Health and Environmental Science Institute

Columbia, Washington, United States

Health and Environmental Science Institute

Columbia, Washington, United States

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Pierson J.B.,Health and Environmental science Institute | Berridge B.R.,Glaxosmithkline | Brooks M.B.,Cornell University | Dreher K.,U.S. Environmental Protection Agency | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Pharmacological and Toxicological Methods | Year: 2013

Introduction: The evaluation of cardiovascular side-effects is a critical element in the development of all new drugs and chemicals. Cardiac safety issues are a major cause of attrition and withdrawal due to adverse drug reactions (ADRs) in pharmaceutical drug development. Methods: The evolution of the HESI Technical Committee on Cardiac Safety from 2000-2013 is presented as an example of an effective international consortium of academic, government, and industry scientists working to improve cardiac safety. Results and Discussion: The HESI Technical Committee Working Groups facilitated the development of a variety of platforms for resource sharing and communication among experts that led to innovative strategies for improved drug safety. The positive impacts arising from these Working Groups are described in this article. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.


Knudsen T.B.,U.S. Environmental Protection Agency | Keller D.A.,Sanofi S.A. | Sander M.,Page One Editorial Services | Carney E.W.,Dow Chemical Company | And 10 more authors.
Toxicological Sciences | Year: 2015

FutureTox II, a Society of Toxicology Contemporary Concepts in Toxicology workshop, was held in January, 2014. The meeting goals were to review and discuss the state of the science in toxicology in the context of implementing the NRC 21st century vision of predicting in vivo responses from in vitro and in silico data, and to define the goals for the future. Presentations and discussions were held on priority concerns such as predicting and modeling of metabolism, cell growth and differentiation, effects on sensitive subpopulations, and integrating data into risk assessment. Emerging trends in technologies such as stem cell-derived human cells, 3D organotypic culture models, mathematical modeling of cellular processes and morphogenesis, adverse outcome pathway development, and high-content imaging of in vivo systems were discussed. Although advances in moving towards an in vitro/in silico based risk assessment paradigm were apparent, knowledge gaps in these areas and limitations of technologies were identified. Specific recommendations were made for future directions and research needs in the areas of hepatotoxicity, cancer prediction, developmental toxicity, and regulatory toxicology. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society of Toxicology. All rights reserved.


PubMed | U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Amgen, Safety and Exploratory Pharmacology, Astrazeneca and 2 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: British journal of pharmacology | Year: 2015

Evaluating whether a new medication prolongs QT intervals is a critical safety activity that is conducted in a sensitive animal model during non-clinical drug development. The importance of QT liability detection has been reinforced by non-clinical [International Conference on Harmonization (ICH) S7B] and clinical (ICH E14) regulatory guidance from the International Conference on Harmonization. A key challenge for the cardiovascular safety community is to understand how the finding from a non-clinical in vivoQT assay in animals predicts the outcomes of a clinical QT evaluation in humans. The Health and Environmental Sciences Institute Pro-Arrhythmia Working Group performed a literature search (1960-2011) to identify both human and non-rodent animal studies that assessed QT signal concordance between species and identified drugs that prolonged or did not prolong the QT interval. The main finding was the excellent agreement between QT results in humans and non-rodent animals. Ninety-one percent (21 of 23) of drugs that prolonged the QT interval in humans also did so in animals, and 88% (15 of 17) of drugs that did not prolong the QT interval in humans had no effect on animals. This suggests that QT interval data derived from relevant non-rodent models has a 90% chance of predicting QT findings in humans. Disagreement can occur, but in the limited cases of QT discordance we identified, there appeared to be plausible explanations for the underlying disconnect between the human and non-rodent animal QT outcomes.


Forbes B.,Academy of Pharmaceutical science of Great Britain | Forbes B.,King's College London | O'Lone R.,Health and Environmental science Institute | Allen P.P.,Glaxosmithkline | And 18 more authors.
Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews | Year: 2014

Alveolar macrophage (AM) responses are commonly induced in inhalation toxicology studies, typically being observed as an increase in number or a vacuolated 'foamy' morphology. Discriminating between adaptive AM responses and adverse events during nonclinical and clinical development is a major scientific challenge. When measuring and interpreting induced AM responses, an understanding of macrophage biology is essential; this includes 'sub-types' of AMs with different roles in health and disease and mechanisms of induction/resolution of AM responses to inhalation of pharmaceutical aerosols. In this context, emerging assay techniques, the utility of toxicokinetics and the requirement for new biomarkers are considered. Risk assessment for nonclinical toxicology findings and their translation to effects in humans is discussed from a scientific and regulatory perspective. At present, when apparently adaptive macrophage-only responses to inhaled investigational products are observed in nonclinical studies, this poses a challenge for risk assessment and an improved understanding of induced AM responses to inhaled pharmaceuticals is required. © 2014.


Schultze A.E.,Eli Lilly and Company | Walker D.B.,Bristol Myers Squibb | Turk J.R.,Amgen Inc. | Tarrant J.M.,Genentech | And 2 more authors.
Toxicologic Pathology | Year: 2013

The Health and Environmental Sciences Institute Cardiac Biomarkers Working Group surveyed the pharmaceutical development community to investigate practices in assessing hemostasis, including detection of hypocoagulable and hypercoagulable states. Scientists involved in discovery, preclinical, and clinical research were queried on laboratory evaluation of endothelium, platelets, coagulation, and fibrinolysis during safety assessment studies. Results indicated that laboratory assessment of hemostasis is inconsistent among institutions and not harmonized between preclinical and clinical studies. Hemostasis testing in preclinical drug safety studies primarily focuses on the risk of bleeding, whereas the clinical complication of thrombosis is seldom assessed. Our results reveal the need for broader utilization of biomarkers to detect altered hemostasis (e.g., endothelial and platelet activation) to improve preclinical safety assessments early in the drug development process. Survey respondents indicated a critical lack of validated markers of hypercoagulability and subclinical thrombosis in animal testing. Additional obstacles included limited blood volume, lack of cross-reacting antibodies for hemostasis testing in laboratory species, restricted availability of specialized hemostasis analyzers, and few centers of expertise in animal hemostasis testing. Establishment of translatable biomarkers of prothrombotic states in multiple species and strategic implementation of testing on an industry-wide basis are needed to better avert untoward drug complications in patient populations. © 2013 by The Author(s).


PubMed | Astrazeneca, Novartis, Pfizer, Imperial College London and 7 more.
Type: | Journal: Advanced drug delivery reviews | Year: 2014

Alveolar macrophage (AM) responses are commonly induced in inhalation toxicology studies, typically being observed as an increase in number or a vacuolated foamy morphology. Discriminating between adaptive AM responses and adverse events during nonclinical and clinical development is a major scientific challenge. When measuring and interpreting induced AM responses, an understanding of macrophage biology is essential; this includes sub-types of AMs with different roles in health and disease and mechanisms of induction/resolution of AM responses to inhalation of pharmaceutical aerosols. In this context, emerging assay techniques, the utility of toxicokinetics and the requirement for new biomarkers are considered. Risk assessment for nonclinical toxicology findings and their translation to effects in humans is discussed from a scientific and regulatory perspective. At present, when apparently adaptive macrophage-only responses to inhaled investigational products are observed in nonclinical studies, this poses a challenge for risk assessment and an improved understanding of induced AM responses to inhaled pharmaceuticals is required.


Goodman J.I.,Michigan State University | Augustine K.A.,Bristol Myers Squibb | Cunnningham M.L.,National Health Research Institute | Dixon D.,U.S. National Institutes of Health | And 7 more authors.
Toxicological Sciences | Year: 2010

The International Life Sciences Institute, Health and Environmental Sciences Institute sponsored a workshop entitled "State of the Science: Evaluating Epigenetic Changes," hosted by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Research Triangle Park, NC, 28-30 October 2009. The goal was to evaluate and enhance the scientific knowledge base regarding epigenetics and its role in disease, including potential relationships between epigenetic changes and transgenerational effects. A distinguishing aspect of the workshop was the highly interactive discussion session on the final morning. Meeting participants formed breakout groups (with representation from academia, industry, and government in each group) and were tasked with integrating their previous knowledge of epigenetics with what was learned during the workshop. The participants addressed the issue of what needs to be known prior to thinking about incorporating an epigenetic evaluation into safety assessment. To this end, the breakout groups were asked to address the following questions: (1) What model systems might be employed to evaluate the ability of a chemical to produce an epigenetic change (affecting the F1 and/or F3 generation); (2) What end points/targets might be evaluated; (3) What techniques might be employed; and (4) Regulatory Perspective: When is it appropriate to incorporate "new" science, in this case epigenetics, into the regulatory process? What does one need to know, what are the pitfalls and how might these be overcome/avoided? The basis of this paper is a synopsis of these discussions. The workshop highlighted the fact that the field of epigenetics is evolving at a very rapid pace and indicated that a great deal needs to be learned prior to being able to rationally incorporate an epigenetic evaluation into safety assessment. The value of the workshop is that it called attention to key data/knowledge gaps that should serve to focus attention on the areas where research and new thinking are needed to better understand epigenetics and its relationship to safety assessment. © The Author 2010. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society of Toxicology. All rights reserved.


Burns C.J.,Dow Chemical Company | Wright J.M.,U.S. Environmental Protection Agency | Pierson J.B.,Health and Environmental science Institute | Bateson T.F.,U.S. Environmental Protection Agency | And 9 more authors.
Environmental Health Perspectives | Year: 2014

Background: There is a recognized need to improve the application of epidemiologic data in human health risk assessment especially for understanding and characterizing risks from environmental and occupational exposures. Although there is uncertainty associated with the results of most epidemiologic studies, techniques exist to characterize uncertainty that can be applied to improve weight-of-evidence evaluations and risk characterization efforts.Methods: This report derives from a Health and Environmental Sciences Institute (HESI) workshop held in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, to discuss the utility of using epidemiologic data in risk assessments, including the use of advanced analytic methods to address sources of uncertainty. Epidemiologists, toxicologists, and risk assessors from academia, government, and industry convened to discuss uncertainty, exposure assessment, and application of analytic methods to address these challenges.Synthesis: Several recommendations emerged to help improve the utility of epidemiologic data in risk assessment. For example, improved characterization of uncertainty is needed to allow risk assessors to quantitatively assess potential sources of bias. Data are needed to facilitate this quantitative analysis, and interdisciplinary approaches will help ensure that sufficient information is collected for a thorough uncertainty evaluation. Advanced analytic methods and tools such as directed acyclic graphs (DAGs) and Bayesian statistical techniques can provide important insights and support interpretation of epidemiologic data.Conclusions: The discussions and recommendations from this workshop demonstrate that there are practical steps that the scientific community can adopt to strengthen epidemiologic data for decision making. © 2014, Environmental Health Perspectives. All rights reserved.


Chapin R.,Pfizer | Weinbauer G.,Covance | Thibodeau M.S.,Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals | Sonee M.,Janssen Research and Development LLC | And 11 more authors.
Birth Defects Research Part B - Developmental and Reproductive Toxicology | Year: 2013

The Developmental and Reproductive Toxicity Technical Committee of the Health and Environmental Sciences Institute hosted a working consortium of companies to evaluate a new commercially available analytic assay for Inhibin B in rat serum or plasma. After demonstrating that the kit was stable and robust, the group performed a series of independent pathogenesis studies (23 different compound/investigator combinations) designed to examine the correlation between the appearance of lesions in the testis and changes in circulating levels of Inhibin B. These studies were reported individually in the previous articles in this series (this issue), and are discussed in this paper. For roughly half of these exposures, lesions appeared well before Inhibin B changed. A few of the studies showed a good correlation between seminiferous tubule damage and reduced circulating Inhibin B levels, while for seven exposures, circulating Inhibin B was reduced with no detectable alteration in testis histology. Whether this indicates a prodromal response or a false-positive signal will require further investigation. These exceptions could plausibly suggest some value of circulating Inhibin B as a useful biomarker in some circumstances. However, for roughly half of these exposures, Inhibin B appeared to be a lagging biomarker, requiring significant damage to the seminiferous tubules before a consistent and credible reduction in circulating levels of Inhibin B was observed. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Reagan W.J.,Drug Safety Research and Development | York M.,Glaxosmithkline | Berridge B.,Glaxosmithkline | Schultze E.,Eli Lilly and Company | And 2 more authors.
Toxicologic Pathology | Year: 2013

Cardiac troponin (cTn) has been utilized to assess acute myocardial injury, but the cTn response in active/ongoing chronic injury is not well documented. The purpose of this study was to characterize the cardiac troponin I (cTnI), cardiac troponin T (cTnT), high-sensitivity cTnI, hematology, and clinical chemistry responses in rats treated with doxorubicin. Rats treated with 1, 2, or 3 mg/kg/week (wk) of doxorubicin for 2, 4, or 6 wks were sacrificed after 0, 2, or 4 wks of recovery and compared to untreated controls and animals treated with doxorubicin/dexrazoxane (50 mg/kg/wk) or etoposide (1 and 3 mg/kg/wk). The incidence and mean magnitude of cTn response increased with increasing dose and/or duration of doxorubicin treatment. Conversely, dexrazoxane/doxorubicin was partially protective for cardiotoxicity, and minimal cardiotoxicity occurred with etoposide treatment. Both cTnI and cTnT effectively identified doxorubicin-induced injury as indicated by vacuolation of cardiomyocytes of the atria/ventricles. The association between the cTn responses and histological changes was greater at the higher total exposures, but the magnitude of cTn response did not match closely with histologic grade. The high-sensitivity cTnI assay was also effective in identifying cardiac injury. Alterations occurred in the hematology and clinical chemistry parameters and reflected both dose and duration of doxorubicin treatment. © 2013 by The Author(s).

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