The UK firm unveiled Metrion Biosciences last week, explaining that the stand alone firm will aim to cater for sponsor demand for in vitro means of testing whether drug candidates that target ion channels pose any cardiac safety risks.
According to the contractor, the plan is to launch a panel of in vitro cardiac ion channel and human cardiomyocyte assays for which it will seek accreditation of under the US FDA’s Comprehensive in Vitro Proarrhythmia Assay initiative (CIPA).
Metrion also has plans to sell a panel of neurological ion channel assays for pharmaceutical companies to profile and de-risk new drug candidates.
Keith McCullagh, chairman of parent firm Xention, stressed that the new firm would cater for growing drug industry interest in ion channel biology and will provide a way of generating revenue from Xention’s expertise in the field.
“With global demand for high quality ion channel assay services growing steadily, we have identified an opportunity to commercialise Xention’s long standing specialist expertise in ion channel biology.
He added that: “Metrion Biosciences represents a new initiative to commercialise our specialist ion channel expertise on a fee-for-service basis which will be more convenient and accessible for our customers.”
Xention’s focus is the development of drugs for the treatment of atrial fibrillation using its proprietary ion channel platform.