Computational Prediction of Drug Cardiac Toxicity (preDiCT)

At a Glance
  • Status: Active Consortium
  • Year Launched: 2008
  • Initiating Organization: European Commission Seventh Framework Programme (FP7)
  • Initiator Type: Government
  • Disease focus:
  • Location: Europe


The Computational Prediction of Drug Cardia Toxicity (preDiCT) project aims to model, simulate, and ultimately predict the impact of pharmacological compounds on the heart’s rhythm using computer models. This will require advances in mathematical models of individual ion channels, which control how and when cells contract; tissue models, which encapsulate chemical processes and physical relationships at millions of separate points in the heart; and the numerical techniques, which must enable faster-than-real-time simulation of a living heart. By extending the frontiers of in silico experimentation, this project will allow refine, replace, and ultimately reduce the use of animals in pharmaceutical and other cardiac research.


Many drugs fail to reach the market because of side effects on the heart. The principal objective of this project is to create an advanced computational technology for in silico assessment of the efficacy and safety of specific drugs (i.e., an open environment comprising validated computational models, tools, and numerical methods that will enable simulations of drug actions on the electrophysiology of the human heart). These tools form part of the infrastructure required to simulate the physiology of major organ systems, thereby contributing to the goal of creating the Virtual Physiological Human (VPH). The results will demonstrate the value of the VPH initiative to fundamental scientific understanding of the heart, with major economic and clinical impacts through accelerated drug development, approval, and use.

The preDiCT project is embedded in the broader VPH initiative, with direct links to two other programs funded by the European Union Seventh Framework Programme: (a) Integrating Project euHeart, which will focus on patient-specific simulation for treatment of cardiovascular disease (17 partners, jointly coordinated by the Philips Technology Research Laboratory and the University of Oxford) and (b) Virtual Physiological Human Network of Excellence, a service to the community of VPH researchers (13 core partners plus broader membership, jointly coordinated by University College London and the University of Oxford).

The principal role of the CRS4 in the project is to contribute to the technology development that will enable the efficient computation of the electrical activity of a whole-ventricle model, paving the way to faster than real-time simulation. This will involve research into adaptive numerical algorithms, spectral element, and parallel linear algebra methods on massively parallel architectures.


The project is funded by the European Union Seventh Framework Programme.

Points of Contact

Giorgio Fotia

Sponsors & Partners

Aureus Pharma Ltd

F Hoffmann—LaRoche

Fujitsu Laboratories of Europe

GlaxoSmithKline Research and Development

Novartis Pharma

Szegedi Tudomanyegtetem (University of Szeged, Hungary)

Universidad Politecnica de Valencia

University of Oxford

Last Updated: 04/14/2016

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