We applied a set of in silico and in vitro assays, compliant with the CiPA (Comprehensive In Vitro Proarrhythmia Assay) paradigm, to assess the risk of chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine-mediated QT prolongation and Torsades de Pointes (TdP), alone and combined with erythromycin and azithromycin, drugs repurposed during the first wave of COVID-19. Each drug or drug combination was tested in patch clamp assays on 7 cardiac ion channels, in in silico models of human ventricular electrophysiology (Virtual Assay® ) using control (healthy) or high-risk cell populations, and in human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC)-derived cardiomyocytes.
In recent months, the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 has emerged as a worldwide threat with about 4.2 million confirmed cases and almost 300 000 deaths. Its major clinical presentation is characterized by respiratory symptoms ranging from mild cough to serve pneumonia with fever and potentially even death. Until today, there is no known medication to improve clinical symptoms or even prevent or fight the infection.