Metrion Biosciences Cardiac Safety Screening Services
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hERG Screening

Metrion’s hERG channel screening services will give you the confidence to move forward with your discovery research.

hERG Screening provides you with quick and reliable information regarding the potential cardiac liability of your compound due to binding to the hERG channel.

Our approach

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Inhibition of the hERG channel can lead to prolongation of the cardiac action potential and ECG QT interval, which in turn can produce dangerous clinical arrythmias such as Torsade de Pointes (TdP)

Introduction to Metrion’s hERG Screening services

The cardiac rapid delayed rectifier potassium current (IKr), which is carried by an ion channel encoded by the human ether-à-go-go- related gene (hERG), plays an important role in ventricular repolarization. It is also integral in determining the QT-interval of the electrocardiogram; with QT-interval being the time taken for ventricular depolarisation and repolarisation.

hERG screening

It is widely acknowledged that hERG is highly susceptible to inhibition by a wide range of structurally diverse compounds. Inhibition of hERG is linked with prolongation of the QT-interval and the polymorphic ventricular tachycardia, Torsades de Pointes. Since the early 1990’s, a number of drugs have been withdrawn from the market due to their proarrhythmic liability.

hERG ECG APD Screening
Figure 1. hERG inhibition can produce prolongation of action potential and ECG

Indeed, the association between drug-induced QT-interval prolongation and pharmacological blockade of hERG channels is sufficiently strong that hERG screening has been an important component of cardiac safety pharmacology for over 10 years. Furthermore, hERG screening will continue to be an important component of the proposed Comprehensive in Vitro Proarrhythmia Assay (CiPA) initiative, which will redefine the guidelines supporting the assessment of cardiac safety screening.

Read next Comprehensive in Vitro Proarrhythmia Assay (CiPA) initiative

Metrion offers non-GLP hERG screening services using the QPatch automated gigaseal patch clamp platform.

  • We offer four-point and eight-point concentration response hERG screening assays that are performed at room temperature.
  • The compounds are applied in cumulative concentration-response format, with double additions of compound at each concentration.
  • A concentration-response curve is also provided using the positive control reference compound, Verapamil.

The figure below shows a representative four-point concentration response assay using Verapamil.

hERG concentration response assay
Figure 2. hERG concentration response screening assay

Cardiac Safety Screening Resource Library

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Cardiac Safety Screening Technologies
  • QPatch automated electrophysiology platform
  • Patchliner automated electrophysiology
  • Conventional manual patch clamp electrophysiology
  • Plate-based impedance and microelectrode array techniques
  • FlexStation plate-based imaging
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Let’s work together

What are your specific ion channel and assay needs?

If you have any questions or would like to discuss your specific assay requirements, we will put you directly in touch with a member of our scientific team. Contact us today to discover more.