The ventricular arrhythmia Torsades de Pointes (TdP) is a common form of drug-induced cardiotoxicity, but prediction of this arrhythmia remains an unresolved issue in drug development. Current assays to evaluate arrhythmia risk are limited by poor specificity and a lack of mechanistic insight. We addressed this important unresolved issue through a novel computational approach that combined simulations of drug effects on dynamics with statistical analysis and machine-learning. Drugs that blocked multiple ion channels were simulated in ventricular myocyte models, and metrics computed from the action potential and intracellular (Ca(2+) ) waveform were used to construct classifiers that distinguished between arrhythmogenic and nonarrhythmogenic drugs. We found that: (1) these classifiers provide superior risk prediction; (2) drug-induced changes to both the action potential and intracellular (Ca(2+) ) influence risk; and (3) cardiac ion channels not typically assessed may significantly affect risk. Our algorithm demonstrates the value of systematic simulations in predicting pharmacological toxicity.
© 2016 The American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics.