Heart of the matter

Absorption Systems and ChanTest team up to enhance ADME suite with tests that assess drugs’ risks for unintended cardiac effects

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EXTON, Pa.—Absorption Systems and Cleveland-based ChanTest have come together in a collaboration to expand Absorption Systems' suite of drug metabolism studies to provide data on the impact that a therapy may have on the heart. As such, Absorption Systems' pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry customers that need to secure in vitro drug metabolism data for FDA submissions can now request studies that use ChanTest's extensive library of cell lines for assessing a drug's impact on cardiac tissue.

The ChanTest assays will be available through the Absorption Systems Safety Suite.
"Both of us are recognized as industry leaders in our vertical markets," says Dr. Sid Bhoopathy, director of operations for Absorption Systems, "with us having the expertise in absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion (ADME) studies, and ChanText being leading experts in ion channels, GPCRs (G-protein coupled receptors) and in vitro cardiac risk assessment."

The two companies decided to come together because they both see a drive in the pharmaceutical industry for greater efficiency and cost control, notes Robert Schultek, vice president of global sales and marketing for ChanTest.

"First of all, it's important to recognize that absorption and other ADME issue have a lot of potential safety and toxicity issues related to them, and cardiac safety is a distinct area of concern for companies and the FDA," Schultek says. "These are the two most important areas for safety and risk that companies have to look at when preparing for clinical trials, so it makes sense to let them handle both through one interaction, through whichever of our two companies has the lead contact with the customer."

Dr. Glenn Kirsch, head of pharmacological sciences for ChanTest, points out that it also is becoming quite apparent that companies want to move cardiac safety issue farther upstream in the drug development process.

"We've got a number of automated patch clamp systems to evaluate hERG risks at roughly the same point in the timeframe that Absorption Systems comes in to evaluate ADME issues, so there is quite a synergy there that supported the idea of us joining forces," Kirsch says.

"Our assays complement those of Absorption Systems very nicely," says Arthur M. Brown, president and CEO of ChanTest. "We think that Absorption Systems' customers will find it appealing to be able to evaluate cardiac safety at the same time as they conduct ADME studies."

The two companies do not overlap in any way with their respective work, either, which also made the match-up a good one, points out Dr. Chris Bode, vice president of corporate development for Absorption Systems. He adds that his company doesn't do toxicology studies and has no plans to enter into that realm, but it does handle drug-drug interactions studies and seeks to get more deeply into the realm of GLP bioanalysis.

Patrick M. Dentinger, president and CEO of Absorption Systems, concludes, "ChanTest's assays are widely recognized as the gold standard for ion channel studies. By offering them alongside the rest of our Safety Suite, Absorption Systems can offer pharma and biotech companies the most comprehensive, FDA-ready data on how a drug will affect the body."

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