Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Cardiac safety of indacaterol in healthy subjects: a randomized, multidose, placebo- and positive-controlled, parallel-group thorough QT study

Sanjeev Khindri1*, Ronald Sabo2, Stuart Harris3, Ralph Woessner4, Simon Jennings1 and Anton F Drollmann4

Author Affiliations

1 Novartis Horsham Research Centre, Horsham, West Sussex RH12 5AB, UK

2 Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, East Hanover, NJ 07936, USA

3 SeaView Research Inc, Miami, FL 33126, USA

4 Novartis Institute of Biomedical Research, Basel, Switzerland

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BMC Pulmonary Medicine 2011, 11:31  doi:10.1186/1471-2466-11-31

Published: 26 May 2011



Indacaterol is a novel once-daily ultra long-acting β2-agonist for the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. It is known that β2-agonists, like other adrenergic compounds, can prolong the QT-interval. This thorough QT/QTc study (as per ICH E14 guideline) evaluated the effect of indacaterol on the QT interval in healthy subjects.


In this randomized, double-blind, parallel-group, placebo- and positive-controlled (open-label moxifloxacin) study, non-smoking healthy subjects (18-55 years, body mass index: 18.5-32.0 kg/m2) were randomized (4:4:2:4:1) to 14-day treatment with once-daily indacaterol (150 μg, 300 μg, or 600 μg), placebo, or placebo/moxifloxacin (double-blind 14-day treatment with placebo and a single open-label dose of 400 mg moxifloxacin on Day 14). The primary endpoint was the change from baseline on Day 14 in QTcF (QT interval corrected for heart rate using Fridericia's formula).


In total, 404 subjects were randomized to receive indacaterol (150 [n = 108], 300 [n = 108], 600 μg [n = 54]), placebo (n = 107), or placebo/moxifloxacin (n = 27); 388 subjects completed the study. Maximal time-matched mean (90% confidence intervals) treatment differences from placebo in QTcF change from baseline on Day 14 were 2.66 (0.55, 4.77), 2.98 (1.02, 4.93) and 3.34 (0.86, 5.82) ms for indacaterol 150 μg, 300 μg and 600 μg, respectively. Study sensitivity was confirmed with moxifloxacin demonstrating a significant maximal time-matched QTcF prolongation of 13.90 (10.58, 17.22) ms compared to placebo. All indacaterol doses were well tolerated.


Indacaterol, at doses up to 600 μg once daily (2-4 times the therapeutic dose) does not have any clinically relevant effect on the QT interval.

Trial Registration NCT01263808