Metrion Biosciences and LifeArc sign collaboration agreement for neuroscience-focused ion channel drug discovery

Cambridge and London, UK, 29 January 2019: Metrion Biosciences Limited (Metrion), the specialist ion channel CRO and drug discovery company, and LifeArc, a leading UK medical research charity, today 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 optimisation 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 programme.

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.”


Notes to Editors

For further information please contact:

For Metrion Biosciences

Katie Odgaard

Zyme Communications


Tel: +44 (0)7787 502 947

Andrew Southan PhD

Chief Operating Officer, Metrion Biosciences


For LifeArc

Glenn Mursell

Communications, LifeArc


Tel: 02073912754

About Metrion Biosciences

Metrion Biosciences is a specialist ion-channel contract research organisation and drug discovery business.  The Company provides customers with access to a range of high quality ion channel assays on a fee-for-service or collaboration basis.  Metrion Biosciences’ ion channel expertise includes an industry leading panel of in vitro cardiac ion channel safety assays, translational native cell and phenotypic assays for neurological and cardiotoxicity testing, and a range of other ion channel screening services such as cell line development and optimisation.  Metrion Biosciences is able to provide tailored assay formats, data analysis and reporting solutions, effective project management and quality assured data packages.

Twitter: @Metrion_Biosci

About LifeArc

LifeArc is a medical research charity with a 25-year legacy of helping scientists and organisations turn their research into treatments and diagnostics for patients.  LifeArc turns great science into greater patient impact.  The charity brings together a network of partners to tackle specific diseases and directly funds academic and early stage research.  So far, LifeArc’s work has helped to develop four drugs (Keytruda®, Actemra®, Tysabri® and Entyvio®) and a test for resistance to carbapenems.

Twitter: @lifearc1


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