According to the Metrion Biosciences, the funding – awarded the funding under the Innovate UK Biomedical Catalyst Feasibility Award scheme – will enable it to advance preclinical development of its portfolio of small molecule potassium inhibitors, which it acquired from Japan Tobacco.
Metrion announced the acquisition last week, at which time Keith McCullagh, company chairman, told us the company “believes it can collaborate with pharmaceutical companies to realize enhanced value from these assets.”
Metrion will use the funding to “further optimize” the portfolio of more than 2,000 small molecule potassium channel inhibitors involved in autoimmune conditions, Marc Rogers, chief scientist officer of Metrion, told us.
“The funding will enable Metrion to explore the potential of the licensed inhibitors to treat MS [Multiple Sclerosis] using human T-cell models of the disease, and to develop improved compounds that can be administered orally and are optimized to penetrate into the brain and nerve tissues affected by MS,” he added.
“Some of this work will be carried out in Metrion’s laboratories, and other parts sub-contracted to UK-based specialist contract research companies,” Rogers explained.