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Accelerating Neuroscience-focused Ion Channel Drug Discovery

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Metrion, the ion channel CRO and drug discovery company, and LifeArc, a UK independent medical research charity, have announced an extension of their neuroscience-focused ion channel drug discovery collaboration, following the success of the initial twelve-month agreement.

The collaboration is focused on novel selective small molecular modulators of a specific two-pore domain potassium ion channel target, identified as likely to be involved in neurological pathogenesis. Having commenced in January 2019, both companies have exercised the option to extend the program for a further 12 months following the achievement of mutually agreed criteria. As a result of successes during the initial phase, where potent and efficacious hit compounds have been identified through a robust screening cascade (using a fluorescence assay, automated electrophysiology and manual patch clamp technique), the collaboration has now progressed into the hit-to-lead optimization phase.

Under the terms of the agreement LifeArc is responsible for all new chemical syntheses, with Metrion providing ion channel screening expertise. Metrion will continue to support target optimization using the company’s experience of developing validated screening assays for use against specific neuronal ion channels, or in a range of translational phenotypic disease-relevant assays, to thoroughly explore mechanism of action.