LONDON & CAMBRIDGE, U.K.—On Dec. 3, Metrion Biosciences Ltd., a specialist ion channel contract research organization and drug discovery company, and LifeArc, an independent medical research charity, announced an extension of their neuroscience-focused ion channel drug discovery collaboration, following the success of the initial 12-month agreement.
The collaboration is focused on novel selective small-molecule modulators of a specific two-pore domain potassium ion channel target, identified as likely to be involved in neurological pathogenesis.
Their initial collaboration 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-upon criteria. As a result of successes during the initial phase, where reportedly 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 extensive 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.
Said Dr. Edward Stevens, head of the Drug Discovery operation at Metrion Biosciences: “The extension of this collaboration is testament to the achievements of the combined team to date, and to our longstanding successful relationship with LifeArc. We are excited to be moving forward for an additional 12 months, and progress the project to further advance research in this important field of neuroscience.”
“We are dedicated to supporting promising research that could have transformative benefits for patients,” added Dr. Justin Bryans, executive director of Drug Discovery at LifeArc. “The success to date of this novel small molecule program with Metrion is very motivating, especially as this lies in one of our three priority therapy areas. We have a strong track record with Metrion, and we look forward to the next 12 months’ collaboration.”