hERG Assay: What Is It and What Does It Do?

The hERG assay is a simple quantitative test that measures the expression of the hERG in various tissues. Its performance has been shown to be highly reproducible across a variety of studies. The assay can be performed on a wide range of samples, including urine. This article will discuss in more detail what hERG assay is and what it is used for, including some limitations.

What Is hERG Assay Used For?

First, hERG assays provide an absolute potency estimate, which is important in early lead optimisation. In order to be considered a viable candidate for clinical development, the IC50 value must be greater than x umol*L-1. Because this arbitrary value is not easily quantified, the tool has been criticised for not providing a credible estimate of the potential exposure of the drug.

hERG assays are used for screening pharmaceutical substances. The Predictor hERG assay is a simple add-and-read format, which facilitates high-throughput screening. The kit is based on a fluorescence polarization principle and utilizes a red-shifted fluorescent tracer and compounds that bind to hERG. If the tracer binds to hERG, the results will be high.

What Are the Limitations?

The hERG assay can have several limitations. For instance, a small amount of hERG activity can indicate a large safety margin. Furthermore, a large amount of variability is associated with a high threshold for efficacy. To make this more accurate, the hERG assay must be used with standardized experimental protocols. These are the most common barriers.

The hERG assay can be useful in determining the safety of drug use, however it is not suitable for the discovery of new anti-cancer drugs. Therefore, drugs that do not exhibit significant in vitro activity may not be useful in clinical trials. In the meantime, it may not be a reliable tool for determining which drugs are most effective in treating cancer.

hERG Assay Use for New Drugs

Increasing the hERG assay’s sensitivity is one of the most important advantages of the technique. The assays are useful in assessing the safety of new drugs. The hERG assay is an efficient tool for this purpose. It enables a more precise and effective assessment of the drug’s safety profile.

More recently, it has been discovered that hERG patch clamp assays have been useful components for examining cardio safety during nonclinical drug trials and development practices. The use of the tool can be extremely beneficial to pharmaceuticals, scientists and medical professionals as it can deliver precise information regarding drug use that not many other sources can provide for us.


It is known that the use of a hERG Assay can improve and advance medical research and treatment. Including cardiovascular drug experiments as well as examining the safety measures of specific drug use. It is known that the tool is not always reliable for determining new anti-cancer drugs which does act as a limitation to the method in medical research.

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