurement of the QT interval can be difficult and has led to the termination of promising drugs that showed some degree of QT prolongation in early studies, but otherwise did not demonstrate evidence of proarrhythmia, a harmful effect.
The QT Guard Plus Algorithm identifies and quantifies characteristic changes in the shape of the T-wave found in drugs that produce TdP. The ability to perform this quantitative analysis can help to distinguish between drugs which are proarrhythmic and those which are not.
“We believe that T-wave morphology analysis may help to better assess the arrhythmogenic potential of drugs which have a small or equivocal QT effect, and may be a very useful adjunct to traditional QT studies,” said Dr. Robert Kleiman, ERT’s chief medical officer. “The initial peer reviewed literature is very promising that T-wave morphology analysis may help improve cardiac safety while preserving the drug development pipeline.”