Industry News: Metrion Biosciences and LifeArc Sign Collaborative Agreement for Neuroscience-Focused Ion Channel Drug Discovery

Novel small molecule programme aims to address major unmet medical need in neuroscience

01 Feb 2019


Metrion Biosciences Limited, the specialist ion channel CRO and drug discovery company, and LifeArc, a leading UK medical research charity, have announced they have entered into a collaboration agreement for an ion channel drug discovery project in the field of neuroscience. The project aims to identify novel selective small molecule modulators of a specific ion channel target, which human patient gene association studies have identified as likely to be involved in neurological pathogenesis.

LifeArc will have responsibility for all new chemical syntheses with Metrion conducting ion channel screening. Metrion will provide support for LifeArc’s medicinal chemistry target optimization via its extensive suite of drug discovery assays, including high quality automated and conventional electrophysiology, translational neuroscience, and cardiac safety profiling assays.  

The project commenced in January 2019 and will run for an initial period of twelve months, with an option to extend for a further twelve months based upon achievement of mutually agreed criteria. If successful, LifeArc will be responsible for further development of the program. 

Dr Edward Stevens, Head of Drug Discovery, Metrion Biosciences, said: “Metrion has a long standing working relationship with LifeArc, and we are very pleased to be working with the team again on this new project, on a highly promising neuroscience target.”

Dr Justin Bryans, Executive Director, Drug Discovery, LifeArc, commented: “LifeArc is committed to advancing research in neuroscience, one of our three priority therapy areas. We are excited to be collaborating with Metrion as this provides powerful synergies which will deliver drug candidates that are suitable for onward development and which have real potential to help patients.”