Metrion Biosciences Neuroscience Services 1024x717 1
Metrion Biosciences Neuroscience Icon Large 01

Specialist neuroscience services

Highly specialised and tailored neuronal assays for pharmacological screening and neurotoxicity testing

Accelerate your drug discovery research for neurological disorders, including pain

Our specialist team of neuroscientists are experts in their field and can help your biology team generate cell lines for your targets.

With over 150 years’ ion channel drug discovery experience with indications such as pain, neurodegeneration, psychiatry and more, we can advance your project to the next milestone.

We are highly experienced in translational assays, providing quality recordings from relevant tissues expressing your target of interest.

We are also experts in the manual patch clamp technique and offer higher-throughput automated patch clamp services.

Panel of models with increasing complexity and translational relevance

Range of assay methodologies

Our neuroscience assays are used to:

  • Investigate the mechanism of action for pre-clinical compounds in early phases of neuroscience research programs
  • Confirm compound effects against specific ion channels in native neuronal backgrounds
  • Address the neurotoxicity of compounds and assess the effects of compounds on a range of excitability parameters

Heterologous cell lines and integrative assays

Screening of your compounds in a neuroscience setting is primarily driven by the fact that they have been designed to modulate CNS or peripheral nervous system targets and signalling pathways, including but not limited to ion channels. Our neuroscience experts can carry out this screening using heterologous cell lines expressing human or rodent neuronal proteins, as well as offering more integrative assays employing rodent and human cell lines or in acutely cultured native cells from the rodent peripheral and central nervous system.

Selectivity and safety profiling of lead compounds and IND candidates

Get insight to selectivity and safety profiling of lead compounds and IND candidates, either as part of an existing screening cascade or because in vivo testing revealed a neurological signal. We have have developed and validated an industry-standard rat cortical CNS neuron assay that can reliably detect the seizure-inducing liability of a wide range of reference compounds (as well as serve as a model to profile anti-epileptic drugs). We also offer have deep expertise with rodent dorsal root ganglion (DRG) sensory neurons which can be used to assess peripheral neurotoxicity.

Neuroscience screening and toxicity testing reaches the ultimate translational step when it is carried out in human iPSC-derived neurons, and primary cell cultures. The use of differentiated human stem cell-derived neurons also allows the creation of patient-derived and disease-specific translational assays, opening the door onto one of the more exciting aspects of modern drug discovery.

Studying ion channels on the lysosomal membrane

In this video we demonstrate how to perform the lysosomal patch clamp technique to study ion channels on the lysosomal membrane.

Metrion Bioscience 2023 67

Case study:

Multi-assay High-throughput drug repurposing screen:

Eliana is a two-year-old from Canada with a de novo mutation (V434L) in her KCNC1 gene which encodes for the Kv3.1 channel in central nervous system neurons such as cerebellar neurons and GABAergic interneurons. The mutation manifests as a variety of neurological disorders which can include myoclonic epilepsy and ataxia due to K+ channel mutation, developmental epileptic encephalopathy (DEE), or hypotonia, depending on the specific variant.

The KCNC1 Foundation collaborated with Perlara, who approached Metrion Biosciences, where manual and automated (Qube) patch-clamp techniques and Fluorescent Imaging Plate Reader (FLIPR) high throughput screens (HTS) against the mutant channel were performed to identify hit compounds.

Technologies we use for neuroscience assays

  • QPatch and Qube automated electrophysiology
  • Gold standard manual patch clamp electrophysiology
  • Plate-based multi-electrode array techniques
  • Plate-based and single cell imaging

Neuroscience resources

Case studies
Application notes
Wave Background thinner 01 1

Let’s work together

Share your specific ion channel screening requirements and we will put you in touch with our scientific team.