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Cross-Site and Cross-Platform Variability of Automated Patch Clamp Assessments of Drug Effects on Human Cardiac Currents in Recombinant Cells

Automated patch clamp (APC) instruments enable efficient evaluation of electrophysiologic effects of drugs on human cardiac currents in heterologous expression systems. Differences in experimental protocols, instruments, and dissimilar site procedures affect the variability of IC50 values characterizing drug block potency. This impacts the utility of APC platforms for assessing a drug’s cardiac safety margin. We determined variability of APC data from multiple sites that measured blocking potency of 12 blinded drugs (with different levels of proarrhythmic risk) against four human cardiac currents (hERG [IKr], hCav1.2 [L-Type ICa], peak hNav1.5, [Peak INa], late hNav1.5 [Late INa]) with recommended protocols (to minimize variance) using five APC platforms across 17 sites.

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An Evaluation Framework for New Approach Methodologies (NAMs) for Human Health Safety Assessment

The need to develop new tools and increase capacity to test pharmaceuticals and other chemicals for potential adverse impacts on human health and the environment is an active area of development. The response to these challenges for a “paradigm shift” toward using new approach methodologies (NAMS) for safety assessment has resulted in an explosion of initiatives by numerous organizations, but, for the most part, these have been carried out independently and are not coordinated in any meaningful way. To help remedy this situation, a framework that presents a consistent set of criteria, universal across initiatives, to evaluate a NAM’s fit-for-purpose was developed by a multi-stakeholder group of industry, academic, and regulatory experts.

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Application of New Statistical Distribution Approaches for Environmental Mixture Risk Assessment: A Case Study

There is growing evidence that single substances present below their individual thresholds of effect may still contribute to combined effects. Here, the possible use of ecotoxicological threshold concentrations of no concern (i.e. 5th percentile of statistical distribution of ecotoxicological values) is investigated to fill data gaps in MRA.

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Tumorigenicity Assessment of Cell Therapy Products: The Need for Global Consensus and Points to Consider

Pluripotent stem cells offer the potential for an unlimited source for cell therapy products. However, there is concern regarding the tumorigenicity of these products in humans, mainly due to the possible unintended contamination of undifferentiated cells or transformed cells. Here, we critically review currently available in vivo and in vitro testing methods for tumorigenicity evaluation against expectations in international regulatory guidelines.

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A Cross-Sector Call to Improve Carcinogenicity Risk Assessment Through Use of Genomic Methodologies

Robust genomic approaches are now available to realize improvements in efficiencies and translational relevance of cancer risk assessments for drugs and chemicals. The authors propose a path for implementation of innovative cancer risk assessment including incorporating genomic signatures to assess mechanistic relevance of carcinogenicity and enhanced use of genomics in benchmark dose and point of departure evaluations.

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