Metrion Biosciences

Metrion Biosciences is a UK-based pre-clinical Contract Research Organization (CRO) focused on delivering a range of high quality ion channel drug discovery services. We provide highly skilled electrophysiology screening services to support client medicinal chemistry optimisation programmes, CiPA compliant cardiac safety profiling assays, neuroscience assays and translational assays.


Products and services

Translational Assays

Validating compounds in translational assays is vital to progressing your drug discovery. Metrion offers a range of translational, phenotypic neuronal assays and platforms. These assays often need to be specifically designed for your translational neuroscience needs. Please contact the Metrion Team to discuss your requirements in greater detail.

Central phenotypic assay platforms at Metrion include manual patch-clamp and multi-electrode array (MEA) techniques to establish compound target validation, target engagement and species selectivity. Alternatively, these methods can be used to electrophysiologically characterise cells with different etiology.  Physiological activity is monitored from native tissue such as rodent cortical neurons or other cell types such as those derived from stem cells.

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Neuroscience Screening

Metrion can screen against specific neuronal ion channel or use its range of translational, phenotypic disease-relevant assays.

Metrion has extensive experience of developing validated screening assays against ion channel cell lines using a number of high quality ion channel platforms with different throughputs. We have access to an extensive ion channel library to complete your work whether that is single point screening, concentration response studies or detailed biophysics studies that thoroughly explore mechanism of action.

Metrion has a number of phenotypic assay platforms to enable its customers to screen their compounds and help translate them towards the clinic or alternatively, provide neurotoxicity safety verification. These assays, using technologies such as manual patch clamp and microelectode array recordings, can offer a direct read-out of physiological function in native tissue or in stem cell derived neurons of your choosing.

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Cardiac Safety Screening

Metrion provides a fully integrated Cardiac Safety Screening / CiPA Screening service incorporating all three components of the Comprehensive In vitro Proarrhythmia (CiPA) initiative.

Metrion's Cardiac Safety Screening services incorporate all three components of the Comprehensive In vitro Proarrhythmia (CiPA) initiative.

This includes:

  1. Automated electrophysiology screening against an expanded panel of six cardiac ion channels, including hERG.
  2. In silico modelling using electrophysiology data from the expanded ion channel panel.
  3. Confirmation of in silico predictions using translational assays employing human iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes

Metrion is a member of the HESI Cardiac Safety committee and, as part of its role in the HTS sub team, is involved in validating automated screening assays. The company also has access to multiple commercially available iPSC-derived cardiomyocyte cell lines, which have been fully validated in-house.

The FDA and selected industry stakeholders are currently working towards launching a revised regulatory framework to assess the cardiac safety of new chemical entities. Known as the CiPA initiative, this new framework aims to improve upon the existing FDA regulations (ICH S7B and ICH E14) by introducing an updated workflow for cardiac safety assessment. Under current guidelines potential new therapeutics  undergo initial assessment for activity against the human ether-a-go-go (hERG) ion channel, before progressing to preclinical animal models and finally a thorough QT interval study (TQT) in the clinic. The CiPA initiative will extend the early electrophysiology-based screening to include effects on a panel of cardiac ion channels with a key role in control of the ventricular action potential waveform. This expanded electrophysiology data will be used to create in silico modelling data to supplement data from additional phenotypic assays, such a data package should significantly improve the accuracy of identification of compounds with true cardiac liability.

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Ion Channel screening services

Metrion offers high quality ion channel screening services using a variety of electrophysiology, label free and fluorescence-based platforms. Our assay technologies include QPatch and Patchliner automated electrophysiology, conventional electrophysiology, impedance/microelectrode array techniques and FlexStation.

Cell Line Optimisation for Ion Channel Screening

The Metrion team has extensive experience of developing, optimising and validating stable cell lines expressing recombinant and endogenous ion channels to help develop robust screening assays.

Ion Channel Screening Assay Development

For more than a decade, Metrion’s scientists have been involved in developing, optimising and validating automated and manual patch clamp assays for ion channel targets. We can fully customise ion channel assays at different stages of the screening cascade, from hit finding and medium throughput structure activity studies, through to specialised biophysical and mechanism-of-action studies for hit series or lead compounds.

Ion Channel Screening Library

We offer validated ion channel screening services against a wide range of ion channels in our library and a variety of  targets available from commercial vendors. We are always seeking to expand our library of ion channel cell lines, please contact us to determine if we can assist you with an ion channel of interest or any of the above services.

Compound Screening

Metrion provide compound screening in both single concentration point and concentration-response formats using our in house library of stable cell lines, client provided cell lines or transiently transfected cells. We also offer our CiPA-compliant cardiac safety panel and translational neuroscience assays.

We offer detailed biophysical studies to characterise compound mechanism of action. Metrion’s scientists have routinely investigated state-dependent inhibition of a variety of voltage-gated ion channels over the last 10 years using both manual and automated patch clamp platforms (e.g. Nav, Cav, hERG and other Kv).

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